TRENTON – A Camden man was sentenced to state prison today for conspiring to distribute heroin. He was indicted last year with 27 other alleged members of a major heroin and cocaine network in the Camden area, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced.
Rashaan Coles, 31, of Camden, was sentenced to seven years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Irvin J. Snyder in Camden. He pleaded guilty on Sept. 7, 2012, to second-degree conspiracy to distribute narcotics. In pleading guilty, Coles admitted that he conspired with other members of the drug network to distribute heroin.
Deputy Attorney General Kristen Harberg prosecuted the case and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.
Coles was among 28 defendants indicted in December 2011 on charges including first-degree racketeering. The defendants were indicted by the Division of Criminal Justice in Operation Jumpstart, a cooperative investigation conducted by the New Jersey State Police, Division of Criminal Justice, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and other members of the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Joint Camden Task Force.
The Dec. 12, 2011 indictment charges Luis Burgos, 34, of Camden, with the crime of leader of a narcotics trafficking network, a first-degree offense that carries a sentence of life in state prison, including 25 years without possibility of parole. Burgos allegedly had large quantities of cocaine transported from Puerto Rico to Newark, N.J, and New York on commercial airlines for distribution in the Camden area. The indictment charges 18 of the defendants with first-degree money laundering, and seven defendants, including Burgos, with counts of first-degree distribution of narcotics. The first-degree racketeering, money laundering and drug charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in state prison.
Another defendant, Reynel “Mito” Delvalle, 36, of Camden, pleaded guilty before Snyder on Dec. 5 to first-degree racketeering for selling an assault rifle and heroin to an undercover officer. The state will recommend that he be sentenced to 14 years in prison, including nearly 12 years of parole ineligibility. He is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 25. The charges against most of the other defendants are pending, and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Operation Jumpstart was conducted by the New Jersey State Police, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Division of Criminal Justice, and other members of the HIDTA Joint Camden Task Force, including the Camden City Police Department, Camden County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Cherry Hill Police Department, Evesham Police Department, Woodbury Police Department and Air National Guard.
Detective Anthony Zoppina and Detective Erik Hoffman led the investigation for the New Jersey State Police, and Investigator Michael Sutley led the investigation for the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.
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