By Dan Wing
WEST TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey State Police and the US Drug Enforcement Agency have announced charges against nine people whom they say were operating an international drug ring that was based in Jamaica but distributed cocaine across the