A year-long, multi-agency investigation into organized criminal activity in South Jersey has resulted in a 12-year prison sentence for a Collingswood man as well as prison time for his cohorts.
Nicholas C. Stens, 26, of Collingswood, pleaded guilty March 12 to first-degree cocaine distribution and second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun, according to a statement from the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.
Stens will be ineligible for parole for four-and-a-half years on the narcotics charge while serving a concurrent five years (with three years of parole ineligibility) on the gun charge.
"In January 2011, during the course of the multi-agency investigation, Stens sold a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun and ammunition for $800 to an undercover Voorhees Township police officer. Later, the same officer purchased distribution quantities of cocaine and a 12-guage shotgun from Stens," reads a statement from the state Attorney General Office.
Also implicated in the case were Maple Shade residents Dominick M. Leonetti Jr., 48, and Robert A. Schafer, 25, who have already pled guilty to second-degree conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and 30-year-old Westmont resident Joseph P. Hackney, who has pleaded guilty to a third-degree conspiracy to distribute cocaine charge.
Roberto L. Ortiz, 27, of Haddon Township, and Eugene “Rick” Wilson, 44, of National Park, are awaiting trial in the matter on second-degree conspiracy to distribute cocaine charges.
The state will recommend a maximum sentence of seven years for Leonetti, five years for Schafer, and 180 days in jail for Hackney.
Evidence presented against the defendants included $20,000 of cocaine, $15,000 in cash, and a vehicle used in the commission of related offenses, all of which were seized in the coordinated execution of warrants last year.