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Press Release

Decavalcante Crime Family Associate Admits Distributing Cocaine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – An associate of the DeCavalcante organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra today admitted his role in distributing more than 500 grams of cocaine, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

James Heeney, 36, of Elizabeth, New Jersey pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls to an information charging him with one count of conspiring to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine.

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

Heeney was arrested and charged by complaint in March 2015, along with eight members of the DeCavalcante crime family. He admitted that between August 2012 and March 2013, in conjunction with other family associates, he sold more than one-half a kilo of cocaine to an undercover FBI agent for at least $30,000.  

The drug distribution count to which Heeney pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for March 23, 2016.        

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel in Newark; the N.J. State Commission of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Executive Director Lee C. Seglem; detectives of the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, under the direction of Executive Director Walter M. Arsenault; and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park, for the investigation leading to today’s plea.

The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O’Malley and Assistant U.S. Attorney James Donnelly of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime/Gangs Unit.

Defense counsel: Paulette Pitt Esq. Woodbridge, New Jersey

Updated December 15, 2015

Press Release Number: 15-457