An alleged enforcer for what has been called one of Atlantic City’s most violent gangs admitted in federal court in Camden on Monday that he was part of a conspiracy to traffic 100 grams or more of heroin.
Shaamel Spencer, 30, was one of 34 people charged as alleged members or associates of the Dirty Blok gang, which authorities said used threats, intimidation and violence to keep control of the drug trade in Atlantic City’s Stanley Holmes Village and surrounding areas, including Carver Hall and Schoolhouse Apartments.
Known as “Buck,” Spencer was a close ally of alleged Dirty Blok leader Mykal Derry. On Monday, Spencer admitted he brought a gun to the Tropicana Casino and Resort on Dec. 24, 2012 — after Mykal Derry alerted him and others that there were rival drug dealers there.
Intercepted conversations indicate that Derry and Spencer “were upset and disturbed by the lack of handguns present at the assault, and the lack of focus of their younger Dirty Block associates who used physical violence rather than preparing an ambush with handguns,” according to the federal complaint.
After Spencer was shot Aug. 21, 2012, conversations recorded by the FBI show that Derry went to the crime scene and got Spencer’s gun before police arrived, then found the rivals and fired six shots as they entered a residence. One of the men was wounded, according to the complaint.
When Spencer was arrested Oct. 30, 2012 — months before a federal Dirty Blok raid — police found $4,578, a Glock 9mm handgun with a defaced serial number and about 44 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
Spencer’s home on the 1600 block of City Place in Stanley Holmes’ first village was also used for meetings and drug distribution, the complaint claimed.
Investigators even photographed Spencer and others firing handguns at the Shore Shot indoor shooting range in Lakewood. Derry and his brother Malik Derry were allegedly at the Motor Vehicle Commission in Egg Harbor Township trying to get photo identification to go back to that range when they were arrested Feb. 12, 2013, in the killing of Tyquinn James, 25, a month before. That murder case is pending.
The Derrys and Spencer were among a dozen defendants in the Dirty Blok case set to go on trial in federal court this month, but that was moved due to scheduling conflicts. A motion is expected to be heard later this month about whether the case can be further delayed as a complex case under the Speedy Trial Act.
The drug conspiracy charge carries a term of five to 40 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $5 million. The felon-in-possession charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
He is scheduled to be sentenced July 22.
Spencer’s criminal record dates to at least 2000, when he was just 16. At that time he was sentenced to two years' probation and ordered to complete the Juvenile Justice Commission residential program from charges of robbery, receiving stolen property and cocaine possession. He lived in Pleasantville at the time, according to a Press of Atlantic City story on juvenile adjudications.
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