By Kevin Coughlin
George Washington is going to jail.
On Friday, Superior Court Judge Stephen Taylor sentenced George R. Washington, 51, of Morristown, to eight years in state prison after he pled guilty to a pair of drug offenses.
Washington, described by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office as a repeat offender, must serve 42 months before qualifying for parole.
He is the first person sentenced from 25 individuals arrested in March 2016 by a task force that started after Morristown police developed information alleging that Washington and his brother, Ronald G. Washington, 56, of Dover, were importing heroin and cocaine from Paterson for sale in Morristown, Victory Gardens, Dover, and surrounding areas.
George Washington pled guilty last month to third-degree possession with intent to distribute cocaine and second-degree conspiracy to distribute drugs. He forfeited $8,330 and two vehicles as part of the plea deal.
The judge gave George Washington a concurrent seven-year jail term on the conspiracy charge.
Edward Zienowicz of the Morris County Narcotics Task Force and Morristown Police Detective Scott Pino led the investigation. Assistant Prosecutor Erin Callahan prosecuted the case.
“The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office will continue to seek incarceration of convicted for-profit drug dealers as a deterrent to such criminal activity. This sentence imposed by the Court will hopefully deter not just this defendant but others who engage in similar criminal activity,” Prosecutor Fredric Knapp said in a statement.
Here is the full announcement.
From the Morris Prosecutor’s Office:
MORRISTOWN MAN SENTENCED FOR HIS ROLE IN DRUG TRAFFICKING NETWORK
Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces the sentencing of George R. Washington, 51, of Morristown, New Jersey. On May 24, 2016, Washington pled guilty to third degree Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine and second degree Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Dangerous Substances. As part of the plea agreement, Mr. Washington forfeited $8,330 in United States currency and two motor vehicles.
On Friday, June 3, 2016, the Honorable Stephen J. Taylor, P.J.Cr. sentenced Washington to eight (8) years in New Jersey State Prison. Washington is required to serve forty two (42) months before being considered for parole. On a motion by the State for an extended prison term, the Court imposed the sentence based upon Mr. Washington’s status as a repeat offender related to drug distribution. Judge Taylor also imposed a concurrent seven (7) year state prison term on the Conspiracy count. Mr. Washington is the first defendant of the twenty five (25) arrested in connection with the investigation, to be sentenced.
In January 2016, members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Special Enforcement Unit/Narcotics Task Force, developed intelligence that George R. Washington and his brother Ronald G. Washington were obtaining a significant supply of heroin and cocaine from a source in Passaic County. The imported cocaine and heroin was then sold in Morristown, Victory Gardens, Dover, and surrounding areas. The three (3) month long investigation culminated in March 2016, with the arrest of Washington and twenty four (24) other individuals. Also, the execution of several search warrants resulted in the seizure of fifty five (55) grams of cocaine, fourteen hundred (1400) individual folds of heroin, over $33,500 in United States currency, various packaging and drug distribution-related materials, handgun ammunition and eleven (11) motor vehicles.
Prosecutor Knapp stated “The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office will continue to seek incarceration of convicted for-profit drug dealers as a deterrent to such criminal activity. This sentence imposed by the Court will hopefully deter not just this defendant but others who engage in similar criminal activity”.
The investigation was completed by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Division.
The lead investigators on the case were Task Force Officer Edward Zienowicz of the Morris County Narcotics Task Force and Detective Scott Pino of the Morristown Bureau of Police. The case was prosecuted by Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Assistant Prosecutor Erin Callahan.
Prosecutor Knapp wishes to thank the following agencies for their invaluable assistance and commitment to the Task Force: Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Enforcement Unit, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Morris County Park Police, New Jersey State Police, Morristown Bureau of Police, Florham Park Police Department, Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department, Dover Police Department, Roxbury Township Police Department, Morris Township Police Department, Mendham Township Police Department, Chester Township Police Department, Madison Borough Police Department, Chatham Township Police Department, Chatham Borough Police Department, Chester Borough Police Department, Fairfield Police Department, Randolph Township Police Department, Butler Police Department, Mt. Arlington Police Department, Lincoln Park Police Department, Harding Township Police Department, Wharton Borough Police Department, Jefferson Township Police Department, Hopatcong Police Department, Hanover Township Police Department, Rockaway Township Police Department, Morris Plains Police Department, and the Clifton Police Department.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.