22 people have been charged for their roles as members, associates, and suppliers of an Atlantic City-based drug-trafficking organization that distributed heroin throughout the area, according to authorities.

19 people were arrested Thursday morning, one person was in custody on previous state charges, and two people are not yet in custody.

All of the defendants are charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute over one kilogram of heroin.

The defendants listed below arrested today are scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ann Marie Donio in Camden federal court.

"The defendants charged today have been flooding the streets of Atlantic City and surrounding towns with heroin, often with tragic results," U.S. Attorney Carpenito said in a press release. "Numerous deaths and overdoses have been linked to the ‘brands’ pushed by these drug traffickers. With our law enforcement partners, we are working to get these drugs, and the organizations that distribute them, off the streets of Atlantic City."

"This is a great day for Atlantic City, and a great day for Atlantic County," Atlantic City Police Chief Henry White Jr. said. "The dismantling of an organization that has brought sorrow and anguish to so many families through the distribution of deadly narcotics is a win for the community. Together, with our federal, state and local partners, we have showed those that wish to invade and flood our neighborhoods with deadly drugs that it will not be tolerated. We will continue to fight on behalf of the men, women and children of our respective communities."

Authorities say a wiretap investigation revealed that from April, 2017, through this June, the drug trafficking organization’s leader, Khalif Toombs, operated a massive drug distribution ring, utilizing multiple stash houses throughout Atlantic City and numerous drug couriers to re-distribute the heroin. Toombs and his associates coordinated their efforts through the use of phone calls, text messages, and social media. The investigation revealed that Toombs obtained his heroin from a supplier in Paterson and used Atlantic City associates to make frequent trips to Paterson to obtain his resupply of heroin.

The FBI was able to determine that Toombs and his associates were distributing multiple “stamps,” or brands, of heroin, including “AK-47,” “Apple,” “Fortnite,” “Rolex,” “Frank Lucas,” “Bentley,” “Pandora,” and “9 ½.”

Between January 1, 2017, and June 21, 2019, drugs with these stamps have accounted for 48 deaths and 84 non-fatal overdoses in New Jersey, according to the N.J. State Police Office of Drug Monitoring and Analysis.

Those charged include the following people:

  • Khalif Toombs, 29, Pleasantville
  • Wilbert Toombs, 63, Atlantic City
  • *Blaine Dorsey, 54, Atlantic City
  • Dean Johnson, 39, Atlantic City
  • Mayda Hernandez, 50, Atlantic City
  • Joseph Aversa, 37, Ventnor
  • David Ramirez, 23, Mays Landing
  • James Blackwell, 54, Atlantic City
  • Khalif Davis, 33, Mays Landing
  • Wayne Burnside, 28, Atlantic City
  • Jeremy Carll, 47, Mays Landing
  • Sarah Taliaferro, 26, Brigantine
  • Philip Surace, 32, Atlantic City
  • Valarie Lamar, 59, Atlantic City
  • Karon Carey, 35, Atlantic City
  • Thomas Randall, 25, Mays Landing
  • Nasir Brown, 26, Somers Point
  • Tieyesha Tucker, 25, Atlantic City
  • Jamal Marshall, 32, Atlantic City
  • Quadir Stanley, 30, Atlantic City
  • Tyjuan Demarest, 39, Elmwood Park
  • Terryn Kelsey, 29, Atlantic City

Authorities say Blaine Dorsey and Thomas Randall are still at-large and wanted by police. Quadir Stanley was already in custody.

More From WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM