In what has been deemed Long Branch Police Department’s most significant drug seizure in the last 20 years, authorities confiscated nearly 5,400 bags of heroin, arresting a man who is now facing a multitude of serious drug charges.
According to a news release issued on Friday by Long Branch Public Safety Director Jason Roebuck, police first pulled over 43-year-old Paterson resident Christopher “Choice” Schwartz on Monday, August 24th. Schwartz was reportedly a person of interest in an ongoing narcotics investigation conducted by members of the Long Branch Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit.
Shortly thereafter, Schwartz was charged with a myriad of drug offenses, including: possession of heroin, possession of cocaine, distribution of heroin, distribution of heroin within 500 feet of a public park, distribution of heroin within 500 feet of a public housing facility, and heroin distribution within 1,000 feet of school property. A subsequent search of his vehicle revealed additional heroin, totaling 5,359 decks, the street value of which has been estimated at $40,000.
Schwartz is currently being held in detention at the Monmouth County jail, with bail set at $280,000. The severity of the charges against him has been further enhanced due to the proximity within which the alleged offenses occurred to a school zone, public park, and public housing facility.
Notably, each of these location-oriented drug offenses is classified as a second degree felony, punishable by a State Prison term of 5 to 10 years, which may be imposed in addition to the sentences associated with any of the other offenses for which the defendant is found guilty.
As for the heroin distribution charges, the specific degree is contingent upon the measured weight of the substance associated with the alleged offense. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, the amount may be aggregated to arrive at one quantity which is then included in the indictment. Essentially, in this case, all of the heroin seized may be measured together in order to determine the degree of the heroin distribution charges against Schwartz.
For additional information related to this case, access the following article: 5,400 heroin bags netted in Long Branch’s largest drug bust in 20 years