You are here

Justice News

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Leader Of Trenton Drug Trafficking Organization Pleads Guilty To Heroin Distribution Conspiracy, Unlawful Firearms Possession

Co-Defendant Sentenced to 42 Months in Prison


TRENTON, N.J. – One Trenton man was convicted and another sentenced to prison today for their roles in a drug trafficking organization that distributed hundreds of grams of heroin in the Trenton area, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.


Ishmael Abdullah, a/k/a “Ish,” a/k/a “Gangsta,” a/k/a “Papi,” 27, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.


Bernadino Guervil, 29, a/k/a “BG,” was sentenced today to 42 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Guervil previously pleaded guilty before Judge Wolfson to an information charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin.


In December 2016, Abdullah and nine other members of a drug trafficking organization operating in Trenton were charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin. The complaint referred to the drug trafficking organization as the “Abdullah DTO” after the organization’s leader. Abdullah is the sixth of the 10 defendants to plead guilty.


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


From May 2015 through December 2016, Abdullah and others participated in a drug trafficking organization that operated in the area of Spring and Passaic Streets in the Trenton.


Through the authorized interception of telephone calls and text messages, controlled purchases of heroin, the use of confidential sources of information, and other investigative means, law enforcement learned that Ishmael Abdullah was a leader of the Abdullah DTO, and was responsible for obtaining significant quantities of heroin from multiple suppliers, including Jose Joaquin Torres-Mezquita and Ileana Sanchez. Ishmael Abdullah and Keith Hunter coordinated the organization’s distribution of heroin through themselves and other conspirators, including Guervil. Members of the Abdullah DTO used temporary prepaid phones, stash houses and cars, and spoke in code to avoid detection by law enforcement.

During his plea hearing, Abdullah admitted that he conspired with others to distribute at least 400 grams of heroin. Abdullah, who is a previously convicted felon, also admitted knowingly possessing a SCCY Industries CPX-2 firearm.


The conspiracy charge to which Abdullah pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum potential sentence of 40 years in prison, and a $5 million fine. The firearms charge carries a maximum potential sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 27, 2017.


Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited agents and officers with the Greater Trenton Safe Streets Task Force, including special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Trenton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Newark Division, Trenton Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John B. Devito; officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Director Ernest Parrey Jr.; officers of the Princeton Police Department, under the direction of Chief Nicholas Sutter; officers of the Ewing Police Department, under the direction of Chief John P. Stemler III; and detectives of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri, with the investigation.


He also thanked special agents of the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Harpster; special agents of Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Debra Parker; officers of the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Col. Joseph R. Fuentes; and officers of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff John A. Kemler, for their assistance in the case.


The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Brendan Day of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.


The charges and allegations against the remaining defendants are merely accusations, and those defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Press Release Number: 
Updated August 16, 2017