WOODBURY — A 41-year-old Woodbury man was found guilty Tuesday of selling oxycodone pills on two dates in January 2013 to an undercover narcotics officer.
George S. Jackson was also convicted of the separate offense of making the sales within 500 feet of a Woodbury public park, authorities said.
In all, the jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of an eight-count indictment, the most serious of which were the charges of distribution near a park.
Superior Court Judge Robert P. Becker revoked Jackson’s bail and set sentencing for April 24. Jackson did not appear for court while the jury was deliberating and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
In a one-day trial last week, Senior Assistant Gloucester County Prosecutor Paul Colangelo presented the testimony of two detectives with the county prosecutor’s Guns, Gangs and Narcotics Task Force, including one who told the jury he paid Jackson for three pills on Jan. 10, 2013 and for four pills on Jan. 23, 2013. The price was $25 per pill. Oxycodone, a painkiller, is a controlled dangerous substance, only to be sold by prescription.
The transactions took place outside a North Maple Street multi-family housing complex which Colangelo said was near the Hunter Lake Sanctuary in Woodbury. Jackson had gone to the Village Green complex to obtain the pills from a source he didn’t name, the narcotics officers testified.
Jackson’s lawyer argued to the jury that his client’s actions were “mistakes” made “trying to do somebody a favor.” Jackson is not a drug-dealer but a “family man” with a wife and children, the defense attorney said. Jackson didn’t solicit the sales but was contacted by the undercover officer, he said.
The attorney also disputed whether Hunter Lake Sanctuary was a city park.
In closing comments to the jury, Colangelo said what Jackson did twice “is a drug deal.” It would have been a violation of law even if money hadn’t changed hands, he said. Voice recordings of one transaction have Jackson and the undercover officer “haggling” over “15s and 30s” (the milligram dosage of the pills), Colangelo said.
“These are choices the defendant made that happened to violate several provisions of the New Jersey Criminal Code,” Colangelo said.