News Release
Date: June 05, 2012
Contact: DEA Special Agent
Douglas S. Collier, M.A.
Public Information Officer
Tel: (973) 776-1143

Newark Man Admits Role in Major Heroin Distribution Conspiracy
--20 Charged to Date For Roles in James Pender’s Alleged Drug Organization--

June 5 (Newark, NJ) Brian R. Crowell, the Special Agent in Charge of the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Paul J. Fishman, the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, announced a Newark man today admitted his role in a conspiracy to distribute more than three kilograms of heroin in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

James Edward Pender, 42, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls today to one count of an Indictment charging him with knowingly and intentionally conspiring to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Pender was arrested on April 5, 2010, and previously charged by complaint with the heroin distribution conspiracy.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Pursuant to federal wiretap orders, the first of which was initiated in October 2009, DEA special agents were able to intercept Pender’s telephone conversations. The monitored calls and other law enforcement information revealed that Pender was distributing large amounts of heroin in and around New Jersey during the course of the investigation. During the calls, agents overheard Pender agreeing to buy heroin from others and observed Pender meet with others on numerous occasions. Agents also learned that Pender delivered and directed others to deliver heroin to individuals in the Monroeville, PA area on more than one occasion.

Special agents were also able to track Pender’s movements from New Jersey to the Monroeville, Pennsylvania area on December 9, 2009, and witnessed him making a drug delivery of approximately four kilograms of heroin, which was seized from the recipient. Several hours later, Pender was observed committing one or more traffic violations by Readington, New Jersey police officers as he returned to New Jersey. Approximately $339,000 in drug proceeds was confiscated from Pender at that time.

As a result of his plea in this case, Pender faces a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. At the time of this offense, Pender was on supervised release after having served a 121-month prison sentence for bank robbery. Sentencing is scheduled for September 4, 2012.

To date, 20 people have been charged for their roles in Pender’s alleged drug organization. Approximately seven kilograms of heroin and $450,000 have been seized over the course of the investigation.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the DEA’s New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell, with the investigation leading to the indictment.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharon Ashe, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Narcotics/Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit in Newark.