News and Press Releases

Thirty-Four people charged in connection with takedown of violent drug trafficking organization



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2013


 

Twenty-five Alleged Members and Associates of ‘Dirty Block’ Street Gang Arrested in Pre-dawn Raids; Others in Custody from Previous Arrest

CAMDEN, N.J. – Twenty-five people associated with a criminal street gang that allegedly used threats, intimidation and violence to maintain control of the illegal drug trade in Atlantic City were arrested today in pre-dawn raids by agents of the FBI, the N.J. State Police and officers of the Atlantic City Police Department, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

The arrests deal a significant blow to the criminal street gang known as “Dirty Block,” a/k/a “Crime Fam,” “3.6.6.12,” or “3.6,” which allegedly operates in a geographic area of Atlantic City that includes the public housing apartment complexes of Stanley Holmes, Carver Hall, Schoolhouse, Adams Court and Cedar Court. The defendants are scheduled to make their initial court appearances this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judges Ann Marie Donio and Karen M. Williams in Camden federal court.

“The defendants in this case created an atmosphere of fear and presented real danger to the people who shared their Atlantic City neighborhood,” U.S. Attorney Fishman said. “And they did it so that they could prosper from selling illegal drugs. The law-abiding people of New Jersey – whether they live in the suburbs, on a farm, or in the oldest housing project in New Jersey – deserve to have neighborhoods that are safe places to walk and raise their families. I really hope that today’s arrests will give them that chance.”

FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez said, “The Dirty Block gang had placed a community under siege and extraordinary law enforcement efforts became necessary.  The collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities have made possible the return of the community to its people.”

Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor James P. McClain said: “This operation has been an excellent example of how cooperating law enforcement can take down a criminal organization and therefore make our community safer. In Atlantic County, we will continue to work with all other available law enforcement agencies to take down those criminal groups that remain or those that might spring up to replace this one.”

The 25 defendants arrested today are among 34 people charged by Complaint – including two brothers who have already been arrested and charged in connection with Atlantic City’s first homicide of 2013 and several defendants already in custody – with participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin since at least October 2012.
 
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

An investigation using surveillance, confidential informants, controlled drug purchases, record checks and telephone wiretaps revealed that Dirty Block acquires and distributes heroin, cocaine and prescription drugs; maintains various stash houses and drug dens; and possesses numerous illegal firearms to maintain control of drug distribution and to intimidate, threaten and kill rivals.
 
Intercepted telephone conversations reveal that two of the principal targets charged today – Mykal Derry, a/k/a “Koose,” and his brother Malik Derry, a/k/a “Lik” – conspired to murder a rival drug dealer, Tyquinn James, a/k/a “T.Y.,” and that on Feb. 10, 2013, Malik Derry allegedly carried out the homicide. The two brothers were arrested on Feb. 11, 2013. The intercepted conversations also describe an incident at the Tropicana Casino on Dec. 24, 2012, in which members of the Dirty Block gang spotted members of a rival gang and attempted to obtain weapons in order to ambush them before they left the casino. Failing that, they chased down and violently assaulted their rivals.

The Dirty Block drug trafficking organization utilizes many people who performed various functions to facilitate the enterprise. These include narcotics suppliers (who sell bulk quantities of heroin at discounted prices), gang leaders (such as Mykal Derry and Tyrone Ellis, a/k/a “Rome”), enforcers or “shooters,” distributors, dealers, runners, couriers, facilitators (who provide cars, phones, locations, and money laundering services) and testers (who ingest narcotics, at the request of a distributor, in order to assess quality).

Mykal Derry, a Dirty Block gang leader and mid-level heroin distributor, has used several conspirators, who are also charged in the Complaint, to store drugs, money and weapons in their homes and to acquire narcotics from higher-level suppliers for distribution in the Atlantic City area. Derry distributed more than a kilogram of heroin to street buyers in quantities referred to as “bricks” (or “walls”), “bundles,” and “bands” (or “rubber bands”). This heroin was marketed using numerous “stamps” that suppliers, distributors, and dealers use to brand their product.

Mykal Derry, along with Ellis, and their conspirators frequently possessed firearms, despite prior felony convictions prohibiting such possession, in furtherance of the conspiracy’s goals. On two separate occasions in October 2012, Derry and other co-conspirators – all previously convicted felons – photographed themselves, and were observed and video recorded, holding, loading and using firearms at the Shore Shot shooting range in Lakewood, N.J.

Defendants Maurice Thomas and Mark Frye were the primary heroin suppliers to Mykal Derry and Tyrone Ellis, providing them with more than a thousand bricks of heroin between October 2012 and February 2013. Wiretaps revealed that Derry and Ellis are but two of Thomas’ and Frye’s customers. Thomas and Frye are believed to be leaders of a sophisticated drug trafficking organization that has multiple lines of supply and uses multiple subjects who meet with customers and distribute large quantities of heroin from multiple tower style apartment buildings, on multiple floors. Thomas and Frye were both intercepted over the wiretaps arranging and conducting drug transactions with both Derry and Ellis.
Following Hurricane Sandy in late October 2012, conspirators defrauded the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) by lying about the extent of damage they sustained and provided an address for the receipt of FEMA disaster relief funds that was a storage location used for drug trafficking.

Dirty Block was able to secure the release of its members from prison with the services of a corrupt bail bondsman, identified in the complaint as “P.J.L.,” who is employed at Rapid Bail Bonds in Atlantic City. P.J.L. assisted Mykal Derry and other Dirty Block members by procuring fraudulent evidence of employment in order for individuals to act as co-signers of bonds. Derry also has provided P.J.L. with heroin, which intercepted communications reveal was used by P.J.L. for resale.

Despite its specialization in the supply of heroin, Dirty Block members abused various prescription medications and occasionally supplied cocaine as well. On one occasion, one of Mykal Derry’s couriers, Ambrin Qureshi, advised him that she had access to Roxicet prescription medication: “My peoples got a line on pure Roxy straight from the pharmaceutical company, uncut. Raw….”

Intercepted communications also revealed the fascination of several conspirators with “The Wire,” the popular HBO series (2002 to 2008) about the wiretap of a Baltimore-based drug conspiracy. In one conversation between Mykal Derry and his younger brother Malik, Mykal said that he was watching “The Wire” at the time, to which Malik responded that he, too, was watching “The Wire,” and, like Mykal, had “all the seasons.”

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Newark Division, Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Velazquez; the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor McClain; the Atlantic City Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Ernest Jubilee and Public Safety Director William R. Glass; and the South Jersey Safe Streets Violent Incident and Gang (“Safe Streets”) Task Force, with the investigation leading to today’s arrests.

He also thanked the N.J. State Police; the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Northfield Police Department; the Vineland Police Department; the Brigantine Police Department; the Millville Police Department; the Mullica Township Police Department; the South Jersey Transportation Authority; and the U.S. Secret Service for their contributions.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick C. Askin and Justin C. Danilewitz of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

13-142

Defendants


Name

Age

Residence

Role

Ibn Abdullah

20

Pleasantville, N.J.

Enforcer/dealer

Kamal Allen

25

Atlantic City, N.J.

Enforcer/dealer

Rashada Allen

26

Atlantic City, N.J.

Facililtator

Kareem Bailey

19

Atlantic City, N.J.

Dealer/youngin’

Wanda Bishop

32

Atlantic City, N.J.

Distributor

Wallace Boston

61

Atlantic City, N.J.

Dealer

Jodi Brown

40

Atlantic City, N.J.

Facilitator/dealer/tester

Latasha Cherry

29

Millville, N.J.

Facilitator/courier

Ronald Davis

27

Atlantic City, N.J.

Dealer

Terry Davis

24

Atlantic City, N.J.

Enforcer/dealer

Malik Derry

22

Atlantic City, N.J.

Enforcer/distributor

Mykal Derry

32

Atlantic City, N.J.

Leader/distributor

Quasim Duncan

19

Mays Landing, N.J.

Dealer

Tyrone Ellis

31

Galloway, N.J.

Leader/distributor

Mark Frye

32

Paterson, N.J.

Supplier

Jeffrey Harvey

28

Collings Lakes, N.J.

Distributor

Kasan Hayes

26

Atlantic City, N.J.

Dealer/runner/youngin’

Ronald Johnson

29

Atlantic City, N.J.

Distributor

 

 

 

 

Raymond Mack

19

Atlantic City, N.J.

Dealer/youngin’

Lamar Macon

24

Atlantic City, N.J.

Dealer/runner/youngin’

Ambrin Qureshi

32

Atlantic City, N.J.

Courier/runner/facilitator

Franklin Simms

29

Atlantic City, N.J.

Distributor/facilitator

Kimberly Spellman

31

Egg Harbor Township, N.J.

Courier/runner/facilitator

Laquay Spence

22

Atlantic City, N.J.

Dealer/runner/youngin’

Shaamel Spencer

29

Atlantic City, N.J.

Enforcer/dealer

Rayshell Strong

32

Atlantic City, N.J.

Distributor/courier/facilitator

Patricia Taylor

33

Atlantic City, N.J.

Distributor

Maurice Thomas

31

Paterson, N.J.

Supplier

Aree Toulson

24

Atlantic City, N.J.

Distributor

Dwayne Townsend

19

Atlantic City, N.J.

Dealer/runner/youngin’

Tiarrah Turner

23

Atlantic City, N.J.

Courier

Dominique Venable

23

Atlantic City, N.J.

Dealer/runner/youngin’

Kareem Young

20

Absecon, N.J.

Dealer/youngin’

Saeed Zaffa

23

Atlantic City, N.J.

Distributor

Dirty Block Complaint
Abdullah, Ibn complaint
Allen, Kamal complaint
Allen, Rashada complaint

Bailey, Kareem complaint
Bishop, Wanda complaint

Boston, Wallace complaint

Brown, Jodi complaint

Cherry, Latasha complaint

Davis, Ronald complaint

Davis, Terry complaint

Derry, Malik complaint
Derry, Mykal complaint

Duncan, Quasim complaint

Ellis, Tyrone complaint

Frye, Mark complaint

Harvey, Jeffrey complaint

Hayes, Kasan complaint

Johnson, Ronald complaint
Mack, Raymondcomplaint

Macon, Lamar complaint

Qureshi, Ambrin complaint

Simms, Franklin complaint
Spellman, Kimberly complaint

Spence, Laquay complaint

Spencer, Shaamel complaint

Strong, Rayshell complaint

Taylor, Patricia complaint

Thomas, Maurice complaint

Toulson, Aree complaint
Townsend, Dwayne complaint
Turner, Tiarrah complaint

Venable, Dominique complaint

Young, Kareem complaint

Zaffa, Saeed complaint

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