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Justice News

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

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Two Atlantic County Men Sentenced For Their Roles In Large-Scale Crack Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy

CAMDEN, N.J. – Two Atlantic County, New Jersey, men were each given multi-year prison sentences for their participation in a nearly three-year conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine in the Atlantic City, New Jersey area, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced today.

John Wellman, 41, of Atlantic City, New Jersey, was sentenced today to 130 months in prison. Ronald Douglas Byrd, 51, of Pleasantville, New Jersey, was sentenced July 11, 2017 to 96 months in prison. Both defendants previously pleaded guilty to Count One of an indictment charging them with conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle imposed both sentences in Camden federal court.

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

From February 2012 through Dec. 10, 2014, Byrd, Wellman and others engaged in a drug trafficking conspiracy through which Byrd distributed more than one kilogram of crack cocaine and Wellman distributed more than 280 grams of crack cocaine. Members of the conspiracy used Byrd’s Pleasantville residence and at least two other residences in Pleasantville and Absecon, New Jersey – including one that was rented by Wellman – to store and package cocaine and crack cocaine.

In addition to the prison terms, Judge Simandle sentenced both defendants to five years of supervised release.

The U.S Attorney’s Office charged a total of 12 individuals for their participation in this drug trafficking conspiracy. All of those charged, with the exception of one defendant who remains a fugitive, have been convicted of their roles in the drug trafficking conspiracy or related charges.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI’s Newark Division, Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark; the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski; the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Diane M. Ruberton; and the Atlantic City Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Henry White, with the investigation leading to these convictions.

He also thanked the N.J. State Police; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)-Homeland Security Investigation (HSI); U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and the Ventnor, Northfield and Millville police departments for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Diana Vondra Carrig and Howard Wiener of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

Defense counsel:

Byrd: Michael Huff Esq., Philadelphia

Wellman: John F. Renner Esq., Marlton, New Jersey

Press Release Number: 
Updated July 13, 2017