|TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that a South Brunswick man pleaded guilty today to a drug distribution charge for participating in a ring that purchased illegal drugs known as “bath salts” from China for distribution in New Jersey.
Jason Oliveira, 24, of South Brunswick, pleaded guilty to a second-degree charge of distribution of methylone before Superior Court Judge Bradley J. Ferencz in Middlesex County. Methylone is a designer stimulant that is sold under the name “bath salts.”
In pleading guilty, Oliveira admitted that he directed that 250 grams of methylone be delivered to a cooperating witness in an investigation by the New Jersey State Police. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Oliveira be sentenced to eight years in state prison, with 3 ½ years of parole ineligibility.
Deputy Attorney General Erik Daab took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. Judge Ferencz scheduled sentencing for Oliveira for Aug. 19.
Oliveira was among seven individuals arrested last fall by the New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression South Unit as a result of an investigation into a ring involving Oliveira that was obtaining methylone from China via the Internet and selling the dangerous drug on the streets of New Jersey.
On June 20, a co-defendant, Ferencz Takacs, 26, of South Brunswick, pleaded guilty to second-degree possession of methylone with intent to distribute before Superior Court Judge Mark J. Fleming in Mercer County. He faces five years in prison under his plea agreement.
On April 27, 2011, the Division of Consumer Affairs within the Attorney General’s Office enacted an order that classifies all forms of "bath salts" drugs, including methylone, MDPV and mephedrone, as Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substances in New Jersey. Use of “bath salts” has been associated with extreme anxiety, extreme paranoia, delusional thinking, and visual and auditory hallucinations, leading to violent outbursts, self-mutilation, and suicidal thoughts.