TRENTON, NJ – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced that members of the Atlantic City Task Force and federal agents of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations have arrested a man on first-degree drug charges after seizing half a kilo of cocaine that allegedly was mailed to him and finding 120 pounds of marijuana in a shed at his home.
Jurggen Thomas, 23, was arrested yesterday afternoon at his residence on West Jersey Avenue in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. He is charged with first-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, first-degree possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, second-degree conspiracy to distribute cocaine, third-degree possession of cocaine, and third-degree possession of marijuana. Thomas was lodged in the Atlantic County Jail.
Thomas was arrested as the result of a joint investigation by the Atlantic City Task Force (ACTF) and federal agents of the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Cherry Hill Office. The joint investigation began after HSI intercepted a suspicious package that was mailed from Haiti to an address in Egg Harbor Township via UPS delivery services. The package was found to contain half a kilo of cocaine. Members of HSI and the ACTF, including the New Jersey State Police TEAMS South and Canine Units, coordinated a controlled delivery of the cocaine yesterday to the address on the parcel. That turned out to be the home of a friend of Thomas, whose address Thomas allegedly used to receive the package. A second controlled delivery was subsequently conducted at Thomas’ home, where Thomas accepted the parcel and was arrested. A search of the residence where Thomas lives revealed five large bundles containing a total of 120 pounds of marijuana in a small shed in the backyard.
The ACTF includes the Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police, State Parole Board, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office, Atlantic City Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Little Egg Harbor Township Police, Brigantine Police and Pleasantville Police. The task force frequently partners with HSI Cherry Hill, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Deputy Attorney General James Ruberton of the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau is assigned to prosecute the case for the task force. Attorney General Porrino commended all of the members of the Atlantic City Task Force who worked on the investigation, as well as the special agents of the HSI Cherry Hill Office, under the supervision of Group Supervisor John Fitch.
The first-degree drug charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.