News Release
For Immediate Release:
July 23, 2008

Contacts:
Douglas S. Collier
Special Agent/
Public Information Officer, NJ Division
(973)776-1143 (Office)
(862) 849-9940 (Cell)

Major Camden Cocaine Dealer's Right Hand Man
Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

JUL 23 -- (NEWARK, NJ) Gerard P. McAleer, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New Jersey Division and U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie announced a leader of a major Camden cocaine distribution network was sentenced to 300 months (25 years) in federal prison today for his role in a conspiracy to distribute more than 150 kilos of cocaine, announced.

U.S. District Judge Joseph E. Irenas ordered Francisco Morales, 34, of Camden to serve five years of supervised release upon the completion of his prison term. Morales has been held without bail since his arrest on an Indictment on Feb. 6, 2006.

On Nov. 19, 2007, Morales pleaded guilty before Judge Irenas to Count One of a Superseding Indictment, which charged him with conspiring with Raymond Morales and others to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of powder cocaine, and 50 grams or more of crack cocaine.

At his plea hearing, Morales admitted that from about 1992 until 2004 his cousin, Raymond Morales, organized and led a major powder cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana distribution organization in Camden. Francisco Morales admitted that he assisted the organization by serving as Raymond Morales’s right-hand man. In that capacity, Morales discussed the organization's drug trafficking activities virtually every day with Raymond Morales, he admitted. Francisco Morales admitted that some of his daily duties included cooking powder cocaine into crack cocaine; delivering kilograms of cocaine to the organization's wholesale customers; collecting money owed to the organization from the organization's customers; and supplying Raymond Morales' Atlantic Avenue drug set with marijuana and crack cocaine.

Morales admitted that over the life of the conspiracy he delivered more than 150 kilograms of cocaine to various customers of the organization and delivered more than 1.5 kilograms of crack cocaine to the Atlantic Avenue drug set.

Raymond Morales, 36, of Camden, pleaded guilty on July 27, 2005, to a nine-count Superseding Information. The Superseding Information, which was unsealed on May 9, 2007, charged Morales with six counts of ordering a murder in the furtherance of a Continuing Criminal Enterprise (CCE); one count of witness tampering by ordering the attempted murder of a witness; one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine; and one count of being a principal administrator of a CCE that operated in Camden.

In determining the actual sentence, Judge Irenas consulted the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges that take into account the severity and characteristics of the offense, the defendant's criminal history, if any, and other factors. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

Parole has been abolished in the federal system. Defendants who are given custodial terms must serve nearly all that time. SAC McAleer and US Attorney Christie credited the following agencies; i nvestigators with the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit, along with member agencies of the Philadelphia/Camden HIDTA Task Force, under the direction of Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk, with the investigation of Morales’ drug organization. The Philadelphia/Camden HIDTA Task Force comprises the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Districts of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, The Camden County Prosecutor's Office, Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, FBI, ATF, Camden Police Department, New Jersey State Police, Philadelphia Police Department, New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, Camden County Sheriff's Department, Delaware River Port Authority Police and the U.S. Marshal's Service.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Howard Wiener and Diana V. Carrig of the U.S. Attorney's Criminal Division in Camden.

 

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