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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
March 10, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Vaughn L. McKoy, Director

 

John R. Hagerty
609-984-1936

 

Attorney General’s “Gangs, Guns and Drugs” Initiative Returns to Atlantic County as Part of Continuing Investigation Targeting Illegal Drug Trafficking
Atlantic County Prosecutor, Pleasantville P.D. and Division of Criminal Justice Bust Pleasantville-Based Narcotics Operation

 

Pleasantville, Atlantic County - Attorney General Peter C. Harvey today announced the arrest of 12 members of an organized drug trafficking cartel allegedly responsible for operating and controlling a significant portion of the cocaine and crack cocaine trade in the Pleasantville area of Atlantic County. The investigation, initiated by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and the Pleasantville Police Department and dubbed “Operation Pleasant Streets,” remains ongoing and additional arrests are expected.

Attorney General Harvey noted that the Pleasantville-based illegal drug trafficking network significantly increased operations in the aftermath of the 2004 Attorney General-led investigation which targeted a large-scale drug trafficking network operating out of the Atlantic City-based Stanley Holmes Housing Complex. The Atlantic City investigation (Operation Lord Stanley) resulted in the arrest and indictment of 22 individuals, including the leadership and street-level distribution network, responsible for a significant amount of the cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana trafficking in the South Jersey area.

“Today’s arrests represent the second wave in a concerted and comprehensive attack on drug trafficking in the South Jersey area, arriving in the aftermath of a series of 2004 arrests and indictments in Atlantic City which significantly impacted the local drug trade,” said Attorney General Harvey. “The ‘Gangs, Guns & Drugs’ initiative will continue to assist Atlantic County law enforcement with the principal goal to reduce the level of violence in Atlantic City and surrounding areas. The full weight of the Attorney General’s Office, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Pleasantville Police Department have been dispatched to eliminate drug dealing and gang activity in the Pleasantville area. Drug dealers and gang members are on notice that we are in town.”

Joining Attorney General Harvey to announce the arrests were Vaughn L. McKoy, Director, Division of Criminal Justice, Jeffrey L. Blitz, Atlantic County Prosecutor, Pleasantville Police Chief Dwayne Comeaux, Chief State Investigator Anne Kriegner, Assistant Attorney General Terry Merced, Supervisor of the Division of Criminal Justice Narcotics Bureau - South Unit, and law enforcement representatives from the participating police agencies. The law enforcement officials noted that the arrests result from an extensive, six-month, joint-agency investigation begun by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and the Pleasantville Police Department. The New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice provided additional investigative resources.

Director McKoy, Prosecutor Blitz, and Chief Comeaux said the joint-agency investigation targeted the leadership hierarchy and street-level dealers allegedly selling large quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine in the Pleasantville-Sicklerville areas of Atlantic and Camden counties. During the initial stages of the investigation, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and the Pleasantville Police Department developed information regarding the extent and level of the alleged illegal drug activity. As a result of prior arrests, investigative leads, undercover police activities, and the development of intelligence information developed by investigators from the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and detectives from the Pleasantville P.D., the extent of the illegal drug activity, along with potential targets of the investigation, were identified. Ultimately, investigators assigned to “Operation Pleasant Streets” were able to uncover drug connections as far south as Cumberland County and as far west as Philadelphia, PA. The cartel is alleged to be responsible for controlling a significant portion of the cocaine and crack cocaine trade in the South Jersey area.

Prosecutor Blitz commended the law enforcement officers involved in the operation who placed their lives at risk to create a better quality of life for the people of Pleasantville and Atlantic County. “It is anticipated that these types of cooperative undercover drug operations will continue, not only to apprehend remaining criminal drug offenders, but also to deter others who might consider the drug trade a lucrative business," Blitz said.

Chief Comeaux noted that the Pleasantville Police Department expended extensive police resources to pursue the investigation with the goal of getting drug dealers off the streets and out of the neighborhoods. “This investigation is a true partnership which resulted in the arrests of individuals dealing significant quantities of drugs in Pleasantville and the surrounding communities. The success of this operation will result in safer streets and neighborhoods,” Comeaux said.

