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Justice News

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

Monday, April 14, 2014

"Enforcer" For Atlantic City "Dirty Block" Gang Admits Participating In Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy

CAMDEN, N.J. - An Atlantic City, N.J., man admitted today to engaging in a conspiracy to distribute heroin with the “Dirty Block” criminal street gang that allegedly used threats, intimidation and violence to maintain control of the illegal drug trade in Atlantic City.

Shaamel Spencer, a/k/a “Buck,” 30, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph E. Irenas in Camden federal court to a superseding information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, and one count of being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm.  

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

During the period of the conspiracy Spencer acted as an “enforcer” on behalf of Mykal Derry, 33, of Atlantic City, helping Dirty Block to control the heroin trafficking trade in and around the public housing apartment complexes of Stanley Holmes, Carver Hall, Schoolhouse, Adams Court and Cedar Court in Atlantic City. Spencer assisted in the distribution of heroin to Dirty Block customers.

Spencer was arrested on October 30, 2012, and found to be in possession of a firearm at the time of the arrest. On February 12, 2013, Spencer was charged federally with being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. A search warrant executed at Spencer’s residence at the time of his arrest revealed approximately $4,500 in suspected drug proceeds, as well as a 9mm semi-automatic handgun and approximately 44 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

Spencer and other members of the Dirty Block gang – a number of them previously convicted felons – travelled to a shooting range in Lakewood, N.J., where they were photographed firing handguns. 

As part of his guilty plea, Spencer admitted to distributing heroin. He also admitted to being a previously convicted felon who possessed firearms and ammunition, and that specifically, he took a handgun to an Atlantic City casino where he believed Derry was involved in a violent fight with his rivals. Spencer also agreed to forfeit the proceeds of his drug trafficking as well as his firearms and ammunition.

The drug conspiracy charge carries a minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison, and maximum $5 million fine. The felon-in-possession charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for July 22, 2014.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Newark Division, Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford; the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor James P. McClain; the Atlantic City Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Henry White; and the South Jersey Safe Streets Violent Incident and Gang Task Force, with the investigation.

The charges and allegations in the indictment charging Derry are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick C. Askin and Justin C. Danilewitz.


Defense counsel: Assistant Federal Public Defender Maggie Moy Esq., Camden

Spencer, Shaamel Information

Updated August 21, 2015