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Drug Trafficking Ring Connected To Sinaloa Cartel Smashed

December 14, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Drug Trafficking Ring Connected To Sinaloa Cartel Smashed Image courtesy of motorcitymuckraker.com

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A five-month investigation culminated in the arrest this week of 16 individuals involved in a drug-trafficking organization with ties to the Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico, authorities said.

Thursday morning, local, state and federal authorities executed 13 simultaneous arrest warrants in Atlantic City, Hamilton Township and Somers Point as part of the crackdown, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said in a news release. Arrests were also made in Pennsylvania and California, he said.

The alleged ringleader — Jewell Tutis, 37, of Mays Landing — was also arrested during this sweep, and faces a possible life sentence under New Jersey law for leading a narcotic trafficking network, McClain said.

Also caught up in the sweep was well-known Pleasantville businessman Toye Tutis,Press of Atlantic City reported. Federal authorities told the newspaper that Toye Tutis, whose relationship with the ringleader wasn’t made clear, used his construction company to launder the profits of the operation.

As reported by NJ Advance Media, Toye Tutis, 42, of Pleasantville was charged with conspiracy to distribute and money laundering. His wife, Jazmin S. Vega, 40, of Pleasantville, was charged with money laundering only.

According to McClain, authorities seized about 40 bags of heroin, more than a kilogram of crack cocaine, two pounds of marijuana, about $125,000 in cash, eight handguns, one shotgun, two Tasers, ammunition, three bulletproof vests, 10 motor vehicles, the contents of three bank accounts and eight parcels of real estate.

Law enforcement officials also seized about $160,000 in cash, 10 kilos of heroin and four kilos of powder cocaine during the investigation phase of the operation, McClain said.

In total, the street value of the drugs seized during the investigation and the execution of the search warrants is $2.25 million, he said.

Based on the joint investigation by the county prosecutor’s office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden and local, state and federal law enforcement, the narcotic network distributed large quantities of heroin, powder cocaine and crack cocaine in the Atlantic City area after purchasing the drugs directly from the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico, McClain said.

The network then routed the drugs through California, and onto New Jersey, he said.

The following individuals were each charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, more than 280 grams of crack cocaine and more than 1 kilogram of heroin:

• Kareem A. Taylor, 39, of Pleasantville

• Francisco Rascon-Muracomi, 21, incarcerated in Lancaster County Prison

• Philip C. Horton, 49, Inglewood, Ca.

• Tozine N. Tiller, 40, Mill Road, Absecon

• Talib N. Tiller, 32, Mill Road, Absecon

• Kabaka Atiba, 43, Mill Road, Absecon

• Ronald D. Byrd, 49, Thompson Avenue, Pleasantville

• John Wellman, 39, Shore Road, Somers Point

Six others were also facing drug charges: Jewell Tutis; Donnell Williams, 41, of Absecon; Latoya Council, 26, of Mays Landing; and Pleasantville residents Shane Tutis, 49, Ivan Lopez, 42, and Adrienne Tolbert, 46.

Additional arrests are pending, McClain said.

From NJ.com

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