For Immediate Release
Two Defendants Charged in Takedown of Trenton Drug Trafficking Organization Plead Guilty
TRENTON, N.J. – Two individuals from Trenton, New Jersey, who were arrested in connection with a Trenton-area drug trafficking organization today pleaded guilty to separate charges of unlawful firearms possession and conspiracy to distribute heroin, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.
Prince Sarnoe, 30, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. India Daniels, 24, pleaded guilty before Judge Wolfson to a separate information charging her with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin.
In December 2016, Sarnoe, Daniels, and eight other members of a drug trafficking organization operating in Trenton were charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin. The complaint referred to the drug trafficking organization as the "Abdullah DTO," after its leader, Ishmael Abdullah. Since then, eight of the 10 defendants, including Abdullah, Sarnoe and Daniels, have pleaded guilty.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From May 2015 through December 2016, Abdullah and others participated in a drug trafficking organization that operated in the area of Spring and Passaic Streets in the City of Trenton. Abdullah was responsible for obtaining significant quantities of heroin from multiple suppliers, including Jose Joaquin Torres-Mezquita and Ileana Sanchez. Ishmael Abdullah and Keith Hunter coordinated the organization’s distribution of heroin through themselves and others.
Members of the Abdullah DTO used temporary prepaid phones, stash houses and cars, and spoke in code to avoid detection by law enforcement. Additionally, multiple members of the organization, including Sarnoe – a previously convicted felon – possessed and maintained access to firearms.
While Abdullah was detained at the Mercer County Correction Center on outstanding warrants, Daniels coordinated and obtained, on Abdullah’s behalf, additional supplies of heroin from Torres-Mezquita. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Daniels then provided that heroin to Hunter for distribution to other members of the conspiracy and their customers.
The firearms charge to which Sarnoe pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The conspiracy charge to which Daniels pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Sentencing for both defendants is set for Jan. 5, 2018.
Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited agents and officers with the Greater Trenton Safe Streets Task Force, including special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Trenton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Division, Trenton Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John B. Devito; officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Director Ernest Parrey Jr.; officers of the Princeton Police Department, under the direction of Chief Nicholas Sutter; officers of the Ewing Police Department, under the direction of Chief John P. Stemler III; and detectives of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri, with the investigation.
He also thanked special agents of the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Harpster; special agents of Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Debra Parker; officers of the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Col. Joseph R. Fuentes; and officers of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff John A. Kemler, for their assistance in the case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Brendan Day of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations against the remaining defendants are merely accusations, and those defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.