CAMDEN CITY N.J. – Two members of a drug-trafficking organization have pleaded guilty this week to distributing significant amounts of illegal drugs in Camden, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Paul Salcedo, 29, of Camden, New Jersey, pleaded guilty Oct. 10, 2019, and Waldemar Garcia, 33, of Camden, pleaded guilty Oct. 7, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb in Camden federal court, to their respective roles in a drug trafficking conspiracy that was based on the 500 block of Pine Street in Camden. The pleas reflected that the members of the drug-trafficking organization sold massive amounts of heroin as well as crack cocaine, cocaine, and fentanyl in and around Camden. Salcedo also admitted his role as a manager or supervisor of the conspiracy.
Two top-level managers of the drug-trafficking conspiracy, Ronnie Lopez and Nelson Salcedo, previously pleaded guilty in this case. The charges against 15 other defendants in this case remain pending.
According to documents filed in this case:
An investigation led by the FBI used surveillance tactics, confidential informants, consensual recordings, over 40 controlled drug purchases, record checks, a GPS vehicle tracker, and several court-authorized wiretaps to uncover the operations of the Camden drug-trafficking organization.
The counts to which Waldemar Garcia and Paul Salcedo pleaded guilty carry a mandatory penalty of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison, and a $5 million fine.
U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI’s South Jersey Violent Offender and Gang Task Force, South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Harpster; the Camden County Police Department, under the direction of Chief Joseph Wysocki; 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 Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas. He also thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Department of Homeland Security for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sara A. Aliabadi and Patrick C. Askin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
The charges and allegations against the other defendants are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.