Feds: 34 Charged in NJ Drug Trafficking Operation
Authorities say 34 people have been charged with being part of a violent street gang that controls much of Atlantic City's drug trade.
United States Attorney Paul Fishman announced the charges Tuesday, saying the gang trafficked much of the area's heroin and also dealt in crack cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana and prescription painkillers. The gang was known as "Dirty Block," "Crime Fam" and "188.8.131.52."
A 227-page indictment describes a sprawling enterprise of drugs, guns, money and violence. It cites hundreds of intercepted phone conversations.
Twenty-five suspects were arrested Tuesday. The others were already in jail on other charges.
Authorities say a woman allegedly involved in the enterprise received FEMA assistance for an apartment damaged in Superstorm Sandy that was used to store drugs. They said the woman didn't live at the address, but was instructed not to clean it up and to put the relief money back into the heroin business.
Another suspect was accused in February of killing a rival gang member.
Authorities said one alleged gang member was killed by police who were staking out an alleged stash house in Atlantic City. Officers said that man was drawing a weapon from his waistband as he fled the house.
Another man allegedly involved with the conspiracy worked at a bail bond agency in Atlantic City and provided bond for gang members who were arrested for drug conspiracy and violence charges. He also allegedly allowed the gang to sell heroin out of the office.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)