A Galloway Township man has pleaded guilty to Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Network and Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Person, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner announced.
Officials said Ameer Stephens, 36, of Galloway Township, pleaded guilty on Mar. 29th, before Judge Bernard DeLury to first-degree Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Network and second-degree Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Person.
In accordance with the plea, Stephens will serve 24 years in New Jersey State Prison and will not be eligible for parole for a minimum of 10 and one-half years.
Authorities arrested Stephens on July 7, 2016, when detectives, police officers, and agents simultaneously executed 19 search warrants for residences and commercial properties in Atlantic City, Galloway Township, Egg Harbor Township, Hamilton Township, Hammonton and Pleasantville.
These search warrants resulted in the seizure of 12,225 bags of heroin, approximately 8 ounces of raw, unpackaged heroin, 8 ounces of suspected fentanyl, and about 2 pounds of cocaine.
Prior investigations connected to the drug raid yielded additional drugs, cash and weapons. In total, 11 vehicles and $155,000 in cash were also seized, along with six handguns were seized.
The investigation was part of a joint investigation between the Atlantic City Police Department, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, FBI and New Jersey State Police.
Officials said 42-defendants were charged in connection with the narcotics trafficking network and both Ameer Stephens and co-defendant, Diaab Siddiq, 48, of Atlantic City, were indicted as Leaders of the Narcotics Trafficking Network. Stephens, who had posted bail in September, 2016, was detained on March 7, 2017 pursuant to Criminal Justice Reform when police discovered a hidden compartment in Stephens’ vehicle containing an illegal handgun and an additional kilo of heroin.
In pleading guilty, Stephens told the court that he acted in capacity of a financier, organizer, supervisor, or manager of other persons in the conspiracy to distribute Heroin and Cocaine throughout Atlantic County in 2016. Stephens also told the court that he illegally possessed a.40 caliber Glock semi-automatic handgun.
On Wednesday, April 4, 2018, Judge Wild granted Stephens’ motion for release from the county jail pending sentencing and placed him on electronically monitored home detention. Also on April 4, 2018, Stephens’ wife, Nadirah Abdul-Jabbar, 32, pleaded guilty to second-degree Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin with Ameer Stephens. Sentencing for Ameer Stephens is scheduled on May 25, 2018.
Until sentencing, the husband and wife reported to the court that they will reside together in their May Landings home.
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page.