Gloucester Man Admits Trafficking Prescription Pills and Engaging in SNAP Fraud
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Gloucester City, New Jersey, man today admitted conspiring to distribute Adderall, selling oxycodone, and defrauding the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in connection with his role in a drug trafficking ring operating in and around Gloucester City, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Michael DePoder, 41, of Gloucester City, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb to an information charging him with one count each of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute Adderall, distributing oxycodone, and unlawfully acquiring and using SNAP benefits.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
DePoder admitted that on multiple occasions from December 2019 to March 2020, he distributed Adderall, a Schedule II controlled substance containing amphetamine, to his father, Rocco DePoder, as part of a drug distribution conspiracy. Michael DePoder also sold oxycodone pills to an associate on March 8, 2020. He also admitted unlawfully acquiring SNAP benefits in exchange for controlled substances and unlawfully using and possessing those and other SNAP benefits totaling $2,676. SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp program, is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Michael DePoder was charged along with 17 others in March 2020 in connection with an investigation by the FBI into the illegal distribution of prescription drugs, including high dosage oxycodone pills, to customers in Gloucester City and Camden.
The drug conspiracy and distribution counts are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and the SNAP fraud counts are punishable by up to five years in prison. Michael DePoder also faces a fine of up to $1,000,000 on each of the drug distribution offense and a fine of up to $250,000 for the SNAP fraud offense. As part of his plea agreement, he must pay $2,676 in restitution. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 24, 2021.
Eleven other defendants – Rocco DePoder, 68, Marcus Rushworth, 47, and Kenneth Rushworth, 60, all of Gloucester City; Alfred Kee, Jr., 52, of Blackwood, New Jersey; Robert Pratt, 57, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, formerly of Blackwood; Wayne Muse, 74, of Lindenwold, New Jersey; Eric Bell, 50, Steven Walker, 50, Alexander Siaca, 55, all of Camden; Antwan Tucker, 51, of Woodbury, New Jersey; and Anwar Abdullah, 32, of Pennsauken, New Jersey – previously pleaded guilty before Judge Bumb to informations charging them with drug trafficking offenses involving the distribution of prescription drugs. They are all awaiting sentencing.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig 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 Gabriel Rodriguez; 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.
She also thanked the FBI Newark Division, New Jersey State Police, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration 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 and allegations contained in the complaints and indictments against the remaining defendants are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.