Camden, NJ Crack Cocaine Trafficking Gang Known as M.O.B. Boys Dismantled; Used Murder, Intimidation to Protect Turf
CAMDEN – A major drug-trafficking gang known as the “M.O.B. Boys,” which protected its operations by threats and violence, including murder,has been dismantled in a series of early morning raids today, DEA Special Agent in-Charge Gerard P. McAleer announced today. U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie, Acting Camden County Prosecutor James P. Lynch and FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Robert F. Downey, along with Robert L. Stewart, Camden Police Department Interim Supersession Executive also made the announcement.
Four leaders and 16 co-conspirators of the notorious crack and powder cocaine distribution organization were charged in federal criminal Complaints with one count each of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute in excess of five kilograms of powder cocaine and 50 grams crack cocaine. According to criminal Complaints, the drug gang was responsible for the distribution of multi-kilograms of powder and crack cocaine through both bulk distribution quantities to other drug traffickers and end user quantities sold at open air drug markets in the city.
The criminal Complaints charging members of the organization, one of the organization’s wholesale suppliers and four of the organization’s bulk cocaine customers describe how the organization used violence, including the murder of Anthony Brown, a.k.a. “Skip,” on March 22, 2006, to protect its operations.
The multi-agency investigation by the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force and the Camden High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force began in January 2004. According to the Complaints, the investigation used numerous confidential sources to infiltrate M.O.B. Boys and to gather incriminating recorded conversations with defendants concerning the drug-dealing activities. The investigation also included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, body wires, physical and electronic surveillance and undercover purchases of narcotics.
Ten of the 20 known defendants were arrested today, including M.O.B. Boys leaders, Troy Clark, 37, of Camden, Jermaine Coleman, 33, of Camden, and Trevor Smith, 34, of Berlin Township. Rashad Smith, 33, of Gloucester Township, also a leader of M.O.B. Boys, was arrested on state charges on May 7, 2006, as a result of a vehicle stop in which the defendant was found to be in possession of 13.5 ounces of crack cocaine. Rashad Smith has been detained in state custody in lieu of $300,000 bail since his arrest. M.O.B. Boys leaders Jermaine Coleman, 33, of Camden, and Trevor Smith, of Berlin Township, are fugitives.
The defendants each are charged in individual criminal complaints with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute in excess of five kilograms of powder cocaine and 50 grams crack cocaine, which carries a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison and a fine of up to $4 million.
The defendants are scheduled to make initial appearances later today in U.S. District Court in Camden before U.S. Magistrate Ann Marie Donio.
(The federal defendants’ names, ages and towns of residence are broken down by position in or relationship to the organization in an addendum to this news release.)
“What drug dealers and violent gang members in Camden should finally realize is that there is a formidable team of local, state and federal law enforcement arrayed against them and watching them daily,” Christie said. “Just like today, they will be investigated, arrested, prosecuted and sent to federal prison for a very long time. They will not be allowed to continue to bring fear, violence and drugs to the streets of Camden.”
“The dismantling of yet another violent drug gang operating in Camden affirms the cooperative effort among all levels of law enforcement,”“These arrests come on the heals of several other major victories against Camden drug gangs. Just three weeks ago a leader in the Perez Organization was sentenced to life plus 30 years in federal prison and another leader is schedule to be sentenced next month to an even greater prison term.”
"Today's arrests are another fine example of the excellent interagency cooperation that exists among federal, state, county and local law enforcement in Camden County,” said FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Robert F. Downey. “On the heels of securing significant prison sentences for the participants in the Perez Organization, this dedicated partnership has once again dismantled one of the City of Camden's most violent criminal gangs. This investigation clearly demonstrates our commitment to the elimination of these violent drug trafficking organizations, which have long preyed on the citizens of Camden County.”
Two of the defendants, Clark and Rashad Smith, along with individuals identified in the criminal Complaints as A.W. and another individual known to law enforcement to be called “Jazzy,” were members of a drug gang known in the late 1980's and early 1990's as the “Hilltop Gang,” which controlled drug sets in the “South Camden” area. According to the Complaints, the Hilltop Gang separated into factions which then branched out into separate sections of the city. Clark and Rashad Smith allegedly moved to the 1200 block of Morton Street and took control of a drug set at that location. This faction of the Hilltop Gang, with the additions of Jermaine Coleman and Trevor Smith, became know as the M.O.B. Boys or “M.O.B,” an acronym for “Middle Of the Block,” so-named for its drug trafficking operations in the middle of the 1200 block of Morton Street.
The criminal Complaints describe numerous alleged operational and other details about the organization. Among them:
· Rashad Smith was present when Anthony Brown was shot multiple times in the head near the 700 block of Chestnut Street in Camden.
· Rashad Smith attempted to raise cash through the M.O.B. Boys drug set to pay a co-defendant in a separate state gun case to take responsibility for the gun crime.
· M.O.B. Boys’ supply of cocaine came from sources in Philadelphia, New Brunswick and Camden.
· Rashad Smith’s girlfriend and co-defendant Najah Weal stashed the organization’s supply of cocaine in her Camden residence and leased vehicles for members of M.O.B. Boys to use in operating the drug trafficking organization.
· Troy Clark encouraged Rashad Smith to keep crack cocaine flowing at the 1200 block of Morton Street set so they would have sufficient proceeds to launder through business interests, such as the purchase of a liquor license.
Three individuals, in addition to Rashad Smith, who were federally charged as members of the conspiracy were arrested prior to this morning’s raids. On May 8, 2006, Charles Nicholson, 38, of Camden, a.k.a. “Doody,” a wholesaler supplier to the organization, was arrested on state charges after cocaine processing equipment and packaging materials containing cocaine residue were found in his residence during the execution of a search warrant. Nicholson has remained in state custody in lieu of $300,000 bail since his arrest.
Defendant Daniel Smith, a.k.a. “White Boy,” was arrested on March 10, 2006, by New Jersey Transit police officers at the Atlantic City bus terminal. Through surveillance, officers observed a drug transaction between Rashad Smith and Daniel Smith take place near the Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden. Authorities notified the New Jersey Transit Police of the suspected narcotics transaction and informed that Daniel Smith was aboard bus #551 bound for Atlantic City. At the time of his arrest, Daniel Smith was found to be in possession of 27 grams of cocaine.
A complaint is merely an accusation. All the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Christie credited Special Agents of the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Brian W. Lynch, Philadelphia Division, and Investigators with member agencies of the Camden HIDTA Task Force, with developing the investigation which resulted in today’s arrests.
The Camden HIDTA Task Force is comprised of the Investigators of the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor James P. Lynch; the Camden Police Department, under the direction of Robert L. Stewart, Camden Police Department Interim Supersession Executive; the Camden County Sheriff's Department, under the direction of Sheriff Michael W. McLaughlin; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Colonel Joseph R. Fuentes, Superintendent; the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, under the direction of Director Gregory Paw; the Delaware River Port Authority Police, under the direction of Chief Vincent J. Borelli; the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gerard P. McAleer in Newark; the U.S. Marshal's Service, under the direction of U.S. Marshal James T. Plousis; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Mark Potter, in Philadelphia.
The Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Smith, of the U.S. Attorney's Criminal Division in Camden.
Charged in criminal complaints filed today in U.S. District Court in Camden were:
M.O.B. Boys Leaders
M.O.B. Boys Managers
M.O.B. Boys Supplier
M.O.B. Boys Baggers
M.O.B. Boys Drug Set Workers
M.O.B. Boys Stash House
M.O.B. Boys Bookkeeper
Bulk Customers of M.O.B. Boys