Thirteen people indicted for roles in Jersey Shore Drug Ring
Thirteen people have been indicted for their roles in a drug trafficking conspiracy that dealt cocaine and crack-cocaine in Brick Township and several towns across Monmouth County, according to an announcement from U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.
Damion Helmes, Dawn Stephens, Shantay Walker, Keith Logan, Shamar Dudley, Tonya Underwood, Elizabeth Conover, Curtis Jenkins, Ralph Lee and Eric Yarbrough were charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine.
Helmes, Stephens, Walker, Logan, Dudley, Underwood, Conover, Jenkins, Lee, Yarbrough, Derrick Hayes, Dequan Copeland and Cassius Williams were also charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine.
Helmes faces the additional charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Hayes faces an additional charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Attorney Carpenito released details unveiled through an investigation and in court which states that between April 2019 and August 2019, the defendants and others engaged in a narcotics conspiracy that operated primarily in municipalities throughout Monmouth County including in Cliffwood, Keansburg, Matawan, Keyport, Red Bank, Long Branch, Neptune and Asbury Park as well as in Brick and he says they sought to profit from the distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine.
Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement officers were able to find out that Helmes obtained regular supplies of cocaine from Hayes and Copeland.
Helmes then re-distributed that cocaine, portions of which he converted into crack cocaine, for profit, to other conspirators, distributors, sub-dealers, and end users throughout Monmouth County.
Law enforcement officers intercepted numerous communications while wiretapping the conspirators regarding cocaine quality and availability, pricing, packaging, quantity and customer satisfaction.
The thirteen individuals were originally charged by complaint on August 22, 2019.
The count of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a ten-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $10 million.
The count of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, a five-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $5 million.
The count charging Helmes with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
The count charging Helmes with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a statutory mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 5 years and a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and must be served consecutive to the sentence imposed on the drug trafficking crime.
The felon in possession counts against Helmes and Hayes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Each firearms count also carries a maximum fine equal to the greatest of $250,000, twice the gross amount of pecuniary gain that any persons derived from the offense or twice the gross amount of any pecuniary loss sustained by any victim of the offense.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian D. Brater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
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