Camden County Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Conspiring to Distribute Large Amounts of Heroin, Crack Cocaine and Cocaine
CAMDEN, N.J. B A Camden County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 180 months in prison for conspiring to distribute heroin and cocaine in the city of Camden, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Carlos Perez, 48, of Collingswood, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of a mixture or substance containing heroin, as well as a mixture and substance containing cocaine, crack cocaine and fentanyl.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Nineteen defendants were arrested in late 2018 based on the FBI’s investigation of a drug trafficking organization that ran the open air narcotics trade on the 400-500 block of Pine Street in Camden for several months in 2018. The investigation used video surveillance, confidential informants, consensual recordings, controlled drug purchases, and several court-authorized wiretaps to uncover the inner workings of the drug trafficking organization. The organization included street-level sellers who worked various shifts on the “drug set,” selling drugs to customers and collecting proceeds. The sellers were supervised by different layers of managers who, in turn, supplied the drug set with pre-packaged heroin, some of which was mixed with fentanyl, as well as cocaine and crack cocaine. Perez was a high-level supervisor for the drug trafficking organization and was responsible for obtaining powder cocaine from drug suppliers, converting or “cooking” the powder cocaine to manufacture crack cocaine and packaging the crack cocaine that was distributed on the Pine Street drug set. The FBI and other law enforcement officers recovered multiple firearms from different locations connected to the drug organization at the time of the 2018 arrests. Perez agreed, as a member of the conspiracy, that he was jointly responsible for the distribution of over 1 kilogram of heroin, as well as substantial quantities of crack cocaine, cocaine and fentanyl.
Sixteen of the defendants already have entered guilty pleas on drug conspiracy charges before Judge Bumb. Three defendants are awaiting trial. The charges and allegations against those three defendants are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Bumb sentenced Perez to five years of supervised release.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI’s South Jersey Violent Offender and Gang Task Force, South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bradley S. Benavides; the Camden County Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gabriel Rodriguez; the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Acting Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer; the Camden County Sherriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Gilbert L. Wilson; the Cherry Hill Police Department, under the direction of Chief William P. Monaghan; and the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. She also thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Department of Homeland Security for their assistance.
This case is 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 https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sara Aliabadi and Patrick C. Askin of the U. S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.