The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey released the below information on:
CAMDEN, NJ—This morning, teams of federal, state, and local law enforcement partners led by the FBI arrested 16 members of related drug trafficking organizations—bound by family and narcotics business relationships—that processed and distributed crack, powder cocaine, and heroin on the streets of Camden County, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Based on criminal charges filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and executed through the cooperative work of the Camden County Crime Collaboration, or C-4, the arrests targeted a group of interconnected drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) operating primarily in the Whitman Park section of Camden. The complaints unsealed today charge 22 defendants in two separate DTOs: one allegedly led by Efraim Rivera (the Rivera DTO) and the second involving two groups run by the Roldan and Ramos families—allegedly led by cousins Raymond Roldan and Jerome “Ant” Ramos—operated cooperatively on Sheridan Street as one organization (the Sheridan Street DTO).
In addition to the 16 defendants arrested today, two of the charged individuals, Dewayne Jackson and Mark Washington, were already in custody on state charges. Three more are being sought by law enforcement. Those arrested today are expected to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Anne Marie Donio in Camden federal court.
“According to the charges, these individuals turned entire city blocks into distribution centers for narcotics,” said U.S. Attorney Fishman. “Relying on the bond of blood ties, they allegedly operated drug trafficking businesses as a family affair, sharing suppliers and street dealers in Camden and throughout South Jersey. Law enforcement is collectively committed to improving the quality of life of the people who live in these neighborhoods, who deserve freedom from drug trafficking and related violence.”
“This is the largest FBI takedown in Camden in a decade,” said Edward J. Hanko, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, “and we’re not done yet. The FBI’s South Jersey Violent Offender and Gang Task Force, aided by our outstanding law enforcement partners, is committed to dismantling the violent drug gangs poisoning Camden’s streets.”
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
In addition to providing drugs to distributors on Sheridan Street, the DTOs together controlled or supplied numerous drug distribution groups, or “sets,” throughout Camden with powder cocaine, crack, and—through the Ramos group—heroin. They also supplied other narcotics distributors, who sold the DTOs’ drugs throughout Camden County, including in Lindenwold, Sicklerville, and Gloucester City.
Many of the DTOs’ members are relatives, and the Roldan and Ramos groups live in close proximity to one another on Sheridan Street. While the Roldan and Ramos groups each ran their own open-air drug sets along three blocks of Sheridan Street, they shared territory, set workers, and suppliers and used the same locations to process powder cocaine into crack cocaine.
An investigation led by the FBI used surveillance, confidential informants, and cooperating witnesses, controlled drug purchases, record checks, and telephone wiretaps to uncover the distribution networks.
Just during the time period of the wiretap—from December 4, 2013 to March 4, 2014—the Rivera DTO trafficked at least 225 ounces and the Sheridan Street DTO trafficked more than 50 ounces of powder cocaine. During the same period, the Rivera DTO trafficked approximately 24 ounces of crack. The Sheridan Street DTO sold more than 36 ounces of crack during a similar time frame—ending April 16, 2014—during which the Ramos group also trafficked a minimum 325 grams of heroin, making approximately $1,800 a day on heroin alone.
“It is the continuing cooperative efforts of federal, state, and county law enforcement agencies that have had a significant impact on the crime rate in Camden and made the city a safer place for its citizens, “said Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk. “Today’s arrests are just a part of these continuing efforts.”
“The Camden County Crime Collaboration is a collaboration of law enforcement agencies leveraging resources and intelligence to remove the most violent drug gang organizations from the streets in our region,” said Camden County Police Chief J. Scott Thomson. “Today’s arrest signals the end to a drug gang that has influenced violence in the Whitman Park neighborhood, one of Camden’s most challenged sections with gun violence. I am extremely grateful to the leadership of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of New Jersey for their stewardship of our C-4 efforts.”
The Rivera DTO acquired and distributed powder cocaine to the Sheridan Street DTO, which then processed the powder into crack for sale at open-air drug sets it controlled. The DTOs maintained various stash houses; rented cars to conduct drug-related business; moved around different locations to manufacture crack; and employed coded language when conducting drug business by phone or text messaging.
Efraim Rivera primarily operated the Rivera DTO from his mother’s residence on Liberty Street in Camden, taking telephone orders for both powder and crack cocaine. He regularly travelled to Philadelphia, sometimes as often as three times a week, to purchase multiple-ounce quantities of cocaine from Rivera’s source of supply. The Rivera DTO then sold the powder cocaine to the Sheridan Street DTO and to other customers. Some of the Rivera DTO’s customers then supplied powder or crack to Dymiere Demby, Dewayne Jackson, and Daniel Alston for sets at 10th and Warsaw Streets, Green and Mechanic Streets, and Lindenwold, respectively.
