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Press Release

Atlantic City Man Sentenced to 125 Months in Prison for Conspiring to Distribute Kilogram Quantities of Heroin

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

CAMDEN, N.J. – A member of an Atlantic City, New Jersey, drug-trafficking organization was sentenced today to 125 months in prison for conspiring to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Terryn Kelsey, 32, of Atlantic City, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler to an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin.  Judge Kugler imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.

Seventeen other members of the drug trafficking conspiracy – Khalif Toombs, Tyjuan Demarest, Nasir Brown, Karon Carey, James Blackwell, Philip Surace, David Ramirez, Wilbert Toombs, Quadir Stanley, Dean Johnson, Khalif Davis, Joseph Aversa, Thomas Randall, Mayda Hernandez, Sarah Taliaferro, Wayne Burnside, and Blaine Dorsey – previously have pleaded guilty. Of those 17 defendants, 15 have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from eight to 135 months. The charges against four other defendants, Jeremy Carll, Valarie Lamar, Tieyesha Tucker, and Jamal Marshall, remain pending.

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

Kelsey, along with leader Khalif Toombs and other members of the drug conspiracy, trafficked heroin from Patterson, New Jersey and into Atlantic City throughout the course of the investigation. Kelsey admitted in court to conspiring with others to traffic between one and three kilograms of heroin during this time and to operating Toombs’ cellular phone to further the conspiracy. The investigation tracked multiple stamps of heroin being distributed by Toombs and others, including, “AK-47,” “Apple,” “Fortnite,” “Rolex,” “Frank Lucas,” “Bentley,” “Pandora,” and “9 ½.” Between Jan. 1, 2017, and June 21, 2019, those stamps accounted for 48 deaths and 84 non-fatal overdoses in New Jersey.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Kugler sentenced Kelsey to five years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI’s Safe Streets South Jersey Violent Incident and Gang Task Force, Atlantic City Resident Agency, and FBI, Newark, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jesse Levine; officers of the Atlantic City Police Department, under the direction of Deputy Chief James A. Sarkos, the Interim Officer in Charge; the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor William E. Reynolds; the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Eric Scheffler; and the Pleasantville Police Department, under the direction of Chief Sean Riggin, with the investigation leading to today’s pleas. He also thanked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; and the N.J. State Police for their assistance.

This case is being conducted as part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Martha K. Nye of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton and Elisa T. Wiygul of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

For the four defendants whose charges remain pending, the charges and allegations are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated July 5, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 22-252