Camden Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Conspiring to Distribute over One Kilogram of Heroin
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Camden man was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for conspiring to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Ramon Velez, 44, of Camden, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin from June 2018 through November 2018. Judge Bumb imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
Using confidential informants, consensual recordings, over 40 controlled drug purchases, and several court-authorized wiretaps, the investigation showed a large-scale drug operation operating in the 400-500 block of Pine Street in Camden in 2017-2018. Street-level sellers were supervised by managers, who also resupplied them with pre-packaged heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine. Ramon Velez also sold heroin from the area surrounding his residence. Several firearms were recovered from different locations during searches by the FBI and other law enforcement officers when the defendants were arrested in November 2018. Ramon Velez was arrested on December 6, 2018.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Bumb sentenced Johnson to five years of supervised release.
Nineteen defendants were arrested on drug trafficking charges based on the investigation; 15 defendants have pleaded guilty on drug conspiracy charges. One defendant, Kaliel Johnson of Camden, was sentenced last week to nine years in prison; 13 defendants are awaiting sentencing and three more defendants are awaiting trial. The charges and allegations against those three defendants awaiting trial are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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 Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll; the Camden County Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gabriel Rodriguez; 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 Colonel 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 Patrick C. Askin and Sara Aliabadi of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Camden Office.