March 11, 2021
By: Tyler Eckel
TRENTON (MERCER)– A Trenton man admitted conspiring with others to distribute fentanyl that caused the death of a Monmouth county woman, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
Quasaan Bethea, 33, pleaded guilty by videoconference before Chief U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson on March 10, 2021, to Count Two of an indictment charging possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On May 15, 2018, Bethea conspired with others to distribute fentanyl to a 39-year-old Monmouth County woman, referred to in the indictment as Victim-1. Victim-1 had sought out Bethea and others to purchase heroin, not fentanyl, a significantly more potent narcotic than heroin. Bethea admitted that the fentanyl he sold to Victim-1 was stamped “CAMEL” and packaged to look like heroin. Shortly after Victim-1’s second purchase of fentanyl from Bethea and others, Englishtown police responded to a report of an overdose death. Upon their arrival, they discovered Victim-1, and in Victim-1’s possession were several wax folds of suspected heroin stamped “CAMEL” and empty wax folds stamped “CAMEL” as well. Laboratory analysis of these wax folds bearing the “CAMEL” stamp determined the substance to be fentanyl. An autopsy of Victim-1 found her cause of death to be acute fentanyl toxicity.
The count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for July 26, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson; detectives from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni; the Englishtown Police Department, under the direction of Peter S. Cooke, Jr., and the Trenton Police Department’s Narcotics Task Force, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah Coley, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan L. O’Neill, of the Office’s Opioids Abuse & Prevention Task Force.