Search of Packages Leads to Distribution Charge for NJ Student

A young man from Princeton is facing charges of possession and distribution after an investigation by state and federal authorities. The student is accused of going to the Princeton University mail room and picking up packages that contained drugs, including 7 grams of ecstasy.

According to a news report, federal authorities notified the university and local police that a package containing drugs had been intercepted from overseas, and surveillance was set up around the campus mailroom. The 20-year-old was arrested after allegedly signing for the packages.

Subsequent searches of the packages, the student’s duffel bag and his dorm room allegedly turned up other drugs and paraphernalia, including marijuana, hashish, LSD, psilocybin, Adderall pills and digital scales.

While the charges against this young man are serious, the reality is that much can go wrong in a drug investigation. A single mistake on the part of police could result in illegal search and seizure, and police must follow protocol when questioning a suspect.

Individuals accused of drug crimes may also be eligible for New Jersey’s Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI). Anyone accused of an indictable offense may apply, though not everyone accused of a drug crime is eligible. Generally, PTI is reserved for individuals accused of a first offense.

If a defendant completes the PTI program, which involves rehabilitative services, then there will be no record of conviction. In any case, it is important that a criminal defense attorney intervenes early in the legal process to explain the available options to a defendant accused of a drug crime.