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Justice News

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


Queens, N.Y., Man Sentenced To 210 Months In Prison For Role In New Jersey Heroin Distribution Conspiracy

NEWARK, N.J. – A St. Albans, N.Y., man was sentenced today to 210 months in prison for his involvement in a scheme to distribute heroin in and through New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Ronald Burnell Bassett, 62, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls to Count One of an Indictment charging him with knowingly and intentionally conspiring to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Judge Walls imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

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

Pursuant to federal wiretap orders, the first of which was initiated in December 2009, DEA special agents were able to intercept Bassett’s telephone conversations. The monitored calls and other law enforcement information revealed that Bassett was distributing large amounts of heroin. During the calls, agents overheard Bassett agreeing to deliver heroin to others, among them, James Edward Pender, 42, of Newark, who appeared before Judge Walls on June 5, 2012, and pleaded guilty in connection with his role in the heroin distribution scheme. Agents observed Bassett meeting with Pender on numerous occasions and learned that at least some of the heroin originating with Bassett was delivered to individuals in the Monroeville, Pa., area.

To date, 20 people have been charged for their roles in this heroin distribution conspiracy. Approximately seven kilograms of heroin and $450,000 have been seized.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Walls sentenced Bassett to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay a $17,500 fine.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the DEA’s New Jersey Division, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert G. Koval, with the investigation leading to today’s sentence.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharon Ashe, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Narcotics/Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit in Newark.


Defense counsel: Ronald Rubinstein Esq., New York

Updated March 18, 2015