Former New Jersey Resident Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Conspiring to Distribute Fentanyl Analogue
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Camden County, New Jersey, man today admitted buying and reselling high-dosage oxycodone pills in Gloucester City, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Kenneth Rushworth, 59, of Gloucester City, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb to an information charging him with distributing and possessing with intent to distribute a quantity of oxycodone. He is the fourth individual to plead guilty for his role in drug trafficking operations based in Gloucester City and Camden.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
In communications that were intercepted during a wiretap investigation led by the FBI, Rushworth asked Rocco DePoder to provide Rushworth with $1,100 for high-dosage oxycodone pills on Jan. 25, 2020. Rushworth and DePoder then met in Gloucester City and, in exchange for the $1,100, Rushworth sold DePoder a quantity of 60 mg. oxycodone pills, which Rushworth had purchased from another individual for $900. Rushworth was aware that DePoder intended to re-distribute those high-dose pills.
On July 7, 2020, Wayne Muse pleaded guilty to his involvement in the drug trafficking operations with DePoder and Erick Bell. DePoder, Bell, and others were charged in criminal complaints in March 2020. On Aug. 11, 2020, Robert Pratt, 57, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, formerly of Blackwood, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before Judge Bumb to an information charging him with distributing and possessing with intent to distribute a quantity of oxycodone. On Aug. 12, 2020, Steven Walker, 47, of Camden, pleaded guilty before Judge Bumb to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of oxycodone and one count of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute a quantity of oxycodone. The individuals who have pleaded guilty await sentencing.
The count of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute a quantity of oxycodone carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Rushworth’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 4, 2021.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, Philadelphia Division, South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll; 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 today’s guilty plea. 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 of the Newark Office.
The charges against DePoder and Bell remain pending, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.