Four men are in jail following their arrests for trafficking illegal guns and dealing heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine in Atlantic City among other areas of Atlantic County, Acting New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced on Thursday.

Through the investigation, law enforcement recovered 9-illegal guns including two assault rifles (one is fully automatic), a ghost gun, and 14-prohibited large-capacity ammunition magazines.

It was New Jersey State Police, the Division of Criminal Justice, and Atlantic City Metro Task Force -- which include the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office, and Atlantic City Police Department -- who formed the task force that investigated the illegal gun and drug activity.

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Hamilton Township Police Department (Atlantic County), U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Cherry Hill Office, and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), also assisted the Task Force.

What they collectively discovered was that 21-year old Ricardo Lugo Jr. of Egg Harbor Township was dealing massive amounts of heroin, fentanyl, and meth in and around Atlantic City and Mays Landing.

As the investigation continued, the Task Force learned that Jamal M. George, 26, of Mays Landing, Rashawn S. Parks, 31, of Galloway, and Rasan McGee, 30, of Egg Harbor City, were also involved in the nefarious activity Lugo was partaking in and were found to have allegedly distributed illegal drugs and firearms throughout Atlantic County.

In all, 9-controlled purchases of meth and heroin/fentanyl were made from Lugo to undercover detectives and 14-controlled purchases were arranged of firearms or drugs from George, Parks, and McGee that AG Platkin said featured three gun sales, and seven sales of heroin/fentanyl or methamphetamine George allegedly made, two sales of methamphetamine Parks allegedly made, and one gun sale and a separate sale of 120 high-dose 30 mg oxycodone pills McGee allegedly made.

Charges for Lugo, George, Parks, and McGee are listed below.

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“The illegal guns and drugs we seized in this investigation illustrate the serious threat allegedly posed by these defendants in Atlantic County,” Acting New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin said in a written statement. “Stopping the trafficking of deadly illicit weapons and drugs into our communities and prosecuting those responsible are top priorities for the Murphy Administration and my department. We have seen an alarming proliferation in New Jersey of untraceable ‘ghost guns,’ which have become the weapon of choice for many violent criminals because of the inability of law enforcement to trace them when they are used to commit a shooting. Each time we seize one of these guns from the black market—in this case a fully automatic assault rifle—we save lives.”

“Since its formation, the Atlantic City Metro Task Force has made hundreds of arrests, seized scores of guns, and taken large quantities of drugs off the streets of Atlantic City and nearby municipalities,” Director Lyndsay V. Ruotolo of the Division of Criminal Justice said in a written statement. “We will continue to work with the New Jersey State Police and our other federal, state, county, and local task force partners to arrest and prosecute the criminals who seek to profit by putting lives at risk.”

“This operation is another example of how effective the Atlantic City Metro Task Force has been in targeting these trafficking networks, shutting them down, and saving lives in the process. By preventing these deadly weapons and narcotics from reaching the streets, we have undoubtedly made our communities safer,” Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police said in a written statement. “These results are due to the diligent work of our detectives and law enforcement partners who are out there every day to make a difference.”

NJ-AG Platkin said that George, Parks, and McGee were arrested on January 27, 2022, after task force members and partners executed search warrants for their residences and two vehicles, and seized several illegal items.

  • two 9mm handguns with large-capacity magazines [one in George’s residence, one in McGee’s residence]
  • two .380-caliber handguns with large-capacity magazines [both in George’s residence]
  • numerous rounds of ammunition, including illegal hollow-point bullets [in George’s residence]
  • large-capacity drum-type magazine [in George’s residence]
  • five large-capacity pistol magazines [in George’s residence]
  • approximately 17 grams of crack cocaine [in McGee’s residence]  
  • approximately one ounce of combined heroin and fentanyl [in George’s residence]
  • approximately seven “bricks” of heroin (each containing 50 single-dose glassines of heroin) [in Parks’ residence]
  • 19 OxyContin pills [in Parks’ residence]
  • drug packaging materials [in George’s, McGee’s and Parks’ residences]

George, Parks, and McGee were then brought to the Atlantic County Jail, pending trial following detention hearings.

Lugo was arrested on February 16, when law enforcement seized a 9mm handgun with a defaced serial number -- ghost gun -- and approximately 6 ounces of methamphetamine.

He is being held in the Atlantic County Jail pending a detention hearing.

All four men face several charges.

Ricardo Lugo Jr.
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine (1st Degree)
  • Distribution of Heroin/Fentanyl (2nd Degree)
  • Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics (2nd Degree)
  • Possession of Heroin/Fentanyl (3rd Degree)
  • Possession of Methamphetamine (3rd Degree)
  • Possession of a Defaced Firearm (4th Degree)
Jamal George
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine (1st Degree)
  • Distribution of Heroin/Fentanyl (2nd Degree)
  • Promoting Organized Street Crime (2nd Degree)
  • Possession of a Firearm While Committing Drug Offense (4 Counts, 2nd Degree)
  • Unlawful Possession of Firearm (3 Counts, 2nd Degree)
  • Sale of Machine Gun (3rd Degree)
  • Sale of Assault Rifle (3rd Degree)
  • Possession of Heroin (3rd Degree)
  • Possession of Methamphetamine (3rd degree)
  • Sale of Glock Handgun (4th Degree)
  • Possession of Large-Capacity Magazine (11 Counts, 4th Degree)
  • Sale of Large-Capacity Magazine (3 Counts, 4th Degree)
Rashawn Parks
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine (1st Degree)
  • Possession of Methamphetamine (3rd Degree)
  • Possession of Heroin/Fentanyl with Intent to Distribute (3rd Degree)
  • Possession of Heroin/Fentanyl (3rd Degree)
  • Possession of OxyContin Pills (3rd Degree)
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (4th Degree)
Rasan McGee
  • Possession of a Firearm While Committing Drug Offense (2nd Degree)
  • Possession of a Weapon as a Convicted Felon (2 Counts, 2nd Degree)
  • Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (2nd Degree)
  • Distribution of Oxycodone Pills (2nd Degree)
  • Sale of Pistol (4th Degree)
  • Sale of Large-Capacity Magazine (4th Degree)
  • Possession of Large-Capacity Magazine (4th Degree)

NJ-AG Platkin said that Deputy Attorney General Katelyn Waegener is prosecuting the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Valerie Butler, Bureau Chief Erik Daab, and DCJ Deputy Director Annmarie Taggart.

"The first-degree drug charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

Possession of a weapon as a convicted felon carries a mandatory minimum term of parole ineligibility of five years, and the charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a weapon while committing a drug offense carry a mandatory minimum term of parole ineligibility equal to one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed or 3 ½ years, whichever is greater.

Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of $10,000.

The third-degree drug charges carry an enhanced fine of up to $35,000."

Defense Attorneys
For Lugo: Michael Schreiber, Esq.
For George: Melissa Rosenblum, Esq.
For Parks: Assistant Deputy Public Defender Chris C. Hoffner, Atlantic County.
For McGee: John V. Maher, Jr., Esq.

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