Camden Cocaine Trafficker Who Aided in the Prosecutions of Other High-Level Drug Dealers Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison
APR 30 -- (CAMDEN, N.J.) – JOHN G. McCABE, Jr., the Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) New Jersey Division and PAUL J. FISHMAN, the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey announced that a Camden drug-trafficking kingpin turned federal cooperating witness Raymond Morales was sentenced today to 21 years in federal prison.
On July 27, 2005, Morales, 37, pleaded guilty before Senior United States District Judge Joseph E. Irenas to a nine-count Superseding Information charging him with six counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of drug trafficking and one count of being the principal administrator of a continuing criminal enterprise. Judge Irenas also imposed today’s sentence in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this and related cases and statements made in court: Morales led a drug trafficking enterprise (the “Morales Organization”) which operated in and around Camden for more than a decade – from 1993 through 2004. Morales was arrested on March 8, 2003, with a load of 30 kilograms of cocaine. The cocaine was from an Arizona source of supply that had delivered more than 300 kilograms to Morales from May 2002 through the time of his arrest. The Morales Organization controlled a crack cocaine drug market at Atlantic and Norris Streets in Camden and also sold several hundred kilograms of cocaine wholesale to other drug dealers and drug-trafficking organizations. Morales also ordered six murders and an attempted murder, which were carried out in furtherance of the Morales Organization.
Shortly after his arrest, Morales began cooperating with federal, state and local law enforcement authorities, and admitted to ordering the murders and the attempted murder of Rafael Colon-Rodriguez on April 5, 2003. These crimes were solved as a result of Morales’ admissions.
To date, Morales’ cooperation has led to the convictions of more than 20 high-level drug dealers, mostly in the Camden area, including convictions of four for drug-related murders. As part of his cooperation, Morales testified against three of his triggermen: Jevon Lewis, a/k/a “V,” a/k/a “Cool V,” a/k/a “Vaughn,”; Ahmed Judge, a/k/a “Edy,” a/k/a “Bleek”; and Juan Rivera-Velez, a/k/a “Two Face,” a/k/a “Junito,” all of Camden.
In March 2008, Lewis and Judge were convicted of the murder of Kenneth Fussell and were later each sentenced to life in prison. Fussell, an innocent man, was killed after he was incorrectly identified as a person who had crossed the Morales Organization. In November 2009, Rivera-Velez was convicted of the murder of Miguel “Ito” Batista, and awaits sentencing.
All three men also were convicted of participating in the Morales drug-trafficking conspiracy. Morales’ cooperation was also instrumental in convicting Karah Moore for the April 24, 2001, murder of Pedro Cruz. Moore pleaded guilty to that murder and related drug charges on December 20, 2007, and also cooperated with federal law enforcement, testifying at the trials of Lewis, Judge, and Rivera-Velez.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Irenas ordered Raymond Morales to serve five years of supervised release and ordered restitution in an amount to be determined. Judge Irenas noted that to impose the appropriate sentence, he had to balance the “horrific crimes” Morales committed against the “extraordinary cooperation” that Morales provided to law enforcement.
In determining the 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, 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.
Fishman credited Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge John G. McCabe, Jr., in Newark and Investigators with the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit, under the direction of Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk, along with member agencies of the Camden Initiative – which falls under the Philadelphia/Camden High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (“HIDTA”) Task Force. The Camden Initiative includes the Unites States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, DEA, Department of Homeland Security U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Camden Police Department, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Cherry Hill Police, New Jersey Police Department, and the State of New Jersey Office of the Attorney General’s Division of Criminal Justice.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Diana Vondra Carrig and Howard Wiener of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.