Members Of Camden, New Jersey, Drug Trafficking Organization Charged With Drug Conspiracy And Firearm Offenses
CAMDEN, N.J. – Two Camden-area men were charged by a federal grand jury today in connection with their roles in a drug distribution organization, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Preston J. Thomas, 30, a/k/a “Boo,” of Camden, was charged in a superseding indictment with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The superseding indictment also charged Jeffrey Whitaker, 33, a/k/a “Jay,” a/k/a “Jay Black,” and a/k/a “Black,” of Collingswood, with the same drug trafficking conspiracy offense.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Thomas, Whitaker and others were originally charged by complaint on Sept. 9, 2016, following a long-term investigation by the FBI’s South Jersey Violent Offender and Gang Task Force. Law enforcement officers seized drugs and recovered two handguns that were kept by members of the conspiracy in connection with the organization’s drug trafficking activities. Investigators also intercepted communications pursuant to court-authorized wiretaps on cellular telephones used by several members of the conspiracy.
Two conspirators identified in the indictment have already pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and firearm offenses.
On Jan. 17, 2017, Jason Boyd, 36, a/k/a “Teddy,” a/k/a “Teddy Reek,” and a/k/a “Fatboy,” pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle in Camden federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Boyd’s sentencing is scheduled for April 28, 2017.
On Dec. 8, 2016, Derek Stallworth, 20, a/k/a “AK” and a/k/a “A,” of Camden, also pleaded guilty before Judge Simandle to the same charges. His sentencing is scheduled for March 24, 2017.
The drug distribution conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The firearms charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison to be served consecutively to the sentence for the conspiracy charge.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s South Jersey Violent Offender and Gang Task Force, South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Harpster; the Camden County Police Department, under the direction of Chief J. Scott Thomson; the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo; and the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Rick Fuentes, with the investigation leading to today’s indictment.
He also thanked the Camden County Sheriff’s Department, the Cherry Hill Police Department, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gabriel J. Vidoni of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Thomas: Maggie Moy Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden
Whitaker: Mark Catanzaro Esq., Mt. Holly, New Jersey