A coordinated multi-agency raid, focusing on shutting down alleged drug trafficking families in Camden, N.J., has led to the charging of nearly two dozen people in what is being called the city's largest drug takedown in 10 years.
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Federal agents and members of the South Jersey Violent Offender Task Force descended on a three block stretch of Sheridan Street in the Whitman Park section of the city Wednesday morning to round up 16 people with alleged connections to the trafficking of cocaine, heroin and crack, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said.
Fishman said the drug families – one allegedly led by Efraim Rivera and the other allegedly run by Ramon Roldan and his cousin Anthony Ramos – effectively operated an “open-air drug market” along Sheridan Street.
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“The drug organizations allegedly controlled entire blocks of Sheridan Street supplying their own so-called drug sets with cocaine, crack and heroin,” he said. Fishman said the groups also allegedly ran drug operations in other towns like Sicklerville, Lindenwold and Gloucester City, N.J.
Family ties were strong in the organization, according to Fishman. The prosecutor said the groups relied on their family bonds to ensure their operation was safe from law enforcement.
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“Not only are they doing business together and with each other, but many of them are actually relatives making this a true family affair,” he said adding there were brother and sisters, a mother and a son, aunts, uncles and cousins allegedly involved in the illicit activities.
In all, 22 people have been charged on drug distribution conspiracies, Fishman said. Officials say while 16 were arrested on Wednesday morning, two others were already in custody and three more are still being sought.
They all face 10 years in prison if convicted, Fishman said.