Camden Man Admits Role In Drug Trafficking Organization
CAMDEN, N.J. – A member of a drug-trafficking organization today admitted his role in a conspiracy to distribute heroin in Camden, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
David Velez, 31, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb in Camden federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.
Eleven other members – Ronnie Lopez, Nelson Salcedo, Paul Salcedo, Waldemar Garcia, William Carrillo, Elisa Rivera, Ramon Velez, Naeem Sadler, Jasmin Velez, Jameel Byng, and Kaliel Johnson – have previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the drug-trafficking conspiracy in the 500 block of Pine Street in Camden. Charges against six other defendants in this case remain pending.
The guilty pleas in this case reflect that the various members of the drug-trafficking organization sold heroin, crack cocaine and powder cocaine in and around the City of Camden.
According to documents filed in this case and other cases and statements made in court:
An investigation led by the FBI used surveillance tactics, confidential informants, consensual recordings, over 40 controlled drug purchases, record checks, a GPS vehicle tracker, and several court-authorized wiretaps to uncover the operations of the Camden drug-trafficking organization.
The count to which Velez pleaded guilty carries a mandatory penalty of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison, and a $5 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for April 20, 2020.
U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI’s South Jersey Violent Offender and Gang Task Force, South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Harpster; the Camden County Police Department, under the direction of Chief Joseph Wysocki; the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of 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 guilty plea. He also thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Department of Homeland Security for their assistance.
This case is being conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sara A. Aliabadi and Patrick C. Askin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
The charges and allegations against the other defendants are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Mark Catanzaro Esq., Mount Holly, New Jersey