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DEA and New Jersey State Police Take Down International Drug Ring in “Operation Next Day Air”

OCT 17 (WEST TRENTON, N.J.) – The New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression South Unit and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) arrested nine people in connection with an international drug ring that was based in Jamaica and operated in New Jersey and California, supplying drugs across the United States.  Members of this international drug trafficking organization and its leader, Andrew Davis, have been arrested and the organization dismantled by this multi-agency coordinated effort.

The investigation, dubbed “Operation Next Day Air,” began in March of 2011 and targeted the shipment of large quantities of cocaine through public delivery services. The joint investigation focused on the alleged drug distribution operation of Andrew Davis, 34, of Kingston, Jamaica.  The US Marshals Fugitive Task Force arrested Davis in Los Angeles, California on Monday, September 16, 2013.  He was extradited to New Jersey on Tuesday, October 8.  Davis allegedly directed his organization’s drug operations from various locations in Jamaica, California, and New Jersey.  He is also a well-known Jamaican dancehall artist who goes by the name “Flippa Mafia.”

Investigators determined that after Andrew Davis returned to Jamaica in 2012, Andrew Davis’ brother, Kemar Davis, 22, of Hollywood, California took over the transcontinental shipping operation and sent large quantities of drugs from California to New Jersey, in close consultation with Andrew Davis and Marsha Bernard, 28 of Cherry Hill.  Once the drugs arrived in New Jersey, Marsha Bernard, and others, received the shipments of cocaine for further distribution to other drug traffickers throughout New Jersey.  Bernard, under the direction of the Davis brothers, primarily dealt with the customers, most of whom purchased kilogram quantities from the Davis Organization, and collected the money from the buyers.  Bernard would then handle the drug proceeds as they were sent back to Andrew Davis in Jamaica and to Kemar Davis in California.

The investigation began in March of 2011, when detectives and agents from the Camden High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force along with the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office seized two packages from a mail facility in Marlton, New Jersey, allegedly destined for Andrew Davis and Marsha Bernard.  Each package contained four kilograms of cocaine.

In a coordinated effort between the New Jersey State Police and the DEA, over the course of this investigation, detectives documented meetings involving the transfer of multiple kilograms of cocaine among Shelly Ann Brown, 34, of Trenton, Marsha Bernard, Sidonie McLeod, 28, of Cherry Hill, and James McBride, 40.   

On March 11, 2013 Angel Rivera, 35, and Juan Cortez 41, both of Vineland, were arrested after investigators observed Marsha Bernard deliver a package containing approximately one kilogram of cocaine to them in Cherry Hill, which they thereafter secreted in a hidden compartment in Rivera’s vehicle.  A stolen handgun was later recovered from Rivera’s residence. 
                                                                                           
On March 15, 2013 State Police detectives and DEA agents coordinated the initial arrests in Operation Next Day Air as a significant shipment of cocaine arrived from California.  The execution of multiple search and arrest warrants in Cherry Hill and Mt. Laurel resulted in the arrests of Marsha Bernard, Shelly Ann Brown, Sidonie McLeod, and James McBride, all in connection with an additional three kilograms of cocaine seized immediately following its distribution by McLeod to McBride.  That same day, DEA agents arrested Kemar Davis in Los Angeles, California.  Hioka Myrie, 33, of Philadelphia, subsequently turned herself in to detectives on May 14, 2013.

In total, detectives recovered more than 26 kilograms of cocaine, worth approximately $780,000, two handguns, and more than $600,000 in cash.  Although significant seizures on their own, this investigation has revealed that these seizures are but a small percentage of the total amount of cocaine brought into New Jersey by Andrew Davis’ drug trafficking organization.  The case will be prosecuted by the Division of Criminal Justice under the Office of the Attorney General.

“These international cocaine traffickers were using major parcel shippers to put their poison on the streets of New Jersey, where it fueled all of the secondary crimes and violence that are inextricably linked to drug dealing,” said New Jersey Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman. “With this outstanding multi-agency investigation, we have ‘stopped shipment’ on this drug syndicate and made our communities safer.”

“This investigation gradually uncovered a complicated puzzle of money and drugs, and locked up the people responsible for injecting large drug shipments into our communities,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “I want to commend all of the law enforcement agencies involved for their ability to stop this intricate drug network that threatened the quality of life for the citizens of New Jersey.”

“Law Enforcement at all levels has joined forces to assist in the dismantling of this drug trafficking organization,” said Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey Division.  “It is this continued cooperation that led to these drug traffickers being taken off the street.” 

The agencies that participated in Operation Next Day Air are:

New Jersey State Police
Drug Enforcement Administration
United States Marshals Service
United States Postal Inspection Service
Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office
Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office
Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office
Cherry Hill Police Department
Los Angeles Police Department
Division of Criminal Justice

Below is a list of those arrested during the operation.  Each was lodged in the Camden County Jail:
                                                                        Bail      Charges
Andrew Davis, 34, Kingston, Jamaica          $500k  Leader of Narcotics Trafficking Network
Distribution of Cocaine
Money Laundering
                                                                        Conspiracy

Kemar Davis, 22, Hollywood, CA                $500k  Leader of Narcotics Trafficking Network
                                                                        Distribution of Cocaine
                                                                        Money Laundering
                                                                        Conspiracy

Marsha Bernard, 28, Cherry Hill                 $500k  Leader of Narcotics Trafficking Network
                                                                        Distribution of Cocaine
                                                                        Money Laundering
                                                                                                            Conspiracy

James McBride, 40, Mt. Laurel                    $400k  Distribution of Cocaine
                                                                                    Money Laundering
                                                                                    Conspiracy

Angel Rivera, 35, Vineland                           $350k  Possession with Intent to Distribute
Conspiracy 

Juan Cortez, 41, Vineland                            $350k  Possession with Intent to Distribute
                                                                        Conspiracy

Shelly Ann Brown, 34, Trenton                    $250k  Distribution of Cocaine
                                                                                    Conspiracy

Sidonie McLeod, 28, Cherry Hill                  $250k Distribution of Cocaine
                                                                                    Conspiracy                 

Hioka Myrie, 33, Philadelphia                       ROR    Conspiracy

Charges are mere accusations.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


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