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Major Drug Ring Operating in Gloucester City & Camden City is Busted; 18 Arrested

Residents said they were scared to death.  "I looked out my door and all I could see were flashing red lights and vehicles on South Stinson Avenue," said one resident. "It was pitch dark." Another person said, "I saw men dressed in SWAT gear carrying rifles."

 

William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews

Related: How A South Jersey Drug Ring Was Taken Down

CAMDEN CITY, N.J. – The United States Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today that there were 18 people arrested, (two remain at-large) by the FBI that were involved in two drug trafficking operations operating out of Gloucester City and Camden City.

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FBI agents and SWAT on South Stinson Avenue, Gloucester City early morning March 10, 2020 (photo courtesy of resident)

 

Authorities identified the ring leaders as Rocco DePoder for the Gloucester City operation and Erick Bell and Alfred Kee Jr. for the Camden City operation. 

The other suppliers, resellers and associates charged in the complaints used the following means to facilitate the pill trafficking: Bell, Kee and DePoder would solicit the suppliers, including certain defendants named in the complaints, and others, primarily over the telephone, to supply them with quantities of oxycodone, Adderall and Xanax for DePoder, and oxycodone for Bell and Kee. 

 

Allegedly after receiving substantial quantities of pills at Bell’s home in Camden, DePoder’s home in Gloucester City, and other locations in southern New Jersey (including Lindenwold and Woodbury), Bell and DePoder would take orders for pills over the telephone from others. Bell, Kee, and DePoder would provide purchasers with these pills. The defendants employed coded language and used multiple phones to conceal their activities.  

Suspects Rocco and Michael DePoder are the father and brother of Gloucester City Detective Carl Depoder.  City Police Chief Brian Morrell said his department was not involved in the investigation for obvious reasons. 

Rocco DePoder has lived in the unit block of South Stinson Avenue for decades. He is a building contractor who owned several rental properties in Gloucester City. Early this morning, around 5 AM residents were awakened by an FBI agent shouting over a bullhorn, "This is the FBI come out without any weapons with your hands in the air." 

Residents said they were scared to death.  "I looked out my door and all I could see were flashing red lights and vehicles on South Stinson Avenue," said one resident. "It was pitch dark." Another person said, "I saw men dressed in SWAT gear carrying rifles. I didn't know what was happening. Once I saw the guns I got back to my house, stayed away from the windows and hid in my bedroom."

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: The charges and arrests are the results of a wiretap investigation led by the FBI into drug distribution operations that dealt in, among other drugs, high-dose, 60- and 80-mg oxycodone pills.

The defendants were charged with conspiring to possess and distribute drugs in two complaints unsealed today. Sixteen of the defendants were arrested today and are scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judges Joel Schneider and Karen M. Williams in Camden federal court. Two defendants remain at large.

The conspiracies charged in the complaints carry a maximum prison term of 20 years and a maximum fine of $1 million.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of FBI Philadelphia Division, South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Tara McMahon; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert; the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Gilbert L. Wilson; New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, under the direction of Director Jared M. Maples; the Camden County Police Department, under the direction of Chief Joseph Wysocki; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Bethanne M. Dinkins, with the investigation.

He also thanked the FBI Newark Division, New Jersey State Police, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gabriel J. Vidoni of the Office’s Camden branch, and Sara F. Merin and Mark J. McCarren of the Newark Office.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Suspect              Age           Residence

Erik Bell aka E.,   49              Camden City 

Alfred Kee Jr.      51               Blackwood

Stephen Walker  41               Camden City

Wm. Summers   67                 Camden City

Derrick Lewis      47                Camden City

Rocco DePoder    67                 Gloucester City

Maurice William   39                 Mt. Ephraim

Anwar Abuddah  31                 Pennsauken

Antwan Tucker    50                 Woodbury 

Lolita Paynter      55                 Camden City

Neal Thompson   56                    Camden City 

Marcus Rushworth  46               Gloucester City

Robert Pratt          56                Blackwood 

Wayne Muse         73                 Lindenwold 

Kenneth Rushworth 59              Gloucester City 

Alexander Siaca  54                  Camden City 

Holly Clark         38                   West Deptford

Michael DePoder 40                  Gloucester City

 

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published Gloucestercitynews.net | March 10, 2020

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