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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 21, 2019

Twenty Defendants Indicted On Drug Trafficking Charges, One Defendant Charged With Unlawfully Possessing 11 Firearms

TRENTON, N.J. – Twenty defendants have been indicted on charges relating to the distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine in the Burlington County, New Jersey, area, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

The defendants indicted today are among 31 people charged by complaint on Sept. 26, 2019. Charges remain pending against the other 11 defendants.

Herbert Mays, Andre Morton, Ronnie Dawson, Teron Huggins, Rufus Williams, Gurnsey Flagg, Roniffe Gaines, John Petrovich, Linford Johnson, Nathaniel McCoy, Anthony Pruitt, Shameke Fowler, Julius Thigpen, III, Andrew Perkins, and Brandon Watts were charged in a superseding indictment with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.

Additionally, Mays, Morton, Dawson, Flagg, Gaines, Petrovich, Johnson, Fowler, Perkins, Craig Moore, Tracy Williams, Samantha Bohlert, Mecca Grant, and April Branson were charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine. Rufus Williams also was charged with possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

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

Between July 2019 and September 2019, the defendants and others engaged in large-scale narcotics conspiracies that operated primarily throughout Burlington County – including Willingboro, Burlington City, Burlington Township, Bordentown Township, Edgewater Park, Mount Laurel, and Westampton – and which sought to profit from the distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine. Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that defendants obtained regular supplies of cocaine and then redistributed that cocaine, portions of which defendants converted into crack cocaine, to distributors, sub-dealers, and end-users throughout Burlington County and elsewhere.

The counts of conspiracy to distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine and 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, each carry a maximum penalty of life in prison and a fine of $10 million. The count charging Rufus Williams with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $1 million fine. The count charging Rufus Williams with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a statutory mandatory minimum term of five years in prison and a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, which must be served consecutive to the sentence imposed on the drug trafficking crime. The count charging Rufus Williams with being a felon in possession of a firearm carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Both firearms counts also carry a maximum fine equal to the greatest of $250,000, twice the gross amount of any pecuniary gain that any persons derived from the offense, or twice the gross amount of any pecuniary loss sustained by any victim of the offense.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Trenton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie; special agents of ATF, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; detectives of the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Scott Coffina; officers of the Burlington Township Police Department, under the direction of Director of Public Safety Bruce Painter; officers of the Willingboro Police Department, under the direction of Director of Public Safety Kinamo Lomon; officers of the Burlington City Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police John Fine; officers of the Florence Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Brian Boldizar; officers of the Bordentown Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Brian Pesche; officers of the Edgewater Park Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Robert Hess; officers of the Mount Laurel Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Stephen Reidener; officers of the Ewing Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police John Stemler; officers of the Westampton Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Stephen Ent; and officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Director Sheilah Coley, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Martha K. Nye and Ray Mateo of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.

The charges and allegations contained in the superseding indictment and complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
19-376
Updated November 21, 2019