TOMS RIVER — An admitted drug dealer who was caught with about 4,150 doses of heroin worth $25,000 was sentenced to just six months of rehab and five years of probation.

Gary Fox, 30, of Toms River, who has a criminal record that includes previous drug convictions, avoided any prison time by pleading guilty to a second-degree manufacturing/distribution of drugs amounting to more than half an ounce, but less than 5 ounces, and third-degree possession.

Fox's sentence was handed down this month by a Drug Court judge. The Drug Courts, part of Gov. Chris Christie's reform efforts in the wake of a massive heroin addiction epidemic gripping the state, are meant to provide drug users with rehabilitation instead of placing them behind bars. Drug Courts, however, are not for violent or hardened criminals.

Toms River police arrested Fox in May, saying he had 80 wax folds of heroin and $740 in cash. A search of his storage unit found an additional 83 bricks of heroin, which amounted to 4,150 doses and a cash value of close to $25,000, police said at the time.

A month later, police at his Old Street home found another 40 wax folds of heroin, more than 1.5 pounds of marijuana, $2,000 in cash, prescription medications, a scale and packaging materials.

Fox was initially charged with possession of heroin, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of over 50 grams of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of Alprazolam and Suboxone, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

A spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday that he could not explain why prosecutors reached this plea deal with Fox or what sentence prosecutors had recommended.

Police on Tuesday said they could not provide more details about the investigation.

This is not the first time Fox has been sentenced to rehab as a result of drug charges.

In 2009, he received the same sentence from a different judge in Ocean County for arrests in 2006 and 2007 on charges of possession of cocaine and Percocet.

Before his sentence this month, Fox had spent 168 days awaiting trial, court records show.

Fox was represented by the Public Defender's Office.

 

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com