Three Admit Roles in Drug Trafficking Organization
CAMDEN, N.J. – Three members of a drug-trafficking organization have pleaded guilty to their roles in distributing significant amounts of drugs in Camden, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Ramon Velez, 43, of Camden, pleaded guilty today to an information charging one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl; Naeem Sadler, 19, also of Camden, pleaded guilty today to an information charging one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin within 1,000 feet of a school; Elisa Rivera, 27, of Camden, New Jersey, pleaded guilty on Oct. 29, 2019, to an information charging one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin within 1,000 feet of a school, all before U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb in Camden federal court.
Five other members of the drug-trafficking conspiracy based on the 500 block of Pine Street in Camden – Ronnie Lopez, Nelson Salcedo, Paul Salcedo, Waldemar Garcia, and William Carrillo – previously have pleaded guilty in this case. The charges against 11 other defendants remain pending, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
An investigation led by the FBI used surveillance, confidential informants, consensual recordings, over 40 controlled drug purchases, record checks, a GPS vehicle tracker, and several court-authorized wiretaps to uncover the operations of the drug-trafficking organization.
The counts to which Rivera and Sadler pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison, and a $2 million fine. The count to which Velez pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison, and a $5 million fine. Sentencing for all three defendants is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2020.
U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito 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 T. Harpster; the Camden County Police Department, under the direction of Chief Joseph Wysocki; the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer; the Camden County Sherriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Gilbert L. Wilson; the Cherry Hill Police Department, under the direction of Chief William P. Monaghan; and the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas. He also thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Department of Homeland Security for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sara A. Aliabadi and Patrick C. Askin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.