New Jersey residents convicted of drug crimes face harsh consequences. Even so, an accusation is not the same as a conviction. Several New Jersey residents will now have to prepare a strong defense after a police investigation resulted in arrests for alleged drug offenses at several gas stations.

Four people have been arrested after Woodbridge police say they received an anonymous tip that local gas stations were selling a drug known as synthetic marijuana. This drug became a controlled substance in the state in October. The police department apparently set up surveillance on two stations in the area.

In the first instance, police claim they observed a hand-to-hand transfer at a station in Fords, New Jersey. A motor vehicle stop followed, resulting in the arrest of the driver. The 50-year-old gas station owner is also facing charges for possession of controlled dangerous substances, as well as several other drug-related charges. A 23-year-old woman was also arrested and faces possession charges.

The first gas station also allegedly yielded more than $3,500 in a search, in addition to a quantity of synthetic marijuana and paraphernalia. Invoices at the gas station reportedly lead police to an Edison warehouse. A search reportedly resulted in the seizure of 210 boxes of synthetic marijuana, 71 boxes containing crack pipes, and 83 scales used for measuring drugs. There are multiple owners of the warehouse, so drug charges are still pending.

A second gas station in Hopelawn also became the subject of surveillance. Police alleged another hand-to-hand transfer, followed by a motor vehicle stop. Thereafter, an undercover officer allegedly went to the gas station to purchase the controlled substance and also obtained a search warrant.

The 39-year-old owner of the second gas station was charged in November with possession with intent to distribute charges and possession of paraphernalia, as well as possession of paraphernalia with the intent to distribute. An 18-year-old has been charged with possession of controlled dangerous substances.

When faced with tips, police often become aggressive in their arrests, regardless of whether the people are innocent or guilty. Each of the individuals arrested will need to present a vigorous defense as they fight to protect their rights in their individual cases.

Source: Sentinel, “Four charged with buying, selling synthetic marijuana,” Dec. 7, 2011