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Lottery winner charged with gun and drug crimes

A 53-year-old man who won the New Jersey lottery twice was taken into custody on 37 charges. Many of the charges related to having illegal guns as part of a drug operation based in the man's home. The man's 22-year-old girlfriend was also taken into custody on several drug offenses. Authorities had originally stopped the man in his SUV at about 7:15 p.m. on Dec. 16.

Authorities said that the traffic stop occurred because the Jeep Wrangler only had one license plate. At the time, they recovered prescription pills, a bulletproof vest and two guns in the vehicle. A search of the man's high-rise unit turned up cocaine, marijuana cigarettes and more prescription pills. There was also documentation stating that the man owned a storage unit, which prompted authorities to conduct a search there as well. During that search on Dec. 18, large capacity magazines were found, and those are illegal in the state of New Jersey.

There were another 200 hollow point bullets in the storage unit. Altogether, police found six guns during their investigation, and none of the guns were registered. There was no comment about the incident from the building supervisor, but residents said that they were concerned about what took place. The male defendant waived his right to attend a detention hearing on Dec. 20.

Individuals in New Jersey who are facing drug charges may be able to help themselves by hiring an attorney. Legal counsel could potentially have evidence suppressed or take other steps to negotiate a plea deal. In some cases, an attorney's actions may result in a case being thrown out altogether. If a plea deal is reached, an individual may avoid jail time in favor of a drug diversion program or time spent on probation.

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