The Sheridan Street DTO would then convert the powder cocaine to crack, which would be sold on the open-air drug markets respectively controlled by the Roldan and Ramos groups, or to other drug distributors, who supplied other drug traffickers or sets in and beyond the city of Camden. The Rivera DTO would purchase Sheridan Street DTO crack made from the same cocaine it sold to the Roldan group. Rivera’s DTO crack customers included Rivera’s relatives, Angel “Jungo” Garcia and Angel Velez, who would redistribute the crack.
When Raymond Roland was unable to obtain powder cocaine from the Rivera DTO, he turned to other suppliers, such as Luis “Canelo” Diaz, who also supplied the Rivera DTO. Roldan worked closely with his cousin “Ant” Ramos. The two maintained regular contact and reached out to each other when attempting to locate sources of supply. Roldan was assisted in the day-to-day operation of his group by his sister, Daisy Roldan, and her son, Anthony “Boo Boo” Esprit, who facilitated meetings with suppliers and customers, transported narcotics, and collected drug proceeds.
“Ant” Ramos was assisted by his brothers Giovanny “Gio” Ramos and Alexsio “Al” Ramos, who, along with Jimmy Mercado, “cooked” the crack and processed the powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin for sale. Intercepted telephone conversations captured the coordination among the Ramos group members as they discussed materials including ammonia, sandwich bags, masks, and grinders.
The Roldan and Ramos groups shared set workers, such as Christian Setzer and Graciano “Rocky” Diaz, who made walk-up sales on Sheridan Street.
Calls were intercepted between Sheridan Street DTO members referring to being armed with guns and having a “strap” or gun on their person. One DTO member stated, “At the end of the day, I’m shooting.” One DTO member stated in an intercepted conversation that he had just come from the gun range.
The defendants involved with the Rivera DTO each are charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of crack and five kilograms or more of cocaine; the members of the Sheridan Street DTO each are charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of crack; 500 grams or more of cocaine; and 100 grams or more of heroin. Raymond Roldan, Luis Diaz, and Efraim Rivera each are charged with both counts. Each count carries a minimum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division and the South Jersey Violent Offender and Gang Task Force, under the direction of FBI Special Agent in Charge Hanko; the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Faulk; and the Camden County Police Department-Metro, under the direction of Chief Scott Thomson, with the investigation, as well as the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Charles Billingham; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Colonel Rick Fuentes; and the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Sean Dalton. He also thanked other members of C-4, the Philadelphia/Camden High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program and the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice for their roles in the case.
The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ira M. Slovin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case was developed through the work of C-4. Every federal, state, and local law enforcement agency and prosecutor’s office responsible for combating drug trafficking, gang activity, and violent crime in Camden has come together in one location to share intelligence, develop strategies, and support the investigative and prosecutorial efforts of its partners. C-4 has merged the individual missions of the various law enforcement agencies into a single strategic attack on drug trafficking and drug-related violent crime. Such intense coordination greatly enhances the law enforcement community’s ability to correctly identify and successfully prosecute the most dangerous criminals in one of our nation’s most dangerous cities.
|Efraim Rivera, aka “E”||33||Camden||Leader, Rivera DTO Supplier, Sheridan Street DTO|
|Raymond Roldan||38||Camden||Leader, Roldan group Supplier, Rivera DTO|
|Jerome Anthony Ramos, aka “Ant”||28||Camden||Leader, Ramos group|
|Luis Diaz, aka “Canelo”||42||Camden||Supplier, Rivera DTO Supplier, Sheridan Street DTO|
|Ramon Diaz, aka “Paluco”||44||Camden||Facilitator, Sheridan Street DTO|
|Daisy Roldan||36||Camden||Facilitator, Roldan group|
|Anthony Esprit, aka “Boo Boo”||18||Camden||Facilitator, Roldan group|
|Alexsio Ramos, aka “Al”||25||Camden||Facilitator, Ramos group|
|Giovanny Ramos, aka “G”||20||Camden||Facilitator, Ramos group|
|Jimmy Mercado, aka “J.I.”||26||Camden||Facilitator, Ramos group|
|Christian Setzer. aka “Hitstick”||33||Camden||Set Worker, Roldan and Ramos groups|
|Graciano Diaz, aka “Rocky”||26||Camden||Set Worker, Roldan and Ramos groups|
|Angel Garcia, aka “Jungo”||36||Camden||Customer/Redistributor, Rivera DTO|
|Ali Alexander, aka “Ali Al”||35||Camden||Customer/Redistributor, Rivera DTO|
|Angel Velez||32||Camden||Customer/Redistributor, Rivera DTO|
|Daniel Alston, aka “Boo”||33||Camden||Customer/Redistributor, Rivera DTO|
|Dymiere Demby||23||Camden||Customer/Redistributor, Rivera DTO|
|Giovanny Carrero||34||Camden||Customer/Redistributor, Rivera DTO|
|Dewayne Jackson||45||Camden||Customer/Redistributor, Rivera DTO|
|Mark Washington, aka “Burger”, aka “BG”||27||Camden||Customer/Redistributor, Ramos group|
|Eric Rivera, aka “E”||27||Camden||Customer/Redistributor, Ramos group|