March 11, 2015
Contact: Timothy P. McMahon
Phone Number: (973) 776-1100
Eight Alleged Members And Suppliers Of Heroin Trafficking Organization Charged
NEWARK, N.J. - Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement’s Administration’s New Jersey Division and Paul J. Fishman, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey announced eight people were charged today in connection with their roles in a drug trafficking organization that obtained heroin from Essex County, New Jersey, and supplied it to Central Jersey.
The defendants (see chart below) were each charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. Five of the eight defendants were arrested this morning as part of a coordinated takedown by federal, state and local law enforcement authorities and are scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in Newark federal court.
According to the complaint:
The joint investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force relied upon intercepted communications, physical surveillance, controlled heroin purchases, information from confidential sources and other investigative techniques. Law enforcement officers uncovered the operational structure and inner workings of the drug trafficking organization, which enriched a local street gang, the “Bounty Hunter Bloods.”
From October 2014 through March 2015, the defendants took part in a scheme to distribute heroin in an area known as “Parkside,” which straddles Franklin Township in Somerset County and New Brunswick in Middlesex County. Members of the drug trafficking organization transported the “raw,” or unpackaged, form of heroin from Essex County to Middlesex and Somerset counties and used stash houses and other temporary locations to package, store and distribute heroin. They attempted to avoid detection by using code to disguise the nature of their discussions and used prepaid cellular phones for short periods of time.
The defendants are:
(*remains at large)
Webb supplied heroin to Newsom, Miller, and Styles, all of whom lived in and around the Parkside neighborhood. He typically obtained the raw heroin suppliers, including Williams and Peralta. In some cases, Webb drove from Newark to Parkside to deliver the heroin; in other cases, Newsom, Miller, and others traveled to Newark to pick up the drugs from Webb.
The conspiracy count with which each of the defendants is charged carries a minimum potential penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years in prison, and a $5 million fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George Belsky; detectives of the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Rick Fuentes; officers of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey; and officers of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Sorianno, with the joint investigation leading to today’s charges. He also thanked the North Brunswick, New Brunswick and Franklin Township police departments for their roles in the investigation.