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13-year Drug-Dealing Sentence Affirmed

March 16, 2012


A state appeals court today affirmed the 13-year New Jersey state prison sentence of Byron K. Jones (DOB 11/17/69), of 1304 Berkley Road, Greenwich Township, Gloucester County NJ following his December 2009 conviction for possessing nearly three-quarters of an ounce of cocaine with intent to distribute.


The appeals court rejected Jones’ argument the sentence was excessive, finding that his claim of hardship on his family was unsupported.


The court also found a drug-sniffing K-9’s inspection of garbage bags from Jones residence was constitutional. Cocaine residue and marijuana were found in the bags, leading to a February 2007 search of the home and seizure of 100 baggies of cocaine. Inspecting the trash was justified by information the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s office received from “several law enforcement agencies” that Jones was selling drugs in Gloucester County and a GCPO detective’s knowledge of dealers’ “propensity to discard drug paraphernalia” in  trash, the appeals court said.


To suppress the dog-sniff findings “would only protect the illegitimate privacy claims of drug possessors,” Deputy New Jersey Attorney General Teresa A. Blair wrote in a brief opposing the appeal.


Jones also was convicted in April 2010 of selling cocaine to an undercover GCPO detective and was sentenced to seven years in prison. He is appealing that result.


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