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Ringleader of Gloucester City Drug Ring Admits Drug Trafficking, Engaging in SNAP Fraud

Gloucester City

A Gloucester City man has admitted conspiring to distribute and selling oxycodone, Adderall, and Xanax and defrauding the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in connection with his role in a drug trafficking ring, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

According to federal officials, Rocco DePoder, 67, of Gloucester City, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone, distributing a quantity of oxycodone, and unlawfully acquiring SNAP benefits in exchange for controlled substances and unlawfully using and possessing those and other SNAP benefits.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

DePoder admitted that on multiple occasions from June 2019 to March, he worked with Erick Bell and others to sell oxycodone in New Jersey. DePoder obtained 60 80 mg. oxycodone pills for $25 per pill from Bell on February 3, with the intention of distributing the pills to other people.

DePoder also admitted to purchasing resale quantities of oxycodone, Adderall, and Xanax from conspirators and reselling the pills to others, serving as a leader of criminal activity in that conspiracy.

DePoder admitted to selling oxycodone, Adderall, and Xanax pills to another person in exchange for a total of $8,374 in SNAP benefits, which were on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, and then personally using some of those SNAP benefits and selling and giving EBT cards to others so they could unlawfully use the SNAP benefits.

SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp program, is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. EBT cards are similar to debit cards and are used to make food purchases with SNAP benefits – when an EBT card is swiped at a food store authorized for participation in the SNAP program, the amount of the purchase is deducted electronically from the SNAP benefits reserved for the customer and the purchase amount is credited to the retailer’s designated bank account.

Five other defendants – Marcus Rushworth, 47, of Gloucester City; Kenneth Rushworth, 59, of Gloucester City; Wayne Muse, 74, of Lindenwold; Robert Pratt, 57, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, formerly of Blackwood; and Steven Walker, 47, of Camden, previously pleaded guilty to informations charging them with drug trafficking offenses involving the distribution of prescription drugs. They are awaiting sentencing.