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Press Release

Atlantic County Man Admits Drug and Firearm Offenses

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

CAMDEN, N.J. – An Atlantic County, New Jersey, man today admitted possessing large quantities of heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, along with a firearm, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Joseph Brandenberger, 35, of Absecon, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler to an information charging him with possessing with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, 500 grams or more of cocaine, and 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and possessing a firearm as a previously convicted felon.

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

Brandenberger was arrested following an investigation that revealed he was using a rented storage unit to conceal a large cache of drugs and a firearm. Upon execution of a search warrant at the location on June 18, 2019, investigators seized 507.6 grams of heroin, 524.3 grams of cocaine, and 107.2 grams of methamphetamine, along with $1,812 in cash and drug packaging material. Investigators also found a loaded Tech-9 9mm handgun. As a previously convicted felon, Brandenberger is prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm or ammunition. 

The count of possession of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine with intent to distribute carries a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 40 years in prison, and a $5 million fine. The firearm count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 26, 2020.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason Molina, Newark Division; and inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Philadelphia Division, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Damon Wood, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Field Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; and the Absecon Police Department, under the direction of Chief James R. Laughlin, for their assistance with the case.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gabriel J. Vidoni of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

Updated September 22, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 20-307