Enforcer for Camden Drug Gang Sentenced to Life
APR 30 -- (CAMDEN) – Gerard P. McAleer, Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra, Jr., announced a n enforcer for a major cocaine distribution organization was sentenced to life plus 120 months in federal prison today for his conviction on federal drug and murder charges for his role in a drug distribution conspiracy and for committing a murder in furtherance of the organization’s operations.
U.S. District Judge Joseph E. Irenas, who presided over the nine-week trial, also ordered Ahmed Judge, 32, of Camden, a.k.a. “Edy” and “Bleek,” to pay restitution to the murder victim’s estate, an amount that will be determined at a hearing scheduled for July 20.
“DEA is proud to be an integral part of the successful law enforcement coalition dispensing justice to those undermining progress in this city,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Gerard P. McAleer.”
“A few years ago, at a time when Camden was ranked a top a list of the most dangerous cities, we set out on a mission to bring greater resources to the fight against drugs and gangs in the City of Camden,” Marra said. “Today’s sentencing of a violent criminal to life in a federal prison -- as well as many other successful prosecutions of violent gang members -- demonstrate the successes that a united law enforcement community can achieve to curb violence and improve Camden neighborhoods.”
Judge was convicted by a federal jury on March 7, 2008, along with co-defendants Jevon Lewis, 34, of Cherry Hill, a.k.a. “V” and “Cool V,” and Mack Jones, 36, a.k.a “Bear,” of Camden. After only seven hours of deliberations, a federal jury found Judge and Lewis, who was the leader of a Camden cocaine distribution organization, guilty on one count each of drug distribution conspiracy; murder while engaged in that conspiracy; and murder in the course of a firearms offense. Judge was also convicted of one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, for possessing the murder weapon. Lewis faces a sentence of up to life in prison when sentenced by Judge Irenas on May 14.
The jury also returned a guilty verdict against Jones on one count of drug distribution conspiracy. Jones was the leader of a separate long-term, large-scale drug trafficking organization in Camden. When sentenced on May 14, Jones faces a mandatory life sentence because of his two prior felony drug convictions.
The case was tried by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Diana V. Carrig and Howard Wiener of the U.S. Attorney's Criminal Division in Camden.
“This was a case that involved cooperation among a number of law enforcement agencies,” Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk said. “We are pleased this dangerous individual was sentenced to an appropriately lengthy term.”
Lewis and Judge were both arrested on Feb. 7, 2006, following their indictment for the Oct. 4, 2001, killing of Kenneth Fussell in connection with their participation in a decade long Continuing Criminal Enterprise (CCE) that was directed by Raymond Morales.
On Feb. 8, 2006, federal, state, county and city law enforcement authorities announced that four major cocaine distribution organizations, responsible for the distribution of thousands of kilograms of cocaine and crack cocaine in Camden neighborhoods, had been dismantled in a series of arrests. Federal charges had been brought against a dozen defendants who were named in any of two Indictments and/or two separate Criminal Complaints. Four other defendants were previously arrested and charged federally, and an additional 35 suspects were arrested on state charges over the course of the four overlapping investigations.
The Indictments and Complaints were offshoots of a long-term investigation that culminated in the March 8, 2003, arrests and subsequent Indictment of six defendants, including Morales, 37, of Camden. At the time of those arrests, agents seized approximately 30 kilograms of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $5.85 million. On May 31, 2007, authorities for the first time announced that Morales had pleaded guilty on July 27, 2005, to a nine-count Superseding Information and was cooperating with the government.
The Superseding Information to which Morales pleaded guilty charged him with six counts of ordering a murder in furtherance of a Continuing Criminal Enterprise (“CCE”); one count of witness tampering by ordering the attempted murder of a witness; one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine; and one count of being a principal administrator of a CCE that operated in Camden from 1993 until 2003. Morales has been in custody since March 2003, and faces up to seven life sentences.
At the trial of the three defendants, Morales testified that he distributed hundreds of kilograms of cocaine directly to the leaders of other drug trafficking organizations and that those leaders included Lewis and Jones. Morales testified that Lewis and Jones headed two large-scale drug trafficking organization that operated in and around Camden. Morales testified that from as early as 2001 and continuing until September 2002, he supplied Lewis’ organization with hundreds of kilograms of cocaine, and that beginning in the mid-1990's and continuing until his arrest in March 2003, he supplied Mack Jones’ organization with hundreds of kilograms of cocaine.
In convicting the three defendants, the jury found that Jones, Lewis, Judge and others conspired between 1993 and March 8, 2003, with others, including Morales, to distribute and possess with intent to distribute large amounts of cocaine and crack cocaine. The jury also found that Lewis and Judge, while engaging in that conspiracy, intentionally caused the Oct. 4, 2001, murder of Kenneth Fussell in Camden.
During the trial, Morales testified that in September 2001, one of Morales’s drug set workers, Jorge Morales (“Joito”), was shot and killed during a robbery in Camden. In retaliation for that murder, Morales ordered the murder of Fussell whom he believed was responsible for killing Joito.
However, through the investigation authorities learned that Kenneth Fussell had not been involved in the Joito murder. According to evidence produced during the trial and at the sentencing hearing, Fussell was shown to be an innocent victim of Camden’s drug violence.
In determining the actual sentence, Judge Irenas 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, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
Parole has been abolished in the federal system.
Marra credited the Special Agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gerard P. McAleer in Newark, and Investigators with the Camden County Prosecutor Office Homicide Unit, under the direction of Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk, with the investigation.
Marra also thanked the member agencies of the Philadelphia/Camden HIDTA Task Force for their assistance in the investigation. The Philadelphia/Camden HIDTA Task Force is comprised of the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Districts of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, The Camden County Prosecutor's Office, Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, DEA, FBI, ATF, Camden Police Department, New Jersey State Police, Philadelphia Police Department, New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, Camden County Sheriff's Department, Delaware River Port Authority Police and the U.S. Marshal's Service.
The Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Diana V. Carrig and Howard Wiener of the U.S. Attorney's Criminal Division in Camden.