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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Supplier to Trenton Drug Trafficking Conspiracy Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison for Heroin Distribution and Firearms Offenses

TRENTON, N.J. – A Trenton man was sentenced today to 204 months in prison for his role as a supplier to a significant drug trafficking conspiracy that distributed more than one kilogram of heroin in Trenton and the surrounding area, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

David Antonio, a/k/a “Pop,” a/k/a “Papi,” a/k/a “Santiago Ramirez,” 32, previously pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court to Count One of a third superseding indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Judge Wolfson imposed the sentence today by videoconference.

In October 2018, Antonio, and 25 other individuals were charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin. On Feb. 27, 2020, a grand jury returned a 10-count third superseding indictment charging Antonio and six other defendants with conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and various other drug and firearm offenses. Twenty-three of the 26 defendants charged in the complaint have pleaded guilty.

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

From October 2017 to October 2018, the defendant and others engaged in a large drug trafficking conspiracy that operated in the areas of Martin Luther King Boulevard, Sanford Street, Middle Rose Street, Southard Street, Hoffman Avenue, Chambers Street, and Coolidge Avenue in Trenton, and which sought to profit from the distribution of heroin and numerous other controlled substances. Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, controlled purchases of heroin, the use of confidential sources of information, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that conspirators Jakir Taylor and Jerome Roberts obtained regular supplies of hundreds of “bricks” of heroin from Antonio. Intercepted communications among Taylor, Roberts, Antonio, and other conspirators revealed that Taylor and Roberts agreed to obtain from Antonio, and that Antonio agreed to supply, a “motherlode” of as many as 1,400 bricks of heroin in a single delivery – equating to approximately 1.5 kilograms of heroin. Taylor told Antonio that he intended to “flood the streets” of Trenton with this large supply, and Antonio agreed to supply a sufficient amount of heroin to Taylor that would allow him to do so. In communications with Taylor, Antonio indicated that he was “filling the bags” up with heroin and fentanyl. During coordinated arrests on Oct. 25, 2018, law enforcement arrested Antonio at a residence in Trenton, and recovered more than 1.4 kilograms of heroin, in addition to a significant amount of paraphernalia used to package heroin for distribution.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Wolfson sentenced Antonio to five years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Trenton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Division, Trenton Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah Coley; officers of the Princeton Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Nicholas Sutter; officers of the Ewing Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police John P. Stemler III; officers of the Burlington Township Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Bruce Painter; and detectives of the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, under the  direction of Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. He also thanked officers of the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Col. Patrick J. Callahan; detectives of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Angelo Onofri; officers of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff John A. Kemler; and members of the New Jersey State Board of Parole for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of the case.

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

This case was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the FBI’s Greater Trenton Safe Streets Task Force, a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to enhance the identification, apprehension, and prosecution of individuals involved in gang-related activities, violent crime, and drug distribution in and around the greater Trenton area. 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 three remaining defendants charged in this case are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
20-297
Updated September 16, 2020