A Collingswood man was the alleged ringleader of a South Jersey cocaine and weapons distribution network undone by law enforcement, authorities announced Wednesday.
State and federal authorities announced details of the investigation, and a second, unrelated investigation in North Jersey, during a joint news conference at State Police headquarters in Trenton.
In the South Jersey case, dubbed "Operation White Cloud," 24-year-old Nicholas Stens of Collingswood was arrested in a sweep April 7 and charged with multiple drug and weapons offenses.
Also arrested in the case were:
- Charles Jackmon, 30, of Collingswood, who was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and possession of cocaine.
- Michael F. Neher, 26, of West Collingswood, who was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
- Roberto Ortiz, 25, of Haddon Township, who was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and conspiracy to unlawfully dispose of a firearm.
Three other men were arrested in the sweep and charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine: Robert Schafer, 25, and Dominick M. Leonetti, 47, both of Maple Shade; and Eugene R. Wilson, 42, of National Park.
All of the men were held on bail in the Camden County Jail.
The operation was allegedly run out of a location in the 100 block of Lawnside Avenue in Collingswood, police said.
Authorities began the joint investigation in January, when Stens allegedly sold a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun and ammunition for $800 to an undercover officer in the task force. The same officer later bought large quantities of cocaine and a 12-gauge shotgun from Stens, according to state police.
Stens and the other men arrested intended to sell more weapons, including an AK-47 assault rifle, as well as "significant" quantities of illegal drugs, state police said.
During the sweep, police seized one shotgun, 22 ounces of cocaine with a street value of $22,000, $15,000 in cash and two vehicles.
The FBI, state police, state Division of Criminal Justice, federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, prosecutor's offices in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties, and police departments in Voorhees, Maple Shade, Washington Township, Collingswood and Gloucester Township took part in the investigation.
In the North Jersey case, dubbed "Operation Southern Draw," six people were arrested in Essex and Union counties on charges involving carjacking, weapons and the sale of fake identification documents such as birth certificates and social-security cards.