NJ brothers led major, violent drug ring with ties to Mexican cartels for 20 years
CAMDEN — Three brothers who presided over a multi-million-dollar, bloody drug-dealing operation for two decades in New Jersey pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree racketeering charges that could lock them up for up to 14 years.
Omar Urbina Sr., 42, of Philadelphia, Edwin Urbina, 39, of Camden, and Edward Urbina, 36, of Camden, were brought down a few years ago in one of the biggest drug busts in Camden's history.
A 2014 indictment charged 42 defendants total, including a heroin and cocaine supplier with ties to Mexican cartels, state officials said. Thirty-six defendants have pleaded guilty.
Authorities said the criminal enterprise ran open-air markets on Camden's street corners, which moved hundreds of thousands of dollars a month in heroin and cocaine. Officials described the enterprise as "large, highly structured and well-organized." The Urbinas branded their drugs with their own packaging and also rented their street corners to other distributers, offering them protection.
“Operation North Pole dismantled this violent narcotics syndicate from top to bottom, ending their corrosive stranglehold on the North Camden neighborhoods where they operated,” Acting Attorney General Lougy said Friday. “With these guilty pleas, we have ensured that the leaders of this ring will be behind bars for many years and will not be able to re-establish their violent dynasty.”
The state will ask a Superior Court judge to sentence Omar to 14 years in state prison and each of his brothers to 10 years. They will have to serve 12 and nearly 9 years, respectively, before they would be eligible for parole.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.