Marsha G. Bernard, 34, of Cherry Hill, N.J., was sentenced today to 21 years in state prison, including six years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge John T. Kelley in Camden County. She was convicted at trial on Dec. 17 of first-degree distribution of cocaine, second-degree money laundering, and second-degree conspiracy. She was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with six years of parole ineligibility, on the first-degree distribution charge, and a consecutive six years in prison on the second-degree money laundering charge.
She was tried along with Andrew K. Davis, 37, of Kingston, Jamaica (formerly of Swedesboro, N.J.), a well-known Jamaican dancehall DJ who records under the name “Flippa Mafia” and “Flippa Moggela.” Davis was found guilty of the same charges as Bernard. In addition, Davis was charged with the first-degree crime of leading a narcotics trafficking network, but the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on that charge. The state is scheduled to retry Davis on that charge starting on May 23.
The state presented testimony and evidence at trial that Bernard received large shipments of cocaine in New Jersey and distributed them to other drug traffickers under the direction of Davis and his brother Kemar Davis, who previously pleaded guilty in this case. A third brother, Roger Davis, also was part of this drug trafficking network and has pleaded guilty.
Deputy Attorney General Julia S. Glass and Deputy Attorney General Erik Daab, who is Deputy Bureau Chief, tried the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. Deputy Attorney General Glass handled today’s sentencing.
The charges are the result of “Operation Next Day Air,” a multi-agency investigation led by the New Jersey State Police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Division of Criminal Justice. In the course of the investigation, detectives recovered more than 26 kilograms of cocaine, worth more than $960,000, two handguns, and more than $500,000 in cash.
“This case sends a powerful message to drug traffickers who sell addiction, misery and death into our communities – no matter where you live, we’re going to investigate you, track you down, and bring you to justice,” said New Jersey Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman.
“We now have put seven defendants behind bars for lengthy terms in Operation Next Day Air, and three members of the family that ran this cocaine ring also are facing long prison sentences,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We’ll continue to work with our state and federal partners to target these major drug trafficking syndicates that are supplying New Jersey’s drug dealers.”
“I’m proud of the State Police detectives who led this cooperative investigation, and I commend all of the hard work and dedication of our partnering agencies, which resulted in the dismantling of an international narcotics network,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
“The dismantlement of this international drug trafficking organization is a great success for law enforcement, and our communities are safer as a result of this investigation,” said Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey Division. “The DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to pursue drug violators wherever the investigation leads us.”
On Sept. 14, 2015, Kemar Davis, 25, of Hollywood, Calif., who ran the ring with his brother Andrew, pleaded guilty to leading a narcotics trafficking network before Judge Kelley. Under his plea agreement, the state will recommend that Kemar Davis be sentenced to 20 years in state prison, with a 12-year period of parole ineligibility. Another brother, Roger Davis, 38, of Roslyn, Pa., pleaded guilty on Sept. 14 to first-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. The state will recommend that Roger Davis be sentenced to 10 years in state prison, with three years of parole ineligibility.
The investigation targeted the ring’s shipment of large quantities of cocaine through parcel delivery services to New Jersey for bulk distribution to other narcotics suppliers and dealers. Andrew Davis directed drug trafficking activities of the ring from various locations in Jamaica, California and New Jersey, with the help of his brother Kemar. The investigation began in March 2011, when detectives and agents from the Camden High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office seized two packages from a mail facility in Marlton destined for receipt by Andrew Davis and Marsha Bernard. Each package contained four kilograms of cocaine.
In December 2012, Andrew and Kemar Davis traveled to Jamaica. Andrew remained in Jamaica, but he continued to control activities of the ring by directing Kemar and others. Kemar returned to the U.S. and oversaw the shipment of kilogram quantities of cocaine from California to New Jersey. Bernard and other defendants received the drugs and distributed them to dealers in New Jersey, under the direction of the Davis brothers. The purchasers bought kilogram quantities of cocaine from the Davis organization. Bernard and Roger Davis handled the drug proceeds, sending them to Andrew Davis in Jamaica and Kemar Davis in California.
Bernard was arrested on March 15, 2013, when State Police detectives and DEA agents coordinated arrests in Operation Next Day Air to coincide with the arrival of a significant shipment of cocaine from California. Kemar Davis was arrested in Los Angeles that same day by DEA agents. Andrew Davis was arrested in Los Angeles on Sept. 16, 2013 by members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force.
Detective Sgt. Erik Hoffman of the New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression South Unit was the lead case agent on the investigation. Deputy Attorneys General Glass and Daab were assisted at trial by Technical Assistant Maureen Hitchens, Analyst Nathalie Kurzawa and Services Coordinator Joseph Sine. Acting Attorney General Hoffman thanked the following agencies that participated in Operation Next Day Air with the New Jersey State Police, DEA and Division of Criminal Justice: U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office, Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, Cherry Hill Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, Camden Office.
Six other defendants in Operation Next Day Air pleaded guilty and were sentenced previously to state prison sentences ranging from a flat five years to 16 years with eight years of parole ineligibility.