January 18, 2023
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER) – A Trenton man was sentenced yesterday to 228 months in prison for his role as the leader of a significant drug trafficking conspiracy that distributed more than one kilogram of heroin in Trenton and the surrounding area, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Jakir Taylor, aka “Jak,” 32, previously pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson to Counts One and Seven of the first superseding indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Chief Judge Wolfson imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From October 2017 to October 2018, Taylor and others engaged in a large narcotics conspiracy that operated in the areas of Martin Luther King Boulevard, Sanford Street, Middle Rose Street, Southard Street, Hoffman Avenue, and Coolidge Avenue in Trenton, and which sought to profit from the distribution of heroin and numerous other controlled substances. Taylor and conspirator Jerome Roberts obtained regular supplies of hundreds of “bricks” of heroin from conspirator David Antonio, whom they referred to as “Papi.” Taylor and Roberts agreed to obtain from Antonio a “motherlode” supply of as many as 1,500 bricks – approximately 1.5 kilograms of heroin – in a single delivery. Taylor said that he intended to “flood the streets” of Trenton with this large supply. Taylor also admitted that he and his conspirators possessed at least one firearm to assist his drug trafficking operations, and on multiple occasions during the conspiracy Taylor actively sought to obtain additional firearms from other sources. During coordinated arrests on Oct. 25, 2018, law enforcement arrested Taylor, Roberts, Antonio, and other defendants, and recovered more than 1.4 kilograms of heroin from Antonio’s residence.
In addition to the prison term, Chief Judge Wolfson sentenced Taylor to five years of supervised release.
In October 2018, Taylor, and 25 other individuals were charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin. On Apr. 11, 2019, a grand jury returned a nine-count superseding indictment charging Taylor and eight other defendants with conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and various other drug and firearm offenses. Twenty-three of the 26 defendants charged in the complaint have pleaded guilty. The remaining three were convicted after trial in October 2021.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Trenton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Division, Trenton Satellite Office, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bryan Miller; officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Acting Police Director Steve Wilson; officers of the Princeton Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Nicholas Sutter; officers of the Ewing Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police John P. Stemler III; officers of the Burlington Township Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Bruce Painter; and detectives of the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
He also thanked officers of the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Col. Patrick J. Callahan; detectives of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Angelo Onofri; officers of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff John A. Kemler; and members of the N.J. State Board of Parole for their assistance in the case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Brendan Day and Alexander Ramey of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/ocdetf.
The charges and allegations against the remaining defendants are merely accusations and those defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Jerome A. Ballarotto Esq., Trenton