Three Camden Men Convicted of Drug Trafficking and Firearms Charges
CAMDEN, N.J. – Three Camden men have been convicted by a federal jury of conspiring to sell cocaine base (crack cocaine), furanyl fentanyl, and heroin, distributing and possessing with intent to distribute these drugs, being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun, and witness tampering, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
John Gunther a/k/a “Critty,” 35, Taleaf Gunther a/k/a “Leafy” and “L,” 33, and William Roland a/k/a “Chill,” 37, were convicted April 18, 2019, after an 11-day trial before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden federal court. The jury deliberated for about a day-and-a-half before returning guilty verdicts on 10 counts.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
Brothers John and Taleaf Gunther worked together to lead a prolific drug trafficking organization that sold crack cocaine, heroin, and the synthetic opioid furanyl fentanyl around the 1700 block of Filmore Street in Camden, which was controlled by the organization. Roland assisted the Gunther brothers as a manager within the organization. Ten members of the drug ring were initially arrested in June 2017 following a long-term investigation by the FBI, which utilized multiple telephone wiretaps, surveillance, confidential informants, cooperating witnesses, more than 20 controlled drug purchases, a GPS vehicle tracker and four court-authorized search warrants, among other investigative techniques. The investigation ultimately led to the seizure of more than 300 grams of crack cocaine, quantities of furanyl fentanyl and heroin, a firearm, and drug paraphernalia. Shortly after the execution of search warrants in the case, investigators learned that Taleaf Gunther also attempted to bribe another member of the conspiracy to lie to police about a handgun recovered from a residence he used. An eleventh member of the organization was charged in 2018.
The defendants face a maximum penalty of life in prison, a fine of up to $10 million, and at least 10 years of supervised release. Each of the defendants have multiple prior felonies in state court and, therefore, face possible mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years in prison.
The eight other defendants – Mark Campbell a/k/a “D” and Diz,” 39, Daron Suiter, 24, Davon Leak, 20, George Williams, 44, Karim Johnson, a/k/a “Chicky,” 40, Latoya Whealton a/k/a “Toya,” 34, Rajai Gaines, a/k/a “Jigga,” and Malcolm McCoy, 28 – previously pleaded guilty. Gaines and Johnson were each sentenced to 10 years in prison, Leak to 74 months in prison and Suiter to five years in prison. Campbell, Whealton, McCoy and Williams are awaiting sentencing.
U.S. Attorney 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 Harpster in Philadelphia; 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. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to the guilty verdicts.
He also thanked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Gloucester Township Police Department, 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. Attorneys Gabriel J. Vidoni and Alisa Shver of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.