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Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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Learn More About Drug Conspiracy Charges


You do not want to be convicted on a federal drug conspiracy charge. A conviction for drug conspiracy could lead to you being sentenced to decades in prison and fined thousands of dollars. Moreover, federal prosecutors often bring drug conspiracy charges when they lack evidence that clearly shows who, among a group of people, was in possession of drugs found at the scene. This means that it’s possible for you to be charged with being part of a drug conspiracy simply for being present during an illegal drug transaction.

So what exactly is a “drug conspiracy”? A conspiracy involves two or more people who arrange to commit a crime. Whether a person is part of a major cocaine trafficking operation or is merely a low-level street dealer of marijuana, they can potentially face drug conspiracy charges. In fact, merely coming into contact with a drug dealer could lead to you being accused of having a role in a drug conspiracy.

Additionally, keep in mind that drug conspiracy charges are broad. Even if you were not one of the major players in a drug distribution operation, you can be charged with conspiracy. Beyond that, you can face charges for being part of a conspiracy even if you did not actually commit the underlying crime of selling drugs; merely having a conversation about selling the drugs could result in conspiracy charges.

Prosecutors Use Conspiracy Charges as Leverage in Drug Cases

It may just be a matter of “wrong place, wrong time” for you, but that won’t matter to the prosecutor who handles your case. That’s because federal prosecutors often use conspiracy charges as leverage in drug trafficking and drug distribution cases by filing two separate charges: an underlying drug distribution charge and a drug conspiracy charge. Since the drug offense charges do not merge, you could be subject to severe penalties that likely include a lengthy term of incarceration in prison.

Prosecutors who bring a blanket conspiracy charge against everyone who may have been involved with an unlawful drug transaction are able to use the additional charges as leverage during pre-trial negotiations. For example, depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be compelled to plead guilty to a marijuana distribution charge or a heroin possession charge in order to get the prosecutor to drop the drug conspiracy charges.


If you have been charged with a drug crime in Atlantic County, New Jersey, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer representing you throughout the legal process. The aggressive criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty can help you fight your drug distribution or drug possession charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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