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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Atlantic County, New Jersey, Man Admits Role In Large-Scale Crack Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Pleasantville, New Jersey, man today admitted participating in a nearly three-year conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine in the Atlantic City, New Jersey area, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Ronald Douglas Byrd, 51, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle in Camden federal court to Count One of an indictment charging him with conspiring with others to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine.

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

From February 2012 through Dec. 10, 2014, Byrd admitted that he and others engaged in a drug trafficking conspiracy through which Byrd distributed more than one kilogram of crack cocaine. Members of the conspiracy used Byrd’s Pleasantville residence and at least two other residences in Pleasantville and Absecon to store and package cocaine and crack cocaine.

The distribution conspiracy charge to which Byrd pleaded guilty is punishable by a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for June 10, 2016.

Byrd is the sixth person to plead guilty to participating in this drug trafficking conspiracy. Kareem Taylor, 41, of Atlantic City; Talib Tiller, 43, of Mays Landing, New Jersey; John Wellman, 41, of Somers Point, New Jersey; and Phillip Horton, 50, of Los Angeles, California, have all pleaded guilty and await sentencing. Francisco Alberto Rascon-Muracami, 22, of Obregon, Mexico, was sentenced Oct. 30, 2015 to 70 months in prison. Trial for the remaining defendants is scheduled for May 23, 2016.

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 Richard M. Frankel; the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski; the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor James P. McClain; and the Atlantic City Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Henry White, with the investigation leading to today’s plea.

He also thanked the N.J. State Police; 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. Attorney Diana Vondra Carrig of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

Defense counsel: Michael Huff Esq., Philadelphia

Updated January 20, 2016