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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Leader Of Atlantic City Drug Trafficking Organization And Coconspirator Plead Guilty

CAMDEN, N.J. – Two members of an Atlantic City drug-trafficking organization, including the leader of the organization, pleaded guilty today to distributing large amounts of heroin throughout Atlantic City, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.

Khalif Toombs, 30, of Egg Harbor Township, NJ, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin.

Nasir Brown, 27, of Atlantic City, NJ, also pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin.

Eight other members of the drug trafficking conspiracy – Wilbert Toombs, Quadir Stanley, Dean Johnson, Khalif Davis, Joseph Aversa, Thomas Randall, Mayda Hernandez, and Sarah Taliaferro – previously have pleaded guilty. The charges against twelve other defendants remain pending.

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

Toombs, Brown, and other members of the drug conspiracy trafficked heroin from Paterson, New Jersey and into Atlantic City, New Jersey throughout the course of the investigation. Toombs admitted in court to conspiring with others to traffic between three and ten kilograms of heroin during this time and to being a manager and supervisor of the drug trafficking conspiracy which operated throughout Atlantic County. An investigation led by the FBI used physical and video surveillance, confidential informants, consensual recordings, and two court authorized wiretaps to uncover the operations of Toombs and his many coconspirators. The investigation tracked multiple stamps of heroin being distributed by Toombs and others, including, “AK-47,” “Apple,” “Fortnite,” “Rolex,” “Frank Lucas,” “Bentley,” “Pandora,” and “9 ½.” Between January 1, 2017 and June 21, 2019, these stamps have accounted for 48 deaths and 84 non-fatal overdoses in the State of New Jersey.

The count to which Toombs pleaded guilty carries a mandatory penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of a life in prison, and up to a $10 million fine. His sentencing is scheduled for May 12, 2020.

The count to which Brown pleaded guilty carries a mandatory penalty of 5 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison, and up to a $5 million fine. His sentencing is scheduled for May 12, 2020.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI’s Safe Streets South Jersey Violent Incident and Gang Task Force, Atlantic City Resident Agency, and FBI-Newark, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie; officers of the Atlantic City Police Department, under the direction of Chief Henry White; the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Damon Tyner; the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Eric Scheffler; and the Pleasantville Police Department, under the direction of Chief Sean Riggin, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty pleas. He also thanked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; and the N.J. State Police for their assistance.

This case is being conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Martha K. Nye of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.

For the twelve defendants whose charges remain pending, the charges and allegations are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defense counsel:
Toombs: Jerome Ballarotto Esq., Trenton, New Jersey
Brown: Mark Catanzaro Esq., Mount Holly, New Jersey

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
20-056
Updated February 5, 2020