Trenton Cocaine Wholesaler Sentenced to 120 Months in Federal Prison for Distribution of Cocaine
APR 14 -- (TRENTON) - Gerard P. McAleer, Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra, Jr., announced today a Trenton, New Jersey cocaine wholesaler was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison today for his role in a conspiracy that distributed large kilogram quantities of cocaine in the Philadelphia and New Jersey area.
U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson also ordered Gregory J. Gibson, 34, a.k.a. “Lemar,” to pay a $1,000 fine and to serve five years of supervised release upon the completion of his prison term. As part of his plea, Gibson agreed to forfeit $270,000 in drug proceeds to the government. Gibson has been held in custody since his arrest on Jan. 12, 2007.
Gibson pleaded guilty before Judge Wolfson on Aug. 28, 2008, to a two-count Information that charged him with conspiring with Phong Quoc Trinh, Joseph M. Walker and others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, and to possession of firearms by a previously convicted felon.
At his plea hearing, Gibson admitted that from as early as December 2004 and continuing until January 2007 , he purchased multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine from Trinh, who directed a distribution ring that transported multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine from California to Philadelphia. After purchasing the cocaine, Gibson resold the cocaine to numerous other individuals in the Mercer County area, he admitted.
Gibson, who had at least one prior felony conviction at the time of his arrest, admitted that he possessed eight firearms and ammunition inside his North Willow Street residence. Gibson admitted that he possessed the weapons to protect himself and to safeguard the narcotics and drug proceeds stored at his residence.
Trinh, 36, of Philadelphia, and Walker, 29, of Winslow, were also arrested on Jan. 12, 2007, on federal criminal Complaints. Trinh pleaded guilty before Judge Wolfson in August 2008 to one-count of conspiracy possession with intent to distributed more than 5 kilograms of cocaine; admitting that he distributed between 50 and 150 kilograms of cocaine over the life of the conspiracy. Walker pleaded guilty in May 2008 before Judge Wolfson to a one-count Superseding Information which charged him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine; admitting that he transported cocaine and collected drug debts for Trinh. Walker and Trinh are both awaiting sentencing.
In determining the actual sentence, Judge Wolfson consulted the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges that take into account the severity and characteristics of the offense, the defendant's criminal history, if any, and other factors. The judge, however, was not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
Parole has been abolished in the federal system. Defendants who are given custodial terms must serve nearly all that time.
McAleer and Marra credited Special Agents of the DEA’s Camden Resident Office; the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Joseph L. Bocchini, Jr.; and Police Officer with the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Irving Bradley, Jr., Director, with the investigation.
The Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick C. Askin of the Criminal Division in Trenton.