By Bill Gallo Jr. | For NJ.com
The alleged leader of a Salem County drug distribution ring and 14 others who authorities say were involved, have been indicted by a Salem County grand jury.
In August authorities announced that after three-month interstate investigation, they had broken up the network and seized both drugs and cash.
Among those indicted, according to court records, was Darien L. Martin, 43 of Salem, who authorities alleged was obtaining bulk quantities of cocaine and phencyclidine outside of Salem County and then distributing quantities of the drugs to people in Salem City and surrounding areas.
“This was a long term cooperative investigation which succeeded because of the professional efforts of the partner agencies involved,” Salem County Prosecutor John T. Lenahan said at the time of the arrests.
Lenahan said many of the Martin’s alleged customers were suspected of re-selling the drugs. Those arrested allegedly conspired with Martin to possess and or distribution cocaine and phencyclidine, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The drug activity allegedly took place between June 29 and July 27 of this year.
Named in the indictment along with Martin were Althea A. Henderson, 50, of Salem; Cedric Burch, 53, of Salem; Diane L. Gibson, 54, of Salem; James M. Sheeley, 42, of Salem; John T. Allen, 48, of Salem; Keith Summiel, 52, of Salem; Kenneth J. Kibler, 33, of Salem; Leroy Bowick, 57, of Salem; Lisa A. Hickman, 53, of Woodstown; Lisa D. Wilson, 45, of Salem; Pritchard L. Watts III, 20, of Salem; Stacey Spence, 50, of Salem; Valerie M. Shockley, 55, of Salem and Yvonne Spence, 52, of Salem.
Martin was indicted on a first-degree charge of maintaining or operating a controlled dangerous substance production facility, a second-degree charge of possession with intent to distribute heroin or cocaine in a quantity of one-half ounce or more but less than five ounces and conspiracy and a third-degree charge of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, the indictment said.
The others involved were indicted on various charges among them second-degree possession with intent to distribute cocaine and second-degree and third-degree conspiracy, according to court records.
Martin was arrested at his Salem home without incident on July 27, authorities said.
At the same time, search warrants were executed at several locations around the city and a large quantity of suspected cocaine was seized along with drug distribution paraphernalia, officials said.
Cocaine with a street value of $9,000 and $4,000 in cash was also seized by investigators.
The investigation, which was led by Senior Investigator Ryan Donelson of the Salem County Prosecutor’s Office, also included cooperation from the Drug Enforcement Administration-Camden Resident Office, New Jersey State Police, Salem County Sheriff’s Office, Salem Police Department, Carneys Point Police Department, Lower Alloways Creek Police Department, Bridgeton Police Department and the Rowan University Police.