New York Man Arrested in Paterson with 250 Packets of Heroin

According to Passaic County Sheriff, Richard Berdnik, a man from New York was arrested during a traffic stop in Paterson on Saturday night. 35 year-old John Maksuta was pulled over in his Volkwagen Jetta for allegedly not stopping at a stop sign at around 9:44pm. The Officer allegedly observed Maksuta to be sweating profusely and fidgeting. Officer Eric Blesing noticed a bulge in Maksuta’s waistline. Maksuta was searched and it was determined that the bulge was 250 packets of heroin worth $1,600. 

The Wallkill resident was arrested and charged with Possession of Heroin, Distribution of Heroin, distribution in a school zone, and possession of drug paraphernalia (for the needles found). Maksuta was subsequently transported to the Passaic County Jail. Sheriff Berdink added, “This should be a valuable lesson to individuals coming to Passaic County to engage in narcotic trafficking. Law enforcement is waiting for you and if you have drugs in your possession, you will be arrested. Click here to read more at

Heroin is a Schedule I narcotic. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, possession of a Schedule I narcotic is considered a Third degreecrime which is punishable by a term of incarceration between 3 and 5 years in New Jersey State Prison. A fine of up to $35,000.00 may be imposed. 

N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 sets forth: a. Except as authorized by P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1), it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely: (1) To manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog; or (2) To create, distribute, or possess or have under his control with intent to distribute, a counterfeit controlled dangerous substance. A crime of the Third Degree a crime of the Third Degreeis punishable by a term of incarceration between 3 and 5 years in New Jersey State Prison except that a fine of up to $75,000.00 may be imposed.

*NOTE: Manufacturing, Distributing, or Dispensing Heroin is a violation subject to sentencing under the “Brimage Guidelines,” which eliminates the defense attorney’s opportunity to argue for a downward departure at the time of sentencing.

If you or a loved one is charged with possession or distribution of heroin, you should contact an attorney immediately. Given the severity of the penalties including possible prison time, you need an attorney by your side to ensure your rights are protected in court. Former Morris County Prosecutor, Alissa D. Hascup is skilled and experienced at representing countless individuals charged with possession and distribution of heroin. Contact her office for a free consultation. She is available 24/7 at 862-257-1200.