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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Eighteen South Jersey Residents Charged With Trafficking Prescription Drugs

CAMDEN, N.J. – Eighteen alleged members of two drug trafficking operations based in Gloucester City and Camden have been charged in connection with their roles in distributing drugs, including high-dosage oxycodone pills, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

The defendants were charged with conspiring to possess and distribute drugs in two complaints unsealed today. Sixteen of the defendants were arrested today and are scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judges Joel Schneider and Karen M. Williams in Camden federal court. Two defendants remain at large. (See table below)

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

The charges and arrests are the result of a wiretap investigation led by the FBI into drug distribution operations that dealt in, among other drugs, high-dose, 60- and 80-mg oxycodone pills. The operations’ leaders – Rocco DePoder for the Gloucester City operation and Erick Bell and Alfred Kee Jr. for the Camden operation – and the other suppliers, resellers and associates charged in the complaints generally employed the following means to facilitate the pill trafficking: Bell, Kee and DePoder would solicit the suppliers, including certain defendants named in the complaints, and others, primarily over the telephone, to supply them with quantities of oxycodone, Adderall and Xanax for DePoder, and oxycodone for Bell and Kee. After receiving substantial quantities of pills at Bell’s home in Camden, DePoder’s home in Gloucester City, and other locations in southern New Jersey (including Lindenwold and Woodbury), Bell and DePoder would take orders for pills over the telephone from others. Bell, Kee and DePoder would provide purchasers with these pills. The defendants employed coded language and used multiple phones to conceal their activities.

The conspiracies charged in the complaints carry a maximum prison term of 20 years and a maximum fine of $1 million.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of FBI Philadelphia Division, South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Tara McMahon; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert; the Camden County Sheriff's Office, under the direction of Sheriff Gilbert L. Wilson; New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, under the direction of Director Jared M. Maples; the Camden County Police Department, under the direction of Chief Joseph Wysocki; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Bethanne M. Dinkins, with the investigation leading to the charges.

He also thanked the FBI Newark Division, New Jersey State Police, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gabriel J. Vidoni of the Office’s Camden branch, and Sara F. Merin and Mark J. McCarren of the Newark Office.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

*denotes at large

Topic(s): 
Prescription Drugs
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
20-093
Updated March 10, 2020