TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a Camden man pleaded guilty today to racketeering for his role in a narcotics network in South Camden with ties to the Bloods street gang that was dealing large quantities of cocaine, heroin and PCP.
Damir Lea, 22, aka “D-Money,” pleaded guilty today to first-degree racketeering before Superior Court Judge Samuel D. Natal in Camden. Lea admitted that he distributed narcotics for the drug ring and beat up a man in the Camden County Jail because he believed the man was acting as a witness in the state’s investigation of the ring. The state will recommend that Lea be sentenced to 11 years in state prison, including more than nine years of parole ineligibility under the No Early Release Act. Deputy Attorney General Jill Mayer took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. Lea is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 30.
“Witness intimidation is an increasingly serious obstacle for law enforcement and a real danger in Camden and other communities, particularly in cases involving gangs and drug trafficking,” said Attorney General Chiesa. “This plea demonstrates our commitment to tackle this issue head-on and seek a stiff sentence for anyone who makes threats or commits violence against a witness.”
“Today’s plea stems from one of three major multi-agency investigations that the Division of Criminal Justice has conducted recently in Camden targeting narcotics enterprises operating in violent sections of the city,” said Director Stephen J. Taylor of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We will continue to cooperate with our local, county, state and federal partners in Camden to target the criminals who dispense drugs and violence in the city.”
Lea and 13 other defendants, including the alleged leader of the ring, Kyle Ogletree, 28, of Cherry Hill, a reputed five-star general in the G-Shine Bloods, were named in a Nov. 3, 2011 indictment charging them with first-degree racketeering and second-degree conspiracy. The indictment resulted from Operation City Wide, a nine-month investigation led by the Division of Criminal Justice, with assistance from the Camden Police Department, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey Department of Corrections, Cherry Hill Police Department, Magnolia Police Department, Pennsauken Police Department, Philadelphia Police, New Jersey State Police, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and National Guard. The charges against the other defendants are pending, and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.