Police announced this week that Christopher Kilbride, of Howell Township, was arrested following an ongoing investigation that was conducted by The New Jersey State Police, The Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Howell Township Detective Christian Antunez released the following details surrounding the investigation, Friday morning’s raid, and ultimate arrest of Kilbride. Kilbride, who resides on Route 34, had been suspected of maintaining a marijuana distribution and grow operation. Following the raid, police confiscated thirty Marijuana plants and a gram of cocaine from his residency. In addition to the narcotics found on the scene, Kilbride was also found to be in possession of multiple weapons. Upon searching the home, authorities recovered a handgun, a sawed-off shotgun, multiple riffles, and a grenade launcher. At the time of the news announcement, police believed that none of the weapons were stolen but authorities were still investigating their legality.
In addition to Kilbride, a 25-year-old female from Manasquan was also arrested. Amy O’Connor a friend of Kilbride’s was in the Howell Township home during the raid. O’Connor was found to be in possession of a crack pipe and marijuana. Police issued the Manasquan resident a summons for possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of under 50 grams of Marijuana.
Kilbride’s charges are more serious. Following his arrest, the Howell Township resident is charged with possession of a destructive device, possession of a sawed-off shotgun, possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, operating a marijuana grow, and possession of weapons while distributing drugs. Authorities said that Kilbride was transported to the Monmouth County Jail with his bail set at $352,000. The marijuana manufacturing charges alone can be accompanied by very serious legal consequences.
Manufacturing, Distributing or Dispensing Marijuana in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 sets forth:
a. Except as authorized by P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1), it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely:
(1) To manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog; or
(2) To create, distribute, or possess or have under his control with intent to distribute, a counterfeit controlled dangerous substance.
b. Any person who violates subsection a. with respect to:
(10) (a) Marijuana in a quantity of 25 pounds or more including any adulterants or dilutants, or 50 or more marijuana plants, regardless of weight, or hashish in a quantity of five pounds or more including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the First Degree (punishable by a term of incarceration between 10 and 20 years in New Jersey State Prison). A fine of up to $300,000.00 may be imposed;
(b) Marijuana in a quantity of five pounds or more but less than 25 pounds including any adulterants or dilutants, or 10 or more but fewer than 50 marijuana plants, regardless of weight, or hashish in a quantity of one pound or more but less than five pounds, including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the Second Degree (punishable by a term of incarceration between 5 and 10 years in New Jersey State Prison);
(11) Marijuana in a quantity of one ounce or more but less than five pounds including any adulterants or dilutants, or hashish in a quantity of five grams or more but less than one pound including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the Third Degree (punishable by a term of incarceration between 3 and 5 years in New Jersey State Prison), except that a fine of up to $25,000.00 may be imposed;
(12) Marijuana in a quantity of less than one ounce including any adulterants or dilutants, or hashish in a quantity of less than five grams including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the Fourth Degree (punishable by a term of incarceration up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison).
c. Where the degree of the offense for violation of this section depends on the quantity of the substance, the quantity involved shall be determined by the trier of fact. Where the indictment or accusation so provides, the quantity involved in individual acts of manufacturing, distribution, dispensing or possessing with intent to distribute may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense, whether distribution or dispensing is to the same person or several persons, provided that each individual act of manufacturing, distribution, dispensing or possessing with intent to distribute was committed within the applicable statute of limitations.
NOTE: Manufacturing, Distributing, or Dispensing Marijuana is a violation subject to sentencing under the “Brimage Guidelines,” which eliminates the defense attorney’s opportunity to argue for a downward departure at the time of sentencing.
Penalties for N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 in Monmouth County, NJ
According to the statute above, relevant penalties are listed in section 10(b). In this case Kilbride faces, 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison, as well as all penalties associated with the weapons charges.
If you or a loved one have been charged with marijuana manufacturing, distributing, possession, possession of paraphernalia, and/or a weapons charge in Monmouth County, Howell, Freehold, Redbank, or Long Branch; it is important to contact a qualified criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights. Charles Uliano is a Certified Criminal Trial Attorney with decades of experience handling thousands of these cases. The sooner you seek counsel, the better opportunity you will have to protect your rights and attack the state’s case in the most effective manner. Call today 732-440-3950.
For additional information, please view the following: Grenade launcher, 30 pot plants seized in Howell drug raid