- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 9, 2006

Four major cocaine distribution organizations responsible for the sale of large quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine in Camden, N.J., were dismantled yesterday with the arrest of more than 50 people, including two charged with murder.

U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie in Newark said federal charges have been brought against 12 suspected gang members who were named in indictments and criminal complaints. Four others were previously arrested and charged federally, and 35 more suspects were arrested on state charges during the investigation.

The two arrested and charged with murder in furtherance of a continuing criminal enterprise were identified as Jevon Lewis, 31, of Cherry Hill, and Ahmed Judge, 29, of Camden. They were arrested yesterday on warrants after their 2001 indictment in the killing of Kenneth Fussell. The charge makes Mr. Lewis and Mr. Judge eligible for a federal death sentence.

In January, authorities announced a cooperative effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration , the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives , the FBI and the U.S. Marshal’s Service to assist local, county and state law enforcement to combat crime in Camden.

“A year ago, we set out on a mission to bring greater resources to the fight against drugs and lawlessness in the city of Camden,” Mr. Christie said. “We made it clear then that we wanted to help Camden move out of the national spotlight as a crime capital and ahead with its future. These prosecutions, others successfully completed and still others yet to come are the fruits of our combined efforts to improve Camden.”

The arresting authorities also made use of what was described as the Arizona connection — an indictment that accused Arizona residents Edgar Gonzalez-Valenzuela, Jesus Leyva and Laura Rodriguez of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine. All three were arrested yesterday in Arizona.

According to a criminal complaint in the case, Ronald Damon, 37, of Camden, was the leader of a high profile narcotic trafficking network known as the “300 Morse Street Crew” that purportedly controlled the powder and crack cocaine markets in Camden’s east side. The organization’s upper-level distributors were identified as Joseph McCray, 42, Anthony McFadden, 38, and Brian Dickens, 23, all of Camden.

A second complaint accused two others of drug trafficking in a public housing community in Camden’s Cramer Hill section. The leader of that organization, according to the complaint, was Mark Davis, 28, of Camden, whose arrest netted multiple firearms, including an AK-47 assault rifle. Also arrested and charged in the complaint was Mr. Davis’ suspected right-hand man, James Baker, 33, also of Camden.

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