Dirty Block Gang Leader and His Brother Convicted on Drug Conspiracy and Weapons Charges
CAMDEN, NJ—Two members of a criminal street gang that used threats, intimidation and violence to maintain control of the illegal drug trade in Atlantic City, New Jersey, were convicted at trial today on drug conspiracy and weapons charges, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Mykal Derry, a/k/a “Koose,” 35, and his brother Malik Derry, a/k/a “Lik, ” 24, both of Atlantic City, were convicted following a six-week trial before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court. Mykal Derry was convicted of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, distributing heroin, maintaining a place for the purposes of storing and distributing heroin, possessing, brandishing and discharging firearms in furtherance of the drug conspiracy and using a communications device in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Malik Derry was convicted of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, possessing and discharging firearms in furtherance of the conspiracy and using a communications device in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The jury deliberated approximately seven hours before returning the verdicts.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence presented at trial:
The men are members of a gang known as “Dirty Block,” a/k/a “Crime Fam,” “18.104.22.168,” or “3.6,” which operated in a geographic area of Atlantic City that includes the public housing apartment complexes of Stanley Holmes Village Public Housing Complex, Renaissance Plaza and Schoolhouse Apartments.
The defendants participated in a violent street-level drug trafficking organization that controlled heroin sales through the possession of dozens of firearms and the use of gun violence, including at least one homicide and several non-fatal, drug-related shootings. Twenty-three loaded firearms were seized from the defendants and dozens of conspirators during the time frame of the indictment and presented in court as evidence.
Mykal Derry, a Dirty Block leader, directed the gang’s drug distribution activities. Malik Derry carried a firearm and acted as a gang “enforcer.” After acquiring heroin from other suppliers, Mykal Derry distributed “bricks” and “bundles” of heroin to gang members for resale to their customers, including other heroin dealers in the Atlantic City area. This heroin was marketed using numerous “stamps” that suppliers, distributors and dealers use to brand their product.
The conspiracy to distribute a kilogram or more of heroin carries a maximum potential penalty of life in prison. The possession and discharge of firearms in furtherance of the conspiracy carries a statutory minimum of 10 years in prison, to be served consecutively to the drug conspiracy charge. Each substantive distribution count carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison. Maintaining a place to store and distribute heroin carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison. Sentencing for Mykal Derry is scheduled for Dec. 1, 2015. Sentencing for Malik Derry is Dec. 2, 2015.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Newark Division, Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel; the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor James P. McClain; the Atlantic City Police Department, under the direction of Chief Henry White; and the South Jersey Safe Streets Violent Incident and Gang (Safe Streets) Task Force, with the investigation leading to today’s verdict.
He also thanked the N.J. State Police; the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office; the Northfield Police Department; the Vineland Police Department; the Brigantine Police Department; and the Millville Police Department for their contributions.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Askin and Justin Danilewitz of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Edmund Burgos of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.