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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Camden County Man and Woman Indicted for Trafficking High-Dose Oxycodone Pills

CAMDEN, N.J. – A federal grand jury today separately indicted a Camden man and woman for selling oxycodone pills as part of their roles in South Jersey high-dosage oxycodone trafficking rings, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Maurice Williams, 40, of Mount Ephraim, New Jersey, was charged in a five-count indictment with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone, distributing and possessing with intent to distribute quantities of oxycodone, and attempting to do the same, and using a communications facility to further a drug trafficking crime. Lolita Paynter, 56, of Camden, was separately charged in a four-count indictment with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone and distributing and possessing with intent to distribute quantities of oxycodone and attempting to do the same. Williams and Paynter were previously charged by criminal complaint in March 2020. They will be arraigned on dates to be determined. 

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

In early 2020, the FBI led a wiretap investigation into drug distribution operations that dealt in, among other drugs, high-dose, 60- and 80-mg oxycodone pills. Intercepted telephone calls revealed that on multiple occasions from January 2020 to March 10, 2020, Williams discussed obtaining redistribution quantities of oxycodone from Erick Bell in and around Camden, and surveillance confirmed their meeting. These included discussions of purchases by Williams from Bell of, on Feb. 3, 2020, 100 80 mg. oxycodone pills, and, on Feb. 18, 2020, 100 60 mg. oxycodone pills. Bell and Williams employed coded language and used multiple phones to conceal their activities. The investigation also revealed that on multiple occasions Paynter supplied quantities of oxycodone to Rocco DePoder on dates from January 2020 to March 10, 2020.  Intercepted calls and surveillance showed that DePoder was regularly reselling oxycodone pills to customers in and around Gloucester City, New Jersey. 

Oxycodone is a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions, and abuse of the drug may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

The conspiracy and distribution and possession with intent to distribute charges against Williams and Paynter each carry maximum prison terms of 20 years and maximum fines of $1 million. The use of a communication facility charges against Williams each carry a maximum prison term of four years and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Eleven other defendants – Rocco DePoder, 68, Marcus Rushworth, 47, and Kenneth Rushworth, 60, all of Gloucester City; Alfred Kee, Jr., 52, of Blackwood, New Jersey; Robert Pratt, 57, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, formerly of Blackwood; Wayne Muse, 74, of Lindenwold, New Jersey; Bell, 50, Steven Walker, 50, and Alexander Siaca, 55, all of Camden; Antwan Tucker, 51, of Woodbury, New Jersey; and Anwar Abdullah, 32, of Pennsauken, New Jersey – previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden federal court to informations charging them with drug trafficking offenses involving the distribution of prescription drugs.  They are all awaiting sentencing.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI Philadelphia Division, South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert; the Camden County Sheriff's Office, under the direction of Sheriff Gilbert L. Wilson; New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, under the direction of Director Jared M. Maples; the Camden County Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gabriel Rodriguez; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Bethanne M. Dinkins, with the investigation leading to the charges.

She also thanked the FBI Newark Division, New Jersey State Police, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gabriel J. Vidoni of the Office’s Camden office and Sara F. Merin of the Newark Office.

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

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
21-148
Updated April 21, 2021