Federal Court in Camden

Mitchell H. Cohen Building and U.S. Courthouse in Camden

CAMDEN — Two members of an Atlantic City drug-trafficking organization, including the leader of the organization, pleaded guilty Wednesday to distributing large amounts of heroin in the resort, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Khalif Toombs, 30, of Egg Harbor Township, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in federal court to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 1 kilogram of heroin, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said in a news release.

Toombs was a 2008 Atlantic City High School graduate who made the second team of The Press high school boys basketball All-Stars for the 2007-08 season. He attended Division I South Carolina State University from 2010 to 2013.

Nasir Brown, 27, of Atlantic City, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, Carpenito said.

Eight other members of the drug-trafficking conspiracy — Quadir Stanley, Dean Johnson, Khalif Davis, Joseph Aversa, Thomas Randall, Mayda Hernandez, Sarah Taliaferro and Wilbert Toombs, who is the father of Khalif Toombs — previously pleaded guilty.

Charges against 12 other defendants remain pending, Carpenito said.

According to Carpenito, Khalif Toombs, Brown and other members of the drug conspiracy trafficked heroin from Paterson into Atlantic City.

Toombs admitted in court to conspiring with others to traffic 3 to 10 kilograms of heroin and to being a manager and supervisor of the drug-trafficking conspiracy, which operated throughout Atlantic County, Carpenito said.

An investigation led by the FBI tracked multiple stamps of heroin distributed by Toombs and others, including, “AK-47,” “Apple,” “Fortnite,” “Rolex,” “Frank Lucas,” “Bentley,” “Pandora” and “9½,” Carpenito said.

Between Jan. 1, 2017, and June 21, 2019, heroin packets bearing those stamps accounted for 48 deaths and 84 nonfatal overdoses in New Jersey, Carpenito said.

The count to which Toombs pleaded guilty carries a mandatory penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, and up to a $10 million fine, Carpenito said.

The count to which Brown pleaded guilty carries a mandatory penalty of 5 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison, and up to a $5 million fine, Carpenito said.

Both men are scheduled to be sentenced May 12.