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June 27, 2019

Feds charge 22 people in alleged Atlantic City heroin-trafficking ring

Investigations Drug Bust
Atlantic City heroin ring Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

An Atlantic City heroin-trafficking organization was dismantled by multiple law enforcement agencies after an investigation that spanned more than two years. Twenty-two defendants are facing criminal charges.

Twenty-two people are facing criminal charges for their alleged involvement in a heroin-trafficking organization in Atlantic City, federal authorities announced Thursday.

The charges were filed after an authorized wiretap investigation tracked the organization's activities from April 2017 to June 2019. investigators said.

The organization allegedly was led by 29-year-old Kalif Toombs, of Pleasantville, and encompassed multiple stash houses and couriers throughout Atlantic City, authorities said.

Toombs' organization allegedly distributed multiple brands or "stamps" of heroin, including "AK-47," "Apple," "Fortnite," "Rolex," "Frank Lucas," "Bentley," "Pandora" and "9 1/2" during the period in question. Those stamps resulted in 48 deaths and 84 non-fatal overdoses in New Jersey, authorities said.

Officials also allege Toombs and his associates obtained the organization's supply from Paterson, New Jersey.

"The defendants charged today have been flooding the streets of Atlantic City and surrounding towns with heroin, often with tragic results," said U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito. "Numerous deaths and overdoses have been linked to the 'brands' pushed by these drug traffickers. With our law enforcement partners, we are working to get these drugs, and the organizations that distribute them, off the streets of Atlantic City."

Nineteen of the defendants were arrested Thursday, one was previously in custody and two others are still at large, prosecutors said.

All of the defendants face conspiracy and drug distribution charges punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison.

"This is a great day for Atlantic City, and a great day for Atlantic County," Atlantic City Police Chief Henry White Jr. said, "The dismantling of an organization that has brought sorrow and anguish to so many families through the distribution of deadly narcotics is a win for the community."