South Jersey coke dealer gets 25 years after shoot-out with cops
A 26-year-old cocaine dealer could be a middle-aged man when he's released from prison after a Superior Court judge on Friday sentenced him to 25 years in prison.
And while Eric Smith Jr. serves his sentence, he's facing further charges related to a January shoot-out with police at a Salem City apartment building.
The drug charges stemmed from a 2016 arrest in which State Police said they found him outside his Pilesgrove apartment with 250 grams of cocaine in his jacket. Troopers said they also found 169 grams of dibutylone, or bath salts, along with three handguns, a digital scale, bullets and rubber gloves in his apartment.
Legal charges continued to pile up against Smith.
On Jan. 7 of this year, police said Smith led cops on a short pursuit in Salem City after backing into a police car and a gas pump during a traffic stop.
Weeks later on Jan. 23, when U.S. Marshals attempted to arrest Smith on multiple warrants, Smith climbed out of his girlfriend's apartment window and fired at three marshals, police said. An officer returned fire. State Police got him to surrender after a three-hour standoff that resulted in school lockdowns.
He is facing charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and weapons offenses.
The 25-year sentence for drug dealing, which includes 12 years of parole ineligibility, was a consequence of previous drug and weapons convictions.
A Salem County jury found him guilty of first-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in April.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.