According to Criminal Justice Director McKoy, the undercover aspect of “Operation Pleasant Streets”ended with the early morning (Thurs., March 10) arrest of 12 alleged leaders and members of the drug trafficking cartel. Charges include criminal conspiracy, criminal racketeering, and distribution and possession of controlled dangerous substances. “Operation Pleasant Streets” included the execution of search warrants at four locations in Atlantic and Camden counties and resulted in the confiscation of two kilograms (approximately four pounds) of cocaine with a street value of more than $100,000 and more than 11 ounces of processed crack cocaine. Additionally, over $10,000 in cash has been seized, along with the confiscation of two illegal handguns. As the investigation continues, it is anticipated that late-model vehicles, property, and other assets obtained from the illegal drug activity will be identified and subject to forfeiture proceedings.

The investigation determined that the cartel operated as an organized “business” under the direction of identified leaders responsible for coordinating drug transactions between the streets of Pleasantville, Atlantic City, the Sicklerville area, and other locations in South Jersey. It is alleged that the illegal operation obtained cocaine from sources in Atlantic City, Philadelphia, and New York and processed some of the drug into “crack” for street-level distribution in the Pleasantville area.

The investigation targeted the alleged manufacture and distribution activities of the purported leader and Pleasantville resident Antwine Loper (charged in August, 2004 via a State Grand Jury indictment as a significant participant in the “Operation Lord Stanley” drug distribution investigation), Stalin Cabral (the alleged supplier to Loper), Sicklerville resident Farrah Charles, and street-level distributors throughout the area. The Affidavit of Probable Cause for Loper’s arrest alleged that evidence developed during the course of the investigation revealed that Loper utilized two Pleasantville residential addresses - 605 Lafayette Ave., 120 Sassafras Run, and 304 Erial-New Brooklyn Road located in Sicklerville, Camden County - as distribution locations for the illegal cocaine and crack manufacturing network. It is charged that the various residential locations were used by Loper and others to store cocaine and the proceeds of narcotics transactions, to conduct narcotics transactions, to arrange for narcotics sales, to manufacture crack, and to re-package cocaine for sale to street-level customers.

“Operation Pleasant Streets” was initiated by the Pleasantville Police Department and received legal, investigative, and administrative support from Deputy Attorneys General and state investigators assigned to the Division of Criminal Justice - Major Narcotics Bureau, South Unit and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. Additionally, Chief John Coyle and Captain Matt Coyle of the Egg Harbor Township Police Department and law enforcement personnel from the Margate Police Department, Northfield Police Department, Galloway Township Police Department, and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration - Atlantic City Office, assisted in the investigation.

In announcing “Operation Pleasant Streets,” Attorney General Harvey noted that the Attorney General’s Office and the “Gangs, Guns & Drugs” initiative is in place to coordinate a law enforcement strategy targeting illegal drug distribution and gang activities across the state. The “Gangs, Guns & Drugs” initiative centers on the deployment of State Investigators from the Division of Criminal Justice working with numerous federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies.

Attorney General Harvey noted that in March, 2004, the Division of Criminal Justice, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Atlantic City P.D. arrested and charged the leaders and members of a drug trafficking cartel alleged to be operating out of the Stanley Holmes Housing Complex in Atlantic City. That investigation, “Operation Lord Stanley,” resulted in the State Grand Jury returning indictments against 22 members of the alleged cartel on charges of criminal conspiracy, leader of a narcotics trafficking network, and distribution and possession of controlled dangerous substances. The indictment charged that the illegal narcotics operation, one of the largest and most organized drug trafficking networks yet uncovered in the Atlantic City area, was allegedly responsible for controlling a significant portion of the cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana trade in Atlantic City. The defendants are pending trial in the Atlantic County Superior Court.

Attorney General Harvey and Criminal Justice Director McKoy credited the law enforcement personnel for their dedicated work in pursuing the continuing and often complicated investigation. Supervising Deputy Attorney’s General John-Robin Quelch and John Corson of the Division of Criminal Justice - Major Narcotics Bureau coordinated the investigation, prepared search and arrest warrants, and will present the cases to the State Grand Jury. Acting Supervising State Investigator Allan Buecker and State Investigators Michael Emmer and Tracy Wich of the Division of Criminal Justice - Major Narcotics Bureau, South Unit, Sgt. Robert Kelly and Investigator Dan Kallen of the Atlantic County Prosecutors Office, and Sgt. Rocky Melendez of the Pleasantville P.D. conducted the investigation.

In the interest of investigative security and pursuant to established court requirements, the Attorney General’s Office, the Division of Criminal Justice and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office is limited in discussing specific details regarding the ongoing investigation and the alleged conspiracies. All persons charged in criminal complaints are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Additional information, including arrest warrants, defendant photographs, and an organizational chart of the alleged narcotics trafficking cartel, is available via the Division of Criminal Justice Web site at www.NJDCJ.org.

# # #

"Operation Pleasant Streets" Defendant List top

  • Antwine Loper, aka “Twan,” 36, 120 Sassafras Run, Pleasantville, Atlantic County. Charged with distribution or manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and criminal conspiracy. Arrested on Feb. 11. Remains in custody in the Atlantic County Jail in lieu of $750,000 cash bail;
  • Stalin A. Cabral, 25, 27 Shadeland Ave., Pleasantville, Atlantic County. Charged with distribution or manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and criminal conspiracy. Arrested on Feb. 11. Remains in custody in the Atlantic County Jail in lieu of $1.5 million;
  • Farrah A. Charles, 304 Erial - New Brooklyn Road, Sicklerville, Camden County. Charged with distribution or manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and criminal conspiracy. Arrested on Feb. 11. Released on $50,000 cash bail;
  • Lamont T. Boasmond, 37, 919 N. Ohio Ave., Atlantic City, Atlantic County. Charged with distribution or manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and criminal conspiracy. Arrested on Feb. 11. Released on $50,000 cash bail;
  • Cullen T. Hughes, 34, 111 Belmont Ave., Pleasantville, Atlantic County. Charged with distribution or manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and criminal conspiracy;
  • Holly L. Slotter, 40, 1506 6th Ave., Pleasantville, Atlantic County. Charged with distribution or manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and criminal conspiracy;
  • Edward Andujar, 27, 5 South Franklin Blvd., Pleasantville, Atlantic County. Charged with distribution or manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and criminal conspiracy;
  • John Pruchnicki, 32, 72 Kay Ave., Hammonton, Atlantic County. Charged with distribution or manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and criminal conspiracy;
  • Stephen T. Foy, 29, 2425 Shepherd Circle, Northfield, Atlantic County. Charged with distribution or manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and criminal conspiracy;
  • Rahim A. Cherry, 29, 1008 Ohio Ave., Atlantic City, Atlantic County. Charged with distribution or manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and criminal conspiracy;
  • Lamont L. Loper, 38, 725 Grove Street, Bridgeton, Cumberland County. Charged with distribution or manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and criminal conspiracy;
  • Marlon M. Callender, 725 Stratford Ave., Pleasantville, Atlantic County. Charged with distribution or manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and criminal conspiracy.

"Operation Pleasant Streets" Search Warrant Locations top

  • 605 Lafayette Ave., Pleasantville, Atlantic County. Alleged “stash” house and operational location for Antwine Loper and the alleged illegal narcotics trafficking network
  • 304 Erial - New Brooklyn Road, Sicklerville, Camden County. Alleged “stash” house and operational location for Antwine Loper and the alleged illegal narcotics trafficking network and the residence of Farrah Charles
  • 913 New York Avenue, Atlantic City, Atlantic County
  • 27 Shadeland Avenue, Pleasantville, Atlantic County

# # #

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