Drug Enforcement Administration

New Jersey

Susan A. Gibson, Special Agent in Charge

July 11, 2018

Contact: Timothy P. McMahon

Phone Number: (973) 776-1143

“Operation Red Raider” results in 21 arrested in cocaine and heroin distribution ring in New Jersey

PAULSBORO, N.J. – Valerie A. Nickerson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, and Charles A. Fiore, Gloucester County Prosecutor, announced that 21 suspects have been charged with operating an extensive drug trafficking network in Paulsboro, New Jersey. 

The majority of the arrests, along with execution of multiple search warrants, occurred in Paulsboro on  July 9 during multi-agency operations.

Prosecutor Fiore said, “Gloucester County and its residents have felt the devastating and staggering impact of the opioid crisis and the distribution and use of illegal drugs.  Since January 1, 2018, there have been 49 fatal opioid overdoses in Gloucester County, compared to 69 for all of 2017. This week’s operation underscores my unwavering commitment to aggressively pursue and prosecute those engaged in distributing and selling illegal and many times fatal drugs, and to help and assist our Gloucester County communities in close partnership with our local police departments, the Attorney General’s Office, Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police, Camden Resident Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration and many additional agencies.” 
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, commenting on the operation, said, “While we are working on multiple fronts to combat the opioid epidemic gripping New Jersey--including expanding programs like Operation Helping Hand to connect those suffering from addiction with treatment--we also are re-doubling our efforts to arrest and prosecute those profiting off others’ addiction, like the alleged drug dealers arrested in this operation.”

Valerie A Nickerson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's New Jersey Division said, “This lengthy investigation shows the importance of cooperation between law enforcement at all levels.  Those individuals arrested were allegedly responsible for providing large quantities of narcotics throughout Gloucester County.  Their arrests have made Gloucester County safer for its residents.” 
Detectives seized suspected narcotics--more than 400 grams of cocaine, 200 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 120 grams of heroin, 356 Percocet pills, 50 grams of marijuana, two handguns, a sawed-off shotgun and $39,000 in cash.
The suspected heroin was capable of producing over 3,000 individual wax folds- the typical packaging for street sale to individual buyers.  The heroin is being analyzed by the New Jersey State Police Laboratory for the presence of fentanyl, which now plays a large and complex role in the carnage of the opioid crisis. 

Detectives identified Duane Johns of Paulsboro N.J., as the leader of the drug trafficking network.  Johns’ source for cocaine was identified as Darnell Samuels of Wilmington, Delaware.  Samuels was previously arrested for a 2016 shooting homicide in Paulsboro. That matter remains pending.

Through investigation, it was determined Samuels was being supplied kilogram amounts of cocaine transported from Texas to Delaware and ultimately to Paulsboro. Duane Johns has been charged with being a leader of a narcotics trafficking network, distribution of cocaine and related offenses. Samuels has been charged with first-degree possession and distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine in addition to other drug-related offences. 19 other defendants were arrested with charges ranging from possession, distribution, and/or conspiracy.

Additional agencies directly supporting this operation included the United States Marshals Service, Criminal Gang Unit; Paulsboro Police Department; Westville Police Department; Pitman Police Department; New Jersey State Police, Real Time Crime Center South; West Deptford Police Department; Deptford Police Department; Greenwich Police Department; East Greenwich Police Department; Monroe Township Police Department; Mantua Police Department; Washington Township Police Department; Glassboro Police Department; Clayton Police Department; New Jersey State Police Fugitive Unit; New Jersey State Parole; Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office; Camden County Prosecutor’s Office; Gloucester County Sherriff’s Department; Gloucester County Department of Corrections; the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives;  the Gloucester County Special Weapons and Tactics unit (SWAT), State Police Teams Unit; Camden County SWAT and DEA SRT. 

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