Enforcer for Atlantic City Dirty Block Gang Sentenced to 151 Months in Prison for Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy
CAMDEN, NJ—An Atlantic City, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 151 months in prison for engaging in a conspiracy to distribute heroin with a criminal street gang—the “Dirty Block”—which used threats, intimidation and violence to maintain control of the city’s illegal drug trade, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced.
Shaamel Spencer, a/k/a “Buck,” 30, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph E. Irenas to a superseding information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, and one count of being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Judge Irenas imposed the sentenced today in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Spencer acted as an “enforcer” on behalf of Mykal Derry, 33, of Atlantic City, helping Dirty Block control the heroin trafficking trade in and around the public housing apartment complexes of Stanley Holmes, Carver Hall, Schoolhouse, Adams Court and Cedar Court. Spencer assisted in the distribution of heroin to Dirty Block customers.
Spencer was arrested on Oct. 30, 2012, and found to be in possession of a firearm. On Feb. 12, 2013, Spencer was charged with being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. A search warrant executed at Spencer’s residence at the time of his arrest revealed approximately $4,500 in suspected drug proceeds, as well as a 9-mm semi-automatic handgun and 44 rounds of ammunition.
Spencer and other members of the Dirty Block gang—a number of them previously convicted felons—had travelled to a shooting range in Lakewood, New Jersey, where they were photographed firing handguns.
At his plea hearing, Spencer admitted to distributing heroin. He also admitted to being a previously convicted felon who possessed firearms and ammunition, and that specifically, he took a handgun to an Atlantic City casino, where he believed Derry was involved in a violent fight with his rivals. Spencer also agreed to forfeit the proceeds of his drug trafficking as well as his firearms and ammunition.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Irenas sentenced Spencer to eight years of supervised release.
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 Aaron T. Ford; the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor James P. McClain; the Atlantic City Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Henry White; and the South Jersey Safe Streets Violent Incident and Gang Task Force, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The charges and allegations in the indictment charging Derry are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick C. Askin and Justin C. Danilewitz of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
Defense counsel: Maggie Moy Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden