News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2007
For further Information Contact:
DEA Special Agent Douglas S. Collier,
Public Information Officer
TEL: (973) 776-1143
CELL: (862) 849-9833

DEA and State Police Break-Up South Jersey Narcotics Ring
14 arrested, charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crystal meth

JAN 25 -- GERARD P. MCALEER, the Special Agent in Charge of the New Jersey Division for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Stuart Rabner, State of New Jersey, Attorney General announced the execution of search and arrest warrants related to a narcotics trafficking network that operated in southern New Jersey dealing in cocaine and crystal methamphetamine. Fourteen suspects were arrested by state and federal authorities in New Jersey and Arizona and, law enforcement officers seized ten pounds of crack cocaine and more than seven kilograms, or approximately 15 pounds, of powder cocaine.

The powder cocaine was valued at $28,000 per kilo, and the ten pounds of crack was valued at $15,000 per pound.

The arrests were made in South Tucson, Arizona, and in three counties in South Jersey by State Police detectives and special agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration following a cooperative investigation by the New Jersey State Police, the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and the DEA. Authorities also seized approximately $244,000 in cash and confiscated two handguns and a shotgun.

All those arrested were charged with second degree conspiracy in connection with the distribution of narcotics. Further charges may follow based on the material seized today. The charges are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Search warrants were executed at ten homes and storage facilities in Gloucester, Camden and Burlington counties. Police seized high-end electronics, computers and mink coats at one home in Voorhees. They also found packaging material, cutting agents and a cocaine press in an apartment in Evesham. Also seized were eight automobiles and three all terrain vehicles.

Arrested in Arizona by DEA special agents were Nasser Perez of Lindenwold, Jerald Green of Atco and Gabe Blackstone (hometown not available) as well as seven Mexican nationals who were caught in a drugs-for-money exchange. Agents seized four kilograms of cocaine and approximately $90,000. Authorities said the New Jersey men traveled to Arizona to meet a cocaine supplier.

Also arrested were:

Gary R. Maddox, 30, Washington Township
Lori M. Gephardt, 31, Washington Township
Jason E. McKinnon, 30, Atco
Gerald L. Foster Jr., 20, Atco
Michael V. Scott, 36, Voorhees
Michael Passio, 36, Vineland
John Morgan, 46, Lindenwold
Cynthia Morgan, 47, Lindenwold
Pedro Vasquez, 34, Camden
Carlos Vallejo, 33, Pennsauken
Ronald Clements Jr., 29, Magnolia

Vasquez, Vallejo and Clements were arrested on DEA warrants and were held without bail.

Bail was set at $500,000 for Maddox and $300,000 each for Gephardt, McKinnon, Foster and Scott. The others were released on their own recognizance.

The 10-month investigation was conducted by the drug trafficking unit of the New Jersey State Police’s Organized Crime Control South Bureau and the DEA, and supervised by Deputy Attorney General Russ Curley of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Gangs and Organized Crime Bureau. Deputy Attorney General Andrew Butchko, a senior counsel with the bureau, assisted in the final stage of the case.