Eleven People Charged In Takedown Of Trenton Drug Trafficking Organization

DOJ - Department of Justice
DOJ - Department of Justice
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Six Arrests Made in Coordinated Takedown by Federal and State Law Enforcement; Two Defendants At-Large; One Defendant Currently Released Under the Supervision of the United States Pretrial Services Agency; Remaining Two Defendants Already in Custody

TRENTON, N.J. – Criminal charges were unsealed today against 11 individuals who are allegedly part of a conspiracy to distribute significant quantities of heroin in Trenton, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

The complaint unsealed today charges 11 defendants with conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance. One of the defendants – Jawaan Foreman – is also charged with distributing cocaine base, a Schedule II controlled substance.

The six defendants arrested today – Alterrick Livingston, Foreman, Darryl Young, Paul Beckford, RJ Beckford, and Larry Murphy – are scheduled to have their initial appearances this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert in Trenton federal court. One defendant, Devonte McNeil, is serving a sentence in state prison and will have his initial appearance at a later date. Two other defendants, Robert Gbanapolor and Duane Paulino-Escalera, have been previously charged with federal crimes related to the instant complaint and will also have initial appearances at a later date. Gbanapolor has been ordered detained and Paulino-Escalera is on pretrial release.

According to documents filed in this case:

From June 2018 through May 2019, the defendants and others engaged in a heroin trafficking conspiracy in the areas of Stuyvesant Avenue, Hoffman Avenue, and Highland Avenue in Trenton, as well as in the area of Barbary Road in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, controlled purchases of heroin, the use of confidential sources of information, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that Robert M. Gbanapolor obtained regular supplies of “bricks” of heroin (approximately 50 smaller, individually packaged glassine envelopes or baggies containing heroin) from Duane Paulino-Escalera, whom Gbanapolor referred to as “Papi.” Other key members of the drug trafficking conspiracy included Jawaan Foreman, Larry Murphy and Izae Alford.

Members of the conspiracy distributed the heroin supplied by Papi to other conspirators, distributors, sub-dealers, and end users in and around Trenton. Law enforcement officers intercepted numerous discussions among the conspirators regarding issues such as heroin quality and availability, branding, quantity and customer satisfaction.

In addition to being charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, Jawaan Foreman also was charged in the complaint with one count of distributing cocaine base on May 8, 2019.

The drug conspiracy count carries a statutory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $5 million. The count charging Foreman with distribution of cocaine base carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey Division, Camden Resident Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson; and task force officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah Coley, with the investigation leading to today’s charges. He also thanked detectives and officers of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Charles A. Fiore; detectives and officers of the Gloucester Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Harry Earle; members of the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; detectives and officers of the Bordentown Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Brian Pesce; and special agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson.

This case was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies dedicated to identifying and dismantling the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric A. Boden and Michelle Gasparian of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

                                                                                      Defendants 

Name

Age

Residence

Robert M. Gbanapolor

32

Trenton

Duane Paulino-Escalera

27

Trenton

Jawaan Foreman

35

Trenton

Larry Murphy

36

Trenton

Izae Alford*

20

Trenton

Paul Beckford

31

Trenton

RJ Beckford

21

Trenton

Alterrick Livingston

19

Trenton

Darryl Young

27

Trenton

Devonte McNeil

28

Trenton

Shamir Kelley*

27

Trenton

* denotes at-large