|TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that two men have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for leading a drug trafficking network that distributed narcotics in a violent Jersey City neighborhood. A third man was sentenced to prison today for possession of PCP as a result of the same investigation.
David Gilliens, aka “Good Dude” or “GD,” 32, of Jersey City, was sentenced today to 20 years in state prison, including 10 years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Mitzy Galis-Menendez in Hudson County.
On January 24, Dempsey Collins, aka “Da” or Demps,” 33, of Jersey City, was sentenced by Judge Galis-Menendez to 20 years in state prison, including 12 years of parole ineligibility. Each man previously pleaded guilty to the first-degree crime of leading a narcotics trafficking network.
The two men were indicted in Operation Wetlands, an investigation by the New Jersey State Police, Jersey City Police Department, Division of Criminal Justice, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The drug ring, which included members of the Sex Money Murder set of the Bloods gang, sold heroin, PCP and marijuana in the Greenville section of Jersey City.
The investigation revealed that Collins had authority over the criminal enterprise, dictating the prices at which narcotics were sold, where and when drugs were sold, who sold what quantities, and how profits were divided. Gilliens had more hands-on leadership of the daily operations of the criminal enterprise.
Deputy Attorneys General Brandy Malfitano and Ray Mateo took the pleas from Collins and Gilliens for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.
“These lengthy prison sentences demonstrate our resolve to protect the public by marshaling all levels of law enforcement against the drug dealing that is fueling violence in our communities,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “Thanks to this operation, the people of Jersey City are free of the threat that was posed by these gangsters.”
“These drug dealers, who had ties to a faction of the Bloods street gang, were at the heart of the violence in this section of Jersey City,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We will continue to conduct proactive investigations that target the leadership and the most violent members of these criminal syndicates that are bringing murder and mayhem to our cities.”
Another defendant who was charged in the indictment, Narrell Lytch, 34, of East Orange, was sentenced today to five years in state prison by Judge Galis-Menendez. He pleaded guilty to second-degree possession of PCP with intent to distribute.
A fourth defendant named in the indictment, Kwadir Felton, 22, of Jersey City, is awaiting sentencing. He was convicted at trial on Nov. 14 of all charges against him related to an armed confrontation with a Jersey City police officer, including second-degree charges of conspiracy, unlawful possession of a gun and possession of a gun for an unlawful purpose. Deputy Attorneys General Malfitano and Mateo tried the case against Felton.
Felton was charged in connection with an armed confrontation with Sgt. Thomas McVicar of the Jersey City Police Department, which occurred on Jan. 10, 2010 while McVicar was conducting surveillance for this investigation. McVicar shot and wounded Felton, after Felton crouched down by the officer’s unmarked car, chambered a round in a 9 mm handgun, and pointed the gun at McVicar.
A total of 13 defendants were indicted in Operation Wetlands, and the remaining defendants face pending charges that include second-degree conspiracy to distribute narcotics and launder money. They are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
As a result of arrests made during the investigation and search warrants that were executed, evidence was seized including approximately 32 ounces of PCP, 35 bricks of heroin, a small amount of marijuana and oxycodone, two handguns, and approximately $32,000 in cash. Detectives arrested all of the defendants named in the indictment on or before Feb. 18, 2010.
The law enforcement partners for Operation Wetlands were part of the Violent Enterprise Source Targeting (V.E.S.T.) program, begun by the DEA to dismantle criminal organizations in New Jersey. Undercover troopers and officers made drug buys and conducted extensive surveillance to discern the scope, membership and hierarchy of this drug trafficking network.
Deputy Attorney General Erin Callahan presented the case to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. The investigation was led by Lt. Thomas Ryan and Detective Rebecca Velez of the New Jersey State Police Street Gang North Unit, and Sgt. Steven Trowbridge and Police Officer Anthony Goodman of the Jersey City Police Department. Attorney General Hoffman also credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and the DEA for their valuable assistance. The Hudson County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the arrests.