2C:20-2.4 Leader of Cargo Theft Network
4. a. A person is a leader of a cargo theft network if he conspires with others as an organizer, supervisor, financier or manager to engage for profit in a scheme or course of conduct to unlawfully take, dispose of, distribute, bring into, transport, or store in this State property stolen from a cargo carrier, where the amount is at least $5,000.
(1)Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, leader of a cargo theft network is a crime of the second degree. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, the court may impose a fine not to exceed $250,000 or five times the retail value of the property seized at the time of the arrest, whichever is greater.
(2)Leader of a cargo theft network is a crime of the first degree if the scheme or course of conduct to unlawfully take, dispose of, distribute, bring into, transport, or store in this State property stolen from a cargo carrier included the use or threatened use of any deadly weapon, as defined in N.J.S.2C:39-1 in the commission of the theft. Nothing in this subsection shall be deemed to limit the authority or discretion of the State to charge or prosecute any person for robbery under N.J.S.2C:15-1 or for any other offense, nor shall a conviction for robbery merge with any conviction under this section. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, the court may impose a fine not to exceed $500,000 or five times the retail value of the property seized at the time of the arrest, whichever is greater.
b. Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:1-8, a conviction of leader of a cargo theft network shall not merge with the conviction for any offense which is the object of the conspiracy. Nothing contained in this act shall prohibit the court from imposing an extended term pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-7; nor shall this act be construed in any way to preclude or limit the prosecution or conviction of any person for conspiracy under N.J.S.2C:5-2, or any prosecution or conviction for any other offense.
c. It shall not be necessary in any prosecution under this section for the State to prove that any intended profit was actually realized. The trier of fact may infer that a particular scheme or course of conduct was undertaken for profit from all of the attending circumstances, including but not limited to the number of persons involved in the scheme or course of conduct, the actor’s net worth and his expenditures in relation to his legitimate sources of income, the amount of property or number of incidents of theft, or the amount of cash or currency involved.
d. It shall not be a defense to a prosecution under this section that the stolen property was brought into, transported or stored in this State solely for ultimate distribution in another jurisdiction; nor shall it be a defense that any profit was intended to be made in another jurisdiction.
e. A person convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this section shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment that shall include a mandatory minimum term of one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed, during which time the defendant shall not be eligible for parole. The court may not suspend or make any other non-custodial disposition of any person sentenced as a second or subsequent offender pursuant to this section. For the purposes of this section an offense is considered a second or subsequent offense if the actor has at any time been convicted pursuant to this section, or under any similar statute of the United States, this State or any other state for an offense that is substantially equivalent to this section.
L.2013, c.58, s.4.