Thursday, July 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Prison for 2 more in Camden drug ring

CAMDEN Two more members of a Camden heroin-dealing ring with street gangs were sentenced to prison terms Friday.

Jonathan Roman, 24, of Camden, a street-level manager for the drug ring, was sentenced to seven years, including three years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Michael J. Kassel, according to a spokesman for state Attorney General's Office.

Last month, Roman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute narcotics and distributing narcotics in a school zone.

Kassel also sentenced, Victoria Ventura, 25, of Camden, a street-level dealer, to five years in prison, including two-and-half years of parole ineligibility. She pleaded guilty to racketeering last month.

Including Roman and Ventura, nine people involved with the ring have been sentenced as a result of Operation Billboard, a joint state, county, and city investigative effort. There was federal involvement as well.

Four more defendants are due to be sentenced, including Michael Rivera, 30, of Camden, one of the ring's leaders who faces a possible life sentence.

Noel Gonzalez, 44, of Camden, reputed senior ringleader and member of the Netas street gang, died of natural causes while the charges against him were still pending, according to the Attorney General's Office.

Investigators say the large-scale drug distribution network was dealing up to tens of thousands of dollars in heroin a week, particularly in the area of 4th and Royden streets in Camden.

- Rita Giordano

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