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    Chapter 35a: Anti-Drug Profiteering

      Section: 2C:35a-2: Declaration of Policy and Legislative Findings.

2C:35A-2. Declaration of policy and legislative findings.

The Legislature hereby finds and declares the following:

a. Persons who engage in drug trafficking activities for profit are a form of professional criminal, and deserve enhanced punishment that is specially adapted to remove the economic incentives inherent in such criminal activities.

b. It shall be the overriding objective of the provisions of this chapter to eliminate to the greatest extent possible the economic incentives inherent in commercial drug distribution activities at all levels within the drug distribution chain. In order to accomplish this objective, it is appropriate to impose stern economic sanctions in the form of monetary penalties against certain convicted drug offenders. So as to ensure that such economic sanctions are specially adapted and proportionate to the true nature, extent and profitability of the specific criminal activities involved, such monetary penalties should in appropriate cases be based upon a multiple of the street level value of all the illicit substances involved. The use of such a mechanism for calculating an appropriate monetary penalty will help to offset and overcome the perception of some drug offenders, and especially those who are well insulated within a drug trafficking network, that they face only a comparatively low risk of immediate detection and punishment. The Legislature, by adoption of the "Comprehensive Drug Reform Act," N.J.S.2C:35-1 et al., recognized the utility of such a mechanism by providing for the imposition of discretionary cash fines which may be based upon three, or in some cases five, times the street value of the illicit drugs involved.

c. The imposition of monetary penalties pursuant to this act is intended to serve as an adjunct to forfeiture actions, which are designed to deprive offenders of the proceeds of their criminal activities and of all property used in furtherance of or to facilitate such illegal activities. While the seizure and forfeiture of property in accordance with the provisions of chapters 41 and 64 of this Title and P.L.1994, c.121 (money laundering) remain a critically important means by which to reduce the economic incentive inherent in drug trafficking activities, in many instances, given the efforts undertaken by offenders to conceal and disguise assets and to resort to complex financial transactions and money laundering schemes, it has become increasingly difficult for law enforcement agencies to establish to the required degree of certainty that a given asset or interest in property is subject to forfeiture. Accordingly, it is necessary and appropriate to impose an in personam debt against the defendant which may be satisfied by proceeding against any asset or interest in property belonging to the defendant, whether or not such property can be directly or indirectly linked to criminal activity.

d. In order to ensure the maximum deterrent effect of imposing such specially adapted economic sanctions as are required pursuant to the provisions of this act, it shall be the policy of this State to enforce the judgment and to collect the entire debt, or the greatest possible portion thereof, as soon as is feasible following the imposition of the penalty, taking full advantage, where necessary, of this State's long arm jurisdiction and the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution of the United States.


This section added to the Rutgers Database: 2013-06-10 16:36:30.

Older versions of 2c:35a-2 (if available):

Court decisions that cite this statute: CLICK HERE.