DOYLESTOWN >> A trio of New Jersey-based heroin dealers are headed to state prison for peddling drugs in Lower Bucks County.
Cornelius Bell, Jalmed Marks and Aaron Gyampo, all of Trenton, were sentenced Jan. 22 for their roles in the drug operation that sold hundreds of bags of heroin a day to users in Lower Bucks County and Trenton.
Their convictions come as the result of a months-long probe of the crew by the Bucks County Detectives Drug Strike Force, the Bristol Township Police Department, the Falls Township Police Department and the Middletown Township Police Department.
The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, Pennsylvania State Police and the Philadelphia Police Department’s aviation unit also assisted in the investigation.
During this multi-agency effort, detectives made numerous undercover purchases of heroin and fentanyl in an effort to learn the group’s hierarchy and source the supply of drugs.
On the investigation’s final day, detectives seized 2,500 bags of heroin in Trenton.
Each of the three defendants has since pleaded guilty to corrupt organizations, conspiracy and other crimes related to the organized sale of heroin and fentanyl.
Bell, 29, the admitted leader of the group, was ordered to serve nine and a half to 30 years behind bars. He pleaded guilty earlier this month.
Investigators identified Bell as the most frequent seller, having made seven controlled purchases of heroin from him between March and November of 2018 and observed numerous others. The men said they used the proceeds of their sales to fund their rap music group.
Marks, 28, who pleaded guilty in October, was sentenced to seven to 20 years in state prison.
Gyampo, 27, was the first to admit his guilt during a court appearance in August, and on Wednesday received a sentence of two to six years.
“But for the hard and collaborative work of these police agencies, these defendants might still be flooding our streets with poison. Our communities are made safer every day by the extraordinary work of these outstanding police agencies,” said Deputy District Attorney Thomas C. Gannon. “It is my hope these sentences will serve as a warning to the would-be dealers who dare to take the place of these defendants.”
President Judge Wallace H. Bateman accepted the guilty pleas and imposed sentence for each defendant.
Deputy District Attorney Thomas C. Gannon prosecuted these cases.