Estimated read time: Less than a minute
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — A former contestant on ABC's "Shark Tank" is facing charges that he belonged to a New Jersey cocaine-distribution ring.
John DePaola was among nine defendants arrested Sunday. The Monmouth County prosecutor said Monday that the group distributed cocaine in the Freehold area.
DePaola is charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine. His lawyer, Herbert Ellis, calls the charge "baffling" and "without merit." He says that DePaola is not a "druggie" or a drug dealer.
The 53-year-old Jackson resident appeared on a 2014 episode of "Shark Tank." His company, which sells paint brush covers, attracted a $200,000 investment from "Shark Tank" personality Lori Greiner.
DePaola and his business partners said in a follow-up segment that their product landed in 14,000 stores nationwide, with $1.5 million in sales.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.