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Number of drug charges filed in Bergen County increasing

Every day, law enforcement officials confront the problem of illicit drug use in New Jersey. Sometimes they make drug related arrests that prevent a user from committing violent crimes such as burglary or robbery to fuel their addiction. Other times, a person may get caught up in a drug sweep simply because he or she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Either way, law enforcement officials are filing more drug charges than ever before.

During the first quarter of 2013, 245 adult drug charges were filed in one of Bergen County's townships, Mahwah. During the month of May, a drug sweep yielded over 100 arrests of drug buyers in Northern New Jersey. These numbers suggest that the year will end with seeing more arrests for drug possession and drug distribution than 2012. This does not necessarily mean that more people are using drugs, however. There are a variety of different reasons for the increase. Law enforcement officials are putting more emphasis on creating officer and community awareness, training officers to make drug related arrests and conducting drug sweeps. There has also been an increase in the use of informants; friends and family members turning their loved ones in when they suspect they have a drug problem.

Drug possession is a serious crime with severe penalties. Nonetheless, officers must follow strict guidelines to ensure that a person’s constitutional rights aren’t violated during a widespread drug sweep or a localized search and seizure. Those who face drug related charges of any kind may want to seek the advice of a seasoned criminal defense attorney to determine the best course of action and make sure they are treated fairly.

Source: Mahwah Patch, Mahwah Drug Charges Double in 5 Years,” Jessica Mazzola, June 11, 2013

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