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Tyner says drug seizure is largest in Atlantic County history
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Tyner says drug seizure is largest in Atlantic County history

Federal Court House Camden

Mitchell H. Cohen Building and U.S. Courthouse in Camden.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the Biden administration strategy to enhance its analysis of threats from domestic terrorists, including the sharing of intelligence within law enforcement agencies, and working with tech companies to eliminate terrorist content online as part of a nationwide strategy to combat domestic terrorism.

CAMDEN — Two Atlantic County men have been charged with conspiring to distribute heroin in what the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office is calling the largest drug seizure in county history.

Ricardo Clavijo, 39, of Egg Harbor Township, and Christopher Gonzalez, 37, of Pleasantville, were each charged Tuesday with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute over one kilogram of heroin, acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said in a statement.

Both defendants appeared by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ann Marie Donio and were ordered held without bail, Honig said.

On Monday, authorities executed a search warrant at an Egg Harbor Township residence, Honig said. They encountered Clavijo at the front door and Gonzalez in the basement.

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Officers found five kilogram-sized packages of suspected fentanyl, eight kilogram-sized packages of suspected fentanyl or cocaine, two kilogram-sized packages of suspected heroin, tens of thousands of prepackaged individual doses of suspected heroin, additional narcotics packaging materials and drug paraphernalia, Honig said. Agents also found a .45 caliber handgun, a loaded magazine for the handgun and a 9mm 50-round drum magazine.

Conspiracy is punishable by a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison and a fine of $10 million, or twice the gross gain or loss caused by the offense, whichever is greatest, Honig said.

Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Newark Division and Atlantic County High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, as well as the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and the Egg Harbor Township Police Department. Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner additionally credited Linwood police and the Atlantic County Regional SWAT Team.

“An investigation with a seizure of this caliber is going to save a lot of lives,” prosecutor’s Chief of County Investigators Bruce K. DeShields said.

Staff Writer John Russo contributed to this report.

Contact Vincent Jackson: 609-272-7202


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