drug-ring pleas

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Camden, where 22 people charged in a drug-trafficking case were scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ann Marie Donio on Thursday.

A Pleasantville man is accused of leading a large-scale Atlantic City heroin-trafficking operation, the scale of which was revealed Thursday as 22 people were charged in it, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Khalif Toombs, 29, is accused of operating multiple stash houses in the resort and employing “numerous drug couriers” to make frequent runs to a supplier in Paterson to transport heroin, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said in a statement. The effort was coordinated over phone calls, text messages and social media.

Toombs, a former Atlantic City High School basketball star, was arrested in 2017 on drug and weapons charges. He was arrested again last year after Atlantic City police said they saw him leave a home on Mediterranean Avenue and make several drug deals. Police said they stopped him and found 60 bags of heroin and more than $1,000 in cash from the sales. A search of the home led to an additional 3,310 bags of heroin with a street value of more than $16,000, police said.

Toombs was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute, possession with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public zone and possession with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school zone.

According to documents in the case and court statements, the charges handed down Thursday are the result of a wiretap investigation.

Twenty-one of the defendants are local to the area, hailing from places like Atlantic City, Somers Point, Ventnor and Mays Landing. Each is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute or possession with intent to distribute over one kilogram of heroin. Nineteen were arrested Thursday, one was already in custody on previous state charges and two are still at large.

The stamps, or brands, of heroin allegedly distributed by the group — “AK-47,” “Apple,” “Fortnite,” “Rolex,” “Frank Lucas,” “Bentley,” “Pandora” and “9½” — are responsible for 48 deaths and 84 nonfatal overdoses over the past 2½ years, the Attorney’s Office said.

Another man on the list, Quadir Stanley, 30, of Atlantic City, was arrested earlier this month in a double shooting after a man and a woman walked into AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Campus, with gunshot wounds in late May.

Stanley was arrested in October after the car he was driving was pulled over and officers found 29 grams of cocaine, marijuana, OxyContin, drug paraphernalia and a handgun magazine loaded with hollow-point ammunition, police said.

The FBI, Atlantic City and Pleasantville police departments, Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office and Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office participated in the investigation.

“Together with our federal, state and local partners, we have showed those that wish to invade and flood our neighborhoods with deadly drugs that it will not be tolerated,” said Atlantic City police Chief Henry White. “We will continue to fight on behalf of the men, women and children of our respective communities.”

Contact: 609-272-7260 cshaw@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressColtShaw

Staff Writer

I cover breaking news on the digital desk. I graduated from Temple University in Dec. 2017 and joined the Press in the fall of 2018. Previously, I freelanced, covering Pennsylvania state politics and criminal justice reform.

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