It isn’t every day that a suburban restaurant owner is arrested and charged with being a key figure in a heroin distribution ring. However, that’s just the position that a man who had a restaurant on Lake Hopatcong in northern New Jersey finds himself. The 55-year-old owner of River Styx Grille was charged with more than 100 counts of various drug crimes; he could face up to three decades in prison if he is ultimately convicted.

According to charges that were filed, the man would travel weekly to Newark to place an order for 500 to 700 doses, known as “folds,” of heroin. In turn, authorities say, the businessman would distribute the drugs to dealers who would sell them to customers. In total, the man is accused of bringing in about 2,000 folds of heroin. In the grand scheme of things, this is a relatively small amount; prosecutors say some users can use 50 folds per day on their own.

It remains to be seen how the man’s case might proceed in court; however, he has long owned a communications firm that sold and installed two-way radios that are used in police cars and fire trucks all around the state. It isn’t clear if this kind of civic engagement might harm or help his situation.

Six other people are facing charges in connection with the alleged scheme as well. The restaurant owner, who officials say was near the top of the drug distribution pyramid, was being held on $150,000 bail — a large amount compared with some other people ensnared in the operation.

Source: The Star-Ledger, “Prominent N.J. business owner among 7 arrested as suburban heroin ring is busted,” Dan Goldberg and Ben Horowitz, Aug. 8, 2013