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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Camden Man In Drug Trafficking Ring Pleads Guilty To Crack Cocaine Charge

CAMDEN, N.J. - A Camden man today admitted possessing crack cocaine with the intent to distribute as part of a drug trafficking organization operating in the city of Camden, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Rajai Gaines, a/k/a “Jigga,” 36, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb to a superseding information charging him with possessing with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base.

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

Gaines admitted that he met with two other men to prepare and package more than 300 grams of crack cocaine for distribution. While the meeting was underway, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the location, arrested Gaines and the two other men, and seized a large amount of crack, packaging materials, and drug paraphernalia.

The count to which Gaines pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum term of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 7, 2018.

Ten members of the drug ring – including Gaines – were initially arrested in June 2017 following a long-term investigation by the FBI, which utilized multiple telephone wiretaps, surveillance, confidential informants, cooperating witnesses, more than 20 controlled drug purchases, a GPS vehicle tracker and four court-authorized search warrants, among other investigative techniques, to uncover the operations of the drug trafficking organization. During the course of the conspiracy, members of the drug trafficking organization distributed crack cocaine, fentanyl, and heroin to users and resellers in and around Camden and to persons cooperating with the FBI. The investigation ultimately led to the seizure of more than 300 grams of crack cocaine, quantities of fentanyl and heroin, a firearm, drug paraphernalia, and recent charges against an eleventh member of the organization.

Charges remain pending against alleged leaders of the drug trafficking organization John Gunther a/k/a “Critty,” 34, and Taleaf Gunther a/k/a “Leafy” and “L,” 32, as well as alleged members William Roland a/k/a “Chill,” 36, Mark Campbell a/k/a “D” and Diz,” 38, Malcolm McCoy, 27, and Davon Leak, 19. The charges and allegations against these defendants are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Four other defendants – Karim Johnson a/k/a “Chicky,” 38, Daron Suiter, 23, George Williams, 43, and Latoya Whealton a/k/a “Toya,” 33 – have also pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

U.S. Attorney 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 Harpster; the Camden County Police Department, under the direction of Chief J. Scott Thomson; the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo; and the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation. He also thanked the Camden County Sheriff’s Department, the Cherry Hill Police Department, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for their assistance.

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

Defense counsel: Edward F. Borden Jr. Esq., Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
18-187
Updated May 1, 2018