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Press Release

Enforcer For Atlantic City “Dirty Block” Gang Sentenced To Life In Prison For Role In Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy

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

CAMDEN, N.J. – An Atlantic City, New Jersey, man who was an enforcer and street level dealer for a gang that used threats, intimidation and violence to maintain control of the illegal drug trade in Atlantic City was sentenced today to life in prison, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Malik Derry, a/k/a “Lik,” 25, was previously convicted of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, possessing and discharging firearms in furtherance of the conspiracy and using a communications device in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He was convicted after a six-week trial before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman, who imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence presented at trial:

Malik Derry was an enforcer and a street level seller for “Dirty Block,” a/k/a “Crime Fam,” “,” or “3.6,”, which was led by his brother Mykal Derry, a/k/a “Koose,” 36, of Atlantic City. The gang used force, gun violence and intimidation to control the lucrative drug trafficking area of the Stanley Holmes public housing complex, Brown’s Park and the surrounding area.

The evidence at trial showed that Malik Derry, Mykal Derry, enforcer Shaamel Spencer, 32, of Atlantic City, and other members of the gang routinely carried loaded handguns and engaged in at least eight drug related shootings between October 2010 and February 2013, including the shooting of a teenager on April 17, 2011, which left the teenager paralyzed.

Additional testimony established that Mykal Derry and Malik Derry planned and carried out the shooting murder of a rival drug dealer in Atlantic City on the evening of Feb. 10, 2013. Mykal Derry told members of his gang that he wanted them to “put him down” (referring to an order to shoot the rival dealer) when they saw him. Malik Derry shot the victim in the head from close range while riding a bicycle past him as the victim stood in front of an Atlantic City restaurant.

The murder weapon, a stolen .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun, was later recovered from the drop ceiling in an apartment located on Green Street in Atlantic City, which, at the time, was shared by Mykal Derry and his girlfriend, Kimberly Spellman, 34, of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. Atlantic City police detectives also found 18 “bricks” of heroin (approximately 900 individual packets of heroin) and drug packaging materials inside the apartment.

The evidence presented by the government at trial consisted of recordings of hundreds of telephone calls and text messages between Mykal Derry, Malik Derry, and over 19 other members of the gang, physical evidence including the recovery of twenty firearms, ballistics evidence from shooting scenes, crime scene evidence from eight different shooting scenes in Atlantic City, recovery of substantial quantities of heroin and drug packaging materials, approximately $40,000 in drug proceeds, the testimony of dozens of FBI agents and Atlantic City police detectives, ballistics experts, a narcotics expert, and two cooperating witnesses who had previously pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking offenses.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Hillman sentenced Malik Derry to serve a term of 10 years of supervised release.

Mykal Derry was sentenced on Jan. 7, 2016 to life in prison.  He was previously convicted at trial of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, distributing heroin, maintaining a place for the purposes of storing and distributing heroin, possessing, brandishing and discharging firearms in furtherance of the drug conspiracy and using a communications device in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. 

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 Timothy Gallagher; the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Diane M. Ruberton; the Atlantic City Police Department, under the direction of Chief Henry White; and the South Jersey Safe Streets Violent Incident and Gang (Safe Streets) Task Force, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

He also thanked the N.J. State Police; the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Northfield Police Department; the Vineland Police Department; the Brigantine Police Department; and the Millville Police Department.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Askin and Justin Danilewitz of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Edmund Mallqui-Burgos of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.

Defense counsel:  Joshua Markowitz Esq., Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Updated August 19, 2016

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 16-241