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Thursday, April 30, 2015

single tablet dismissed as de minimis State v. Cancio

single tablet dismissed as de minimis State v. Cancio, Law Div.-Bergen Cy. (Doyne, J.S.C.)  Defendant Alvin Cancio filed a motion to dismiss River Edge summons No. W-2014-000101, in which he was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance as de minimis, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:2-11. Defendant was charged with this offense, as well as driving while intoxicated, careless driving and failure to maintain lane after being stopped by police and arrested. The application for de minimis dismissal was opposed by the Office of the Bergen County Prosecutor. The small quantity of Alprazolam found was of little value and no violence or weapons were involved. The pill remained in defendant’s wallet. The court found the prosecutor would be hard-pressed to show prosecuting defendant for possession of a single tablet of Alprazolam under a belief the pill was a sexual enhancer would attack either the supply side or demand side of the drug problem. Further, the court found it unclear what societal harm was caused by defendant’s possession of a single tablet under the belief it was a sexual enhancer. Defendant’s conduct was “trivial,” at least as it pertains to creating a permanent record for a young offender attempting to work and pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical bills that arose from a car accident that left him severely injured. Incarceration or a permanent record for inadvertently possessing a single tablet of a CDS would not help defendant, the hospital or society. Defendant’s motion to dismiss complaint-summons number 0252-S-2014-000101 as de minimis was granted.