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Press Release

Atlantic City Couple Admit Drug Trafficking And Money Laundering

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

CAMDEN, N.J. – An Atlantic City couple yesterday admitted their respective roles in drug trafficking and money laundering in the Atlantic County area, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Toye Tutis, 44, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle in Camden federal court to Count One of a second superseding indictment, charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin, and Count 13 charging him with conspiring with his long-time paramour, Jazmin Vega, 42, to launder his drug trafficking proceeds.  Vega also pleaded guilty to the Count 13 conspiracy to launder Tutis’s drug proceeds.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From 2010 through December 2014, Tutis operated a large-scale drug trafficking ring out of the Ta’Ja Laundromat in Atlantic City, purchasing and distributing between 150 to 450 kilograms of cocaine and approximately 26 kilograms of heroin, and laundering between $1.5 and $3 million in drug proceeds. Tutis was aided by Vega, who admitted to laundering his drug trafficking proceeds in several ways, including through the couple’s various businesses – Ta’Ja Construction I LLC; Ta’Ja Real Estate Investors LLC; and Integrity Heating and Cooling LLC; and by purchasing more than 30 properties with tainted funds. As part of their plea agreements, Vega and Tutis have to forfeit 20 properties, cash and other assets.

The drug trafficking conspiracy count to which Tutis pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a fine of $10 million. The money laundering count to which Tutis and Vega both pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 17, 2017.  

Nine other people have pleaded guilty to participating in the drug trafficking conspiracy or other related drug trafficking in the Atlantic County area, including:

  • Kabaka Atiba, 46, of Atlantic City, sentencing scheduled for Jan. 20, 2017;
  • Tozine Tiller, 42, of Absecon, sentencing scheduled for Jan. 20, 2017;
  • TeJohn Cooper, 43, of Galloway Township, sentencing scheduled for Dec. 16, 2016;
  • Ronald Douglas Byrd, 51, of Pleasantville, sentencing scheduled for Dec. 2, 2016;
  • Kareem Taylor, 41, of Atlantic City; sentencing scheduled for Dec. 2, 2016;
  • Talib Tiller, 43, of Mays Landing, sentencing scheduled for Dec. 1, 2016;
  • John Wellman, 41, of Somers Point, sentencing scheduled for Dec. 1, 2016;
  • Phillip Horton, 50, of Los Angeles, California, sentencing scheduled for Dec. 1, 2016; and
  • Francisco Alberto Rascon-Muracami, 22, of Obregon, Mexico, sentenced on Oct. 30, 2015, to 70 months’ imprisonment and five years of supervised release. 

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Newark Division, Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher; the DEA’s New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski; the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Diane Ruberton; and the Atlantic City Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Henry White, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty pleas.

He also thanked the N.J. State Police; the Pennsylvania State Police, the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)-Homeland Security Investigation (HSI); U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and the Ventnor, Northfield and Millville police departments for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Diana Carrig and Howard Wiener of the Camden Division and Jonathan M. Peck of the Newark Division.

Defense counsel:

Tutis: J. Michael Farrell Esq., Philadelphia

Vega: Troy A. Archie Esq., Cinnaminson, New Jersey

Updated November 2, 2016

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 16-310