On Sunday May 4, New Brunswick firefighters responded to reports of a basement fire at a home in the area where six Rutgers students were living. Upon arriving at the scene, firefighters discovered drugs including marijuana and cocaine, along with drug paraphernalia according to a news report at NBC New York.
The fire was determined by investigators to be an accident. None of the 20 to 22-year-old students were injured, however all were arrested on various drug charges. Police were called to the scene after firefighters noticed the drugs at the home located at 166 Hamilton Street. The investigation led to the arrest of:
20-year-old Christian Acevedo and 20-year-old Andrew Shattuck, both charged with possession of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute.
Charles Cini and Gregory Molfetta, both 22 years old, and Steven Carrero, age 21, all charged with possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
Anthony Piccirello, age 20, charged with possession of Adderall (prescription legend drug) and possession with intent to distribute.
Possession of illegal drugs or narcotics will leave the accused facing serious criminal penalties, whether in New Jersey or any other state in the U.S. In New Jersey, those convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute will face substantial fines along with prison time, depending on the “weight” or amount of cocaine involved. For example, if a person is found guilty of possessing five ounces or more of cocaine with intent to distribute the drug, he or she may be sentenced to up to 20 years in jail and fined up to $500,000.
In Michigan, the same crime will leave the accused facing up to 20 years in prison and/or fines of up to $250,000 if convicted. While news reports did not indicate the amount of drugs the students were alleged to have had in their possession, even less than 50 grams of cocaine in Michigan will leave the defendant facing up to 20 years in prison if it is determined the defendant intended to distribute or deliver the drug.
A conviction for drug possession or distribution not only leaves an individual facing possible loss of his or her freedom, it also results in other life-changing consequences. Job opportunities are lost; a person’s career, reputation, and relationships may be ruined forever. If you have been accused of possessing or distributing marijuana, cocaine, meth, or any illegal substance/narcotic, contact an experienced and dedicated Michigan drug crime defense lawyer immediately.