Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that a leader of a narcotics trafficking ring and a co-defendant pleaded guilty today for participating in an operation that used the U.S. Mail and other parcel delivery services to ship multiple kilograms of cocaine from California into New Jersey.
Kemar Davis, 24, of Hollywood, Calif. (formerly of Margate, Fla.) pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree leading a narcotics trafficking network before Superior Court Judge John T. Kelley in Camden County. He and the other alleged leader of the ring, his brother Andrew K. Davis, 37, of Kingston, Jamaica (formerly of Swedesboro, N.J.) a Jamaican recording artist, who records under the name “Flippa Mafia” and “Flippa Moggela,” were charged in a Jan. 10, 2014 indictment, along with eight co-defendants, stemming from “Operation Next Day Air,” an investigation led by the New Jersey State Police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Division of Criminal Justice. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Kemar Davis be sentenced to 20 years in state prison, with a 12-year period of parole ineligibility. Co-defendant, Roger Davis, 37, of Roslyn, Pa. who is another brother of Andrew and Kemar, also pleaded guilty today to first-degree possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The state is recommending he be sentenced to 10 years in state prison, with a three-year period of parole ineligibility, as part of his plea agreement. Both men are scheduled to be sentenced on November 6.
Deputy Attorney General Julia S. Glass prosecuted Davis for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. Andrew K. Davis faces pending charges including a first-degree charge of leading a narcotics trafficking network, which carries a sentence of life in state prison, with a 25-year period of parole ineligibility. Co-defendant Angel R. Rivera was sentenced on June 12 to 10 years in state prison, with a 3.5-year period of parole ineligibility, for his role in the operation. Juan M. Cortez, 43, of Vineland, another co-defendant, was sentenced on July 31 to eight years in state prison, with a two-year period of parole ineligibility. Both men pleaded guilty to first-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Cortez and Rivera were arrested on March 11, 2013 at the Cherry Hill Mall. They had taken delivery of a kilogram of cocaine at the mall, allegedly from another co-defendant Marsha G. Bernard, 33, of Cherry Hill. When the men were arrested, detectives discovered cocaine in a hidden compartment in Rivera’s vehicle. Charges against Bernard are pending. During the overall investigation, detectives seized over 26 kilos of cocaine, worth approximately $910,000, two handguns, and over $500,000 in cash.
“We will not allow major drug traffickers to push their poison across the country and into our communities via the U.S. Mail and other parcel services,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “Once drug shipments were detected, our partnering agencies tracked the operations of this criminal enterprise, seized more than 26 kilos of cocaine, and built a strong case. This was textbook collaborative police work.”
“Working with our federal partners, as well as state, county and local law enforcement, we ensured that the reach of the law was long enough to capture the leaders of this transnational drug syndicate,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “After seizing cocaine worth nearly a million dollars in New Jersey, we arrested the alleged ringleaders in Los Angeles.”
“The leaders of this national distribution network unfortunately chose to use their entrepreneurial ambitions to poison our communities with narcotics and the ensuing violence that comes with drug dealing,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Kemar Davis’ guilty plea is the result of exceptional investigative efforts by State Police detectives and the hard work and dedication of our partnering agencies.”
Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division said, “Kemar Davis and other members of this international drug trafficking organization are now facing the consequences of their actions. The cooperation between law enforcement agencies led to the prevention of a large quantity of cocaine making it onto the streets of New Jersey. The residents of New Jersey can be confident that we will continue to be diligent in our fight against drug traffickers.”
Four other defendants in Operation Next Day Air were sentenced previously:
- James C. McBride, 42, of Mount Laurel, was sentenced on Nov. 21, 2014 to 16 years in state prison, including eight years of parole ineligibility. He pleaded guilty to first-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. McBride was arrested on March 15, 2013 outside the Cherry Hill Mall after taking delivery of three kilos of cocaine from co-defendant Sidonie McLeod.
- Sidonie McLeod, 30, of Cherry Hill, was sentenced to five years in state prison on Jan. 16 after pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge.
- Ruan Rose, 42, of Philadelphia, Pa., was sentenced to four years in state prison on Feb. 13 after pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge.
- Hioka N. Myrie, 34, of Philadelphia, Pa., was sentenced to three years in state prison on Feb. 20 after pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge.
The charges against the remaining defendants are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Andrew Davis and Marsha Bernard currently are scheduled for trial later this month.
The investigation targeted the ring’s shipment of large quantities of cocaine through parcel delivery services to New Jersey for bulk distribution to other narcotics suppliers and dealers. Andrew Davis allegedly led the ring’s drug trafficking activities from various locations in Jamaica, California and New Jersey, along with his brother Kemar. The investigation began in March 2011, when detectives and agents from the Camden High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office seized two packages from a mail facility in Marlton allegedly destined for receipt by Andrew Davis and Marsha Bernard. Each package contained four kilograms of cocaine.
In December 2012, Andrew and Kemar Davis traveled to Jamaica. Andrew remained in Jamaica, but he allegedly continued to control the ring’s activities by directing Kemar and others. Kemar returned to the U.S. and allegedly oversaw the shipment of kilogram quantities of cocaine from California to New Jersey. Bernard and other defendants allegedly received the drugs and distributed them to dealers in New Jersey, under the direction of the Davis brothers. Bernard allegedly handled the drug proceeds, sending them to Andrew Davis in Jamaica and Kemar Davis in California.
Detective Sgt. Erik Hoffman of the New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression South Unit was the lead case agent on the investigation. Acting Attorney General Hoffman thanked the following agencies that participated in Operation Next Day Air with the New Jersey State Police, DEA and Division of Criminal Justice: U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office, Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, Cherry Hill Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, Camden Office.