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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Two Members Of Trenton Drug Trafficking Organization Plead Guilty

TRENTON, N.J. – Two Trenton, New Jersey, men admitted their roles in a drug trafficking organization that allegedly distributed hundreds of grams of heroin in Trenton and the surrounding areas, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced today.

 

Keith Hunter, a/k/a “Meech,” 24, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. On March 29, 2017, Thomas Rogers, a/k/a “Herb,” a/k/a “T-Rod,” 23, pleaded guilty before Judge Wolfson to a separate information charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. As part of their guilty pleas, Rogers and Hunter both admitted possessing at least one firearm during the conspiracy.

 

In December 2016, Hunter, Rogers, and eight other members of a drug trafficking organization operating in Trenton were charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin. The complaint referred to the drug trafficking organization as the “Abdullah DTO,” after its alleged leader, Ishmael Abdullah. Hunter and Rogers are the first of the 10 defendants to plead guilty.

 

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

 

From June 2015 through December 2016, Hunter, Rogers and others engaged in a drug trafficking organization that operated in the area of Spring and Passaic Streets in Trenton. Through the authorized interception of telephone calls and text messages, controlled purchases of heroin, the use of confidential sources of information, and other investigative means, law enforcement learned that defendant Ishmael Abdullah was a leader of the Abdullah DTO and was responsible for obtaining significant quantities of heroin from multiple suppliers, including from defendants Jose Joaquin Torres-Mezquita and Ileana Sanchez. Abdullah and Hunter coordinated the organization’s distribution of heroin through themselves and other conspirators, including Rogers. Members of the Abdullah DTO used temporary prepaid phones, stash houses and cars, and spoke in code to avoid detection by law enforcement. In connection with their narcotics conspiracy, Rogers, Hunter, and other members of the Abdullah DTO maintained joint access to multiple firearms.

 

The conspiracy charge to which Hunter and Rogers pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison, and a $5 million fine. Rogers and Hunter will be sentenced on July 10, 2017, and July 7, 2017 respectively.

 

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited agents and officers with the Greater Trenton Safe Streets Task Force, including special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Trenton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Newark Division, Trenton Satellite Office, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Scott C. Curley; officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Director Ernest Parrey Jr.; 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; and detectives of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri, with the investigation.

 

He also thanked special agents of the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Harpster; special agents of Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Terence S. Opiola; officers of the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Col. Joseph R. Fuentes; and officers of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff John A. Kemler, for their assistance in the case.

 

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

 

The charges and allegations against the remaining defendants are merely accusations and those defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

Defense counsel:

 

Rogers: David R. Oakley Esq., Princeton

Hunter: Robert J. Haney Esq., Princeton

17-096
Topic: 
Drug Trafficking
Updated March 30, 2017