CAMDEN, N.J. – A member of a Camden drug-trafficking organization today admitted conspiring to distribute heroin, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Jose Agron, 26, of Camden, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin.
Fourteen other members of the drug-trafficking conspiracy based in the 500 block of Pine Street in Camden – Ronnie Lopez, Nelson Salcedo, Carlos Perez, Paul Salcedo, Waldemar Garcia, William Carrillo, Elisa Rivera, Ramon Velez, David Velez, Naeem Sadler, Jasmin Velez, Jameel Byng, Kaliel Johnson, and Meylin Troncoso – previously have pleaded guilty in this case. The charges against three other defendants remain pending.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
An investigation by 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. Members of the drug-trafficking organization sold heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine, and fentanyl in and around Camden.
The count to which Agron pleaded guilty carries a mandatory penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of a lifetime in prison, and a $10 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for March 15, 2021.
U.S. Attorney 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 J. Driscoll in Philadelphia; 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 Sheriff’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 today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Department of Homeland Security for their assistance.
This case is being conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
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.
For the defendants whose charges remain pending, the charges and allegations are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.