These three men were sentenced today by Superior Court Judge John T. Kelley in Camden. Each of them pleaded guilty on April 15 to first-degree racketeering.
Omar Urbina Sr., 42, of Philadelphia, Pa., was sentenced to 14 years in state prison, including nearly 12 years of parole ineligibility.
Edwin Urbina, 40, of Camden, N.J., was sentenced to 10 years in state prison, including 8 ½ years of parole ineligibility.
Deputy Attorney General Rachael Weeks took the guilty pleas and handled the sentencing hearing for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.
“For these three brothers, the family business for two decades was peddling addiction and death to the many heroin users across the region who relied upon their open-air drug markets in North Camden,” said Acting Attorney General Lougy. “We put them out of business with our law enforcement partners in Operation North Pole, and these lengthy prison sentences will ensure that they stay out of business.”
“For 20 years these local drug lords ruled their turf with intimidation and violence,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “With these prison sentences, we’ve officially ended the Urbinas’ reign of terror in North Camden.”
The three brothers were charged in a Sept. 12, 2014 indictment stemming from “Operation North Pole.” They controlled open-air drug markets at and around the intersections of 4th and York Streets and 3rd and Erie Streets in North Camden, selling hundreds of thousands of dollars a month in heroin and cocaine. The Urbinas and their associates controlled those drug markets for 20 years, relying on violence to protect their turf from interlopers. The indictment charged 42 defendants, including four alleged suppliers for the ring, one of whom allegedly used his ties to Mexican drug cartels to act as the ring’s primary supplier of heroin and cocaine. The investigation revealed that the enterprise was large, highly structured and well-organized. The Urbinas not only distributed heroin and cocaine using their own packaging, but also allowed others to “rent” blocks or corners to distribute their own drugs in a different type of packaging. In return for cash payments, the Urbinas provided protection to the “tenants.” Thirty-six defendants have pleaded guilty, including 14 who pleaded before the indictment.
The Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau conducted Operation North Pole with assistance from the Camden County Police Department-Metro Division, Camden County Sheriff’s Department, Pennsauken Police Department and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations in Cherry Hill. Numerous agencies, including the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, helped execute arrest and search warrants during the takedown of the ring in November 2013, when most of the defendants were arrested.
Deputy Attorney General Darryl Richardson presented the indictment to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. Detectives Peppi Pichette and Brian Woolston were lead detectives for Operation North Pole. Deputy Attorneys General Andrew Johns, Julia S. Glass and Martin Steiner also have prosecuted defendants in the case, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Lauren Scarpa Yfantis and Deputy Bureau Chief Erik Daab. Many other attorneys and detectives of the Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau South Unit assisted with the case.