Given the economic crisis of recent years, many Morristown residents who still have a job will feel luckier than ever about it. Small business owners who have weathered the storm are particularly grateful to be able to still continue to practice their professions. But for one family pharmacy owner in New Jersey, doing what he loves has apparently led to drug charges.
At almost 80 years of age, the pharmacist and proprietor of the business came under law enforcement scrutiny as Drug Enforcement Agency investigators collected information on an alleged drug trafficking ring. Members of the purported ring would obtain fake prescriptions from assorted physicians and fill them at certain pharmacies. Authorities claim that this pharmacist knew the prescriptions were fraudulent, but provided prescription drugs like oxycodone nonetheless.
Along with 15 other defendants from New Jersey and environs, the elderly man now faces charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute oxycodone. Conviction on such a charge could mean up to $1 million in fines and 20 years in prison. Morristown readers will immediately recognize the magnitude of these serious consequences as compared to simple drug possession charges.
Conspiracy is, in fact, a much-higher level charge often used by authorities seeking to break up alleged drug cartels. We will take a closer look at the unique nature of conspiracy charges in a follow-up post next week. But in the meantime, defendants facing criminal charges like these should not delay before seeking professional legal advice — it takes time to assemble a strong defense to these serious charges.