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Charges filed against 21 defendants including 8 gang members

Charges have been filed in a New Jersey town against 21 defendants including eight alleged gang members. The charges were filed as the result of an eight-month initiative headed by the Morris County Prosecutor's Office. The defendants were reportedly involved in acts of violence and a large-scale drug traffickingoperation.

The initiative was prompted by a number of violent occurrences reported in Morris County. The incidents supposedly included a shooting, an aggravated assault and an armed robbery. In addition, there had allegedly been a large fight that resulted in multiple stabbings in Jefferson Township. Various state, county and local law enforcement partners and the Morris County Prosecutor's Office cooperated in the investigation.

The investigation revealed that multiple documented members of the Bloods gang from the areas of Victory Gardens, Morristown and Dover were reportedly involved in the violent incidents. In connection with the initiative, law enforcement officers seized MDMA, Oxycodone, marijuana, heroin and cocaine with an estimated street value of $20,000, according to the acting Morris County Prosecutor. Most of the defendants were charged with various drug distribution and possession charges. One defendant was charged with threats to kill and assault, aggravated assault causing bodily injury, possession of a weapon and criminal restraint.

When several law enforcement agencies collaborate on large-scale investigations, officers may make errors during the execution of a search warrant or during the search and seizure operation. For example, if officers found evidence in a location that was outside the scope of the warrant, it may be found inadmissible in court. On the other hand, if officers did not violate the search warrant or the rights of the defendant, a defense attorney might suggest a plea bargain.

Source: NJ.com, "Prosecutor: 21 charged in 8-month Bloods street gang crackdown", Walter O'Brien, June 25, 2014

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