Manager in New Jersey Drug-Trafficking Organization Pleads Guilty

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CAMDEN, NJ — A manager of a Camden drug-trafficking organization on June 8, 2022, admitted conspiring to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin, more than 280 grams of crack cocaine, and unspecified quantities of cocaine and fentanyl, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Juan Figueroa, 24, of Camden, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden federal court to an indictment charging him with conspiring to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute: one kilogram or more of heroin, 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, fentanyl and cocaine.

Seventeen other members of the drug-trafficking conspiracy previously have pleaded guilty in this case. The charges against one other defendant, Christopher Vasquez, remain pending, and he is scheduled to go on trial beginning July 18, 2022.

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Figueroa admitted that he acted as a manager of the drug trafficking organization based in the area of the 400-500 block of Pine Street in Camden. He also acted as a “runner,” supervising and directing others involved in distributing controlled substances. He provided drugs to his conspirators and collected drug proceeds from them.

The count to which Figueroa pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of a lifetime in prison, and a $10 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 11, 2022.

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI’s South Jersey Violent Offender and Gang Task Force, South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire; the Camden County Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gabe Rodriguez; the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer; the Camden County Sherriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Gilbert L. Wilson; the Cherry Hill Police Department, under the direction of Acting Chief Larry Robb; and the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to theguilty pleas. He also thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Department of Homeland Security for their assistance.

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This case is being conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), which identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sara A. Aliabadi and Patrick C. Askin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

The charges and allegations that remain pending against Vasquez are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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