News Release
March 18, 2009
DEA Special Agent Douglas S. Collier, M.A.
Public Information Officer
TEL: (973) 776-1143
CELL: (862) 849-9833

Detroit Man Sentenced to 72 Months in Prison for Conspiring to Transport Large Quantities of Cocaine from New Jersey to Detroit

MAR 18 -- NEWARK – Gerard P. McAleer, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration New Jersey Division, along with Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra, District of New Jersey announced a Detroit man was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison today for conspiring to purchase large quantities of cocaine in Camden County to be transported to Detroit.

U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman also ordered Ricardo Fonville, 38, to serve three years of supervised release upon the completion of his prison sentence.

Fonville pleaded guilty before Judge Hillman on Nov. 21, 2008, to a one-count Information that charged him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. As part of his plea, Fonville agreed to forfeit $95,000 in cash that he and a co-conspirator possessed when they were arrested by Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration on Aug. 18, 2008.

At his plea hearing, Fonville admitted that on July 9, 2008, he and another male traveled from Detroit to New Jersey to meet with a purported representative of a cocaine supplier to discuss purchasing 300 kilograms of cocaine. Fonville admitted that he was going to take the cocaine back to Detroit to sell.

During the meeting, Fonville expressed that he would be in a better position to purchase between five and 10 kilograms of cocaine after mid-July 2008. During the week of July 14, 2008, during several telephone conversations between Fonville and the representative, Fonville stated that he had $50,000 in cash and that his partner had an additional $150,000 ready to do the deal, Fonville admitted.

On Aug. 4, 2008, Fonville and Rory Henderson and another man, all from Detroit, traveled to the Marriott Hotel at the Philadelphia International Airport for an arranged meeting with the purported drug supplier, whom Fonville later learned was actually an undercover law enforcement officer, he admitted. Later that day, Fonville and another male traveled to a meeting location in Haddon Township, where they met with several individuals who were going to supply the cocaine, he admitted. During the meeting Fonville told the individuals that he had only brought $40,000 with him as a down payment for the cocaine and that he had an additional $10,000 in the bank. Fonville also boasted that he “could get rid of [50 to 100 kilograms of cocaine] real quick.” Fonville admitted that he was told he did not bring enough money and that the deal would not happen.

Thereafter, on Aug. 17, 2008, Fonville and Henderson again traveled from Detroit for an arranged meeting the next day with the purported drug supplier. At this meeting, Fonville brought nine bundles of cash and stated that he had “95,” meaning $95,000, and handed it over to be counted, he admitted. Fonville admitted that he brought the $95,000 with him to purchase five kilograms of cocaine.

After the money was counted, it was given back to Fonville and Henderson to take with them to a location where the exchange would supposedly take place. Fonville and Henderson were subsequently arrested as they traveled from the meeting location to where they were suppose to pick up the five kilos of cocaine.

Henderson’s case is pending trial.

In determining the actual sentence, Judge Hillman 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, was 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.

Marra credited Special Agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gerard P. McAleer in Newark, and the member agencies of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force (H.I.D.T.A.), under the direction of Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant United States Attorney Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

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