Atlantic County man admits role in drug program | USAO-NJ

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CAMDEN, NJ – An Atlantic County, New Jersey man today admitted his role in the drug distribution system, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said.

Ricardo Clavijo, 40, of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin, one count of possession with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin and one count of maintaining a drug-related premises.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On July 12, 2021, a search warrant was executed at Clavijo’s home, where law enforcement met Clavijo and his brother, Christopher Gonzalez. Authorities found a drug packaging facility in the basement, along with 4.3 kilograms of heroin, 5.5 kilograms of fentanyl, 10.8 kilograms of cocaine, drug packaging materials and equipment, and a money counting machine. Some of the heroin was already packaged in tens of thousands of individual doses, ready to be distributed on the streets. Officers also seized a .45 caliber handgun, a loaded magazine for the handgun, a 50-round 9mm drum magazine and $8,457 in cash, all of which will be forfeited by Clavijo as part of of his guilty plea.

The count of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute the count to which Clavijo pleaded guilty both carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of 10 million dollars, or double the gross gain or loss caused by the breach, whichever is greater. The count of keeping a local drug-related carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000, or double the gross gain or loss caused by the offence, whichever is higher. Sentencing is scheduled for September 7, 2022.

Gonzalez is charged by complaint with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Newark Division of the DEA’s Atlantic County HIDTA Task Force, under Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson, with the investigation that led to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Atlantic County District Attorney’s Office, under Acting County Attorney Cary Shill, and the Egg Harbor Township Police Department, under Chief Michael T. Hughes, for their aid.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew B. Johns of the Camden Criminal Division.

The charges and allegations contained in Gonzalez’s complaint are only accusations, and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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