Ocean County Drug Overdose Generates Multi-County Task Force
A recent rise in drug overdoses in Ocean County has prompted the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to team with Atlantic County officials and create a task force in an attempt to fight what law enforcement officials feel is a heroin “crisis” in the area. Heroin is a cheap drug that can be found everywhere. On April 19, 2013, Steven Janson, 26 of Stafford Township was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead of a suspected drug overdose. Authorities arrested an Atlantic City man in connection with Mr. Janson’s death as the suspected dealer who may have sold him the heroin.
In the first three months of 2013, there were 43 overdoses – nine of which occurred in April. One death was traced back to Atlantic City, reflecting a connection between there and Ocean County. The focus of the task force will be to track the victim back to a specific dealer and then to aggressively prosecute. Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, stated “our message will be if you provide drugs to the residents of Ocean County, we will find and punish you.
More and more young adults are gravitating toward opiate related drugs such as heroin, Oxycodone, Oxycotin, Percocet, etc. Possession of under a half ounce of some controlled substances like cocaine and heroin are third-degree crimes. A third-degree crime carries a potential of three to five years state prison depending upon the person’s prior criminal record. Possession of more than a half ounce of a controlled substance is a second-degree crime which carries mandatory state prison from five to ten years. Every drug related conviction requires the court to impose a loss of driver’s license for six months to two years.