Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Camden Man Sentenced to 87 Months in Prison for Conspiring to Distribute over 1 Kilogram of Heroin

 CAMDEN, N.J. B A Camden man was sentenced today to 87 months in prison for conspiring to distribute more than 1 kilogram of heroin, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.  

David Velez, 31, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance (heroin) from June 2018 through November 2018. Judge Bumb imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.

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

Using confidential informants, consensual recordings, over 40 controlled drug purchases, and court-authorized wiretaps, the investigation showed a large-scale drug operation in the 400-500 block of Pine Street in Camden in 2017-2018. Street-level sellers were supervised by managers, who also resupplied them with pre-packaged heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine. Velez and his brother, Ramon Velez, sold heroin from the area surrounding his residence on Morgan Boulevard. David Velez was arrested on January 8, 2019.

Nineteen defendants were arrested on drug trafficking charges based on the investigation; 16 defendants have pleaded guilty on drug conspiracy charges, 12 of whom are awaiting sentencing. The remaining three defendants are awaiting trial.

The following co-defendants have been previously sentenced: Kaliel Johnson, 28, sentenced on June 3, 2021, to 110 months in prison; Ramon Velez, 44, sentenced on June 9, 2021, to 10 years in prison; Naeem Sadler, 21, sentenced on July 27, 2021, to 130 months in prison; and William Carrillo, 45, sentenced on Aug. 3, 2021, to 130 months in prison.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Bumb sentenced David Velez to five years of supervised release.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI’s South Jersey Violent Offender and Gang Task Force, South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bradley S. Benavides; the Camden County Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gabriel Rodriguez; 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 Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. She also thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Department of Homeland Security for their assistance.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick C. Askin and Sara Aliabadi of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Camden Office.  

The charges and allegations against the three defendants awaiting trial are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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