Former ‘Shark Tank’ contestant booked on cocaine charges
Breaking News Dec 20, 2017
Former ‘Shark Tank’ contestant booked on cocaine charges

A former “Shark Tank” contestant was recently arrested for his association with a New Jersey drug ring. John DePaola (53) appeared on a 2014 episode of the ABC’s popular television series. DePaola, along with eight other defendants, were arrested on Dec. 14, 2017, following a nine- month investigation. According to Monmouth County prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni, the group was involved in distributing cocaine in the Freehold area. The investigation, dubbed as “Operation Snowball,” led to the seizure of over 721 grams of cocaine worth $14,943.

According to a statement by the Office of the Monmouth Country Prosecutor, DePaola was charged with one count of third degree conspiracy to possess cocaine. If convicted, he will have to serve a sentence of three to five years in prison. However, DePaola’s attorney Herbert Ellis has denied the charges, calling them “a mistake.” Authorities also managed to arrest the leader of the narcotics trafficking ring Hugo Hernandez.

DePaola, along with his cousin and friend, had participated in the “Shark Tank” series in 2014, seeking investor for his Paint Brush Cover, a product used to prevent a wet paintbrush from drying or hardening. The proposal earned him an investment of $200,000. According to media reports, the product is now available at 14,000 stores across the United States. The company, within nine months after appearing on the show, increased its sales revenues from $35,000 to $1.5 million.

Cocaine is dangerously addictive substance

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) suggests that 1.9 million Americans aged 12 or older were current cocaine users in 2016. Moreover, in 2016, about 867,000 people in the same age group experienced a cocaine use disorder in the past year. The survey showed that the number of people battling the problem remained stable between 2010 and 2016. Despite all safety measures and strategies, cocaine-related problems continued to bother people. It is a serious concern, particularly in the view of addictive nature of the drug.

Cocaine is a harmful substance, with immense abuse potential and health risks. According to a research published in the Journal of Neuroscience, cocaine is likely to impair brain circuits involved in recognizing and predicting loss. It means that people with cocaine addiction tend to feel difficulty recognizing the harmful effects of bad decisions. Cocaine use elevates dopamine levels in the brain circuits controlling movement and pleasure, which is associated with repeated use and subsequent addiction.

The good thing is that cocaine addiction is treatable. Therefore, people battling problems related to cocaine abuse should be encouraged to seek timely treatment to lead a sober life. If you know somebody struggling with an addiction, help him or her consult an expert for treatment at a rehab center.

Hooked Sober is a source of information on drugs, alcohol, eating disorders and mental disorders. Please send your questions, concerns or comments to [email protected] or speak to a representative at 866-838-4087.

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