Murder Suspect Sentenced To Prison For Running Indoor Marijuana Farm

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Jason E. Moore

Jason E. Moore (Photo courtesy of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office)

TRENTON – A Cumberland County man, who currently faces a murder charge in a separate case, was sentenced to state prison today on a first-degree charge of operating a large-scale marijuana production facility, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced.

Jason E. Moore, 35, of Maurice River, was sentenced to 10 years in state prison, including three years and four months of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge David E. Krell. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 3 to all counts in an indictment charging him with first-degree offenses of operating a controlled dangerous substance production facility, manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute. Moore was on trial on the charges when he pleaded guilty without a plea agreement after opening statements were made by the attorneys. Deputy Attorney General Daniel Bornstein prosecuted the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.

In pleading guilty, Moore admitted that he grew an indoor crop of more than 50 marijuana plants, which he planned to harvest and distribute. Members of the New Jersey State Police Troop A TEAMS Unit and Troop A Criminal Investigation Office executed a search warrant at Moore’s home on Hands Mill Road in Maurice River on Jan. 22, 2008, and found 62 marijuana plants growing in a secret marijuana cultivation facility located in a third-floor loft above his garage. The highly sophisticated facility, which was concealed behind a hidden door, included a room where plants were grown with special lighting and nutrients, a room for cloning plants, and a room for drying harvested plants.

The investigation was led by Sgt. Darrin Pulman of the New Jersey State Police. Substantial assistance was provided by Detective Sgt. Robert Coia, Sgt. Dean Carnival, Lt. William Peacock, Sgt. 1st Class William R. Henry III, Lt. Ray Jacobs, Sgt. 1st Class Dean Rocap, Trooper Sam Cappuccio, Sgt. Brian Lucas and Sgt. Robert P. Stanker II of the New Jersey State Police, as well as Sgt. Michael Donato of the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit.

In a separate case, the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office has charged Moore with murder in the shooting death of Ervin M. Harper, 37, of Millville, whose body was found in a wooded area off Weatherby Road in Maurice River on March 28, 2011. In addition to the first-degree charge of murder, he faces second-degree charges of disturbing or desecrating human remains, conspiracy to disturb or desecrate human remains, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Two other defendants, Moore’s brother, Lewis Moore, 32, of Lawrence Township (Cumberland County), and Amber Price, 33, of Cape May City, have also been charged with disturbing or desecrating human remains and conspiracy for allegedly helping Jason Moore dispose of Harper’s body. The charges against the three defendants are pending. They are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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