SUPERIOR COURT — A 64-year-old Wantage man was sentenced to three years in state prison Thursday after admitting he manufactured heroin in his home for distribution.


Anthony Cimbaro appeared virtually for his sentencing Thursday in front of Judge Louis Sceusi along with his attorney, Thomas Militano, and Assistant Prosecutor Jerome Neidhardt. Cimbaro pleaded guilty to a third-degree charge of manufacturing/distributing a controlled dangerous substance, specifically heroin.


Cimbaro was initially indicted on 10 counts, with the remaining nine, including a first-degree operating a drug distribution facility charge, dismissed as part of the plea deal.


Sceusi sentenced Cimbaro to the lower end of a third-degree charge — with the maximum being five years in prison — for several reasons, including his age, his remorse, his character and attitude and the unlikelihood the incident would not reoccur.


However, he raised concern that Cimbaro’s involvement in the drug distribution business “causes people to die” from overdoses, noting that those involved in the drug business “aren’t chemists.”


Militano argued for Cimbaro to serve time in the county jail instead, but Sceusi said, “The message needs to be sent out that anyone that gets involved in this needs to see state prison.”


Cimbaro apologized to his son, who was also in the hearing, and his family, stating that it “wasn’t about the drugs.” Militano argued that Cimbaro had, at one point, been prescribed Percocet and abused the drug, later turning to heroin.


Cimbaro’s son stated that if he could, he would trade places with his dad, noting that he “just wanted him to move to California to be with his grandchildren.”


Cimbaro was arrested on Sept. 23 after police executed a search warrant of his vehicle in a parking area in Franklin Borough. Police, at the time, said they discovered packaged heroin with a net worth of several thousand dollars along with hundreds of dollars in cash. His residence in Wantage also had 500 bags of heroin and multiple glassine bags throughout the home. An additional $30,000 in what police say were drug sale proceeds was found.


Cimbaro was given credit for 214 days served in the county jail.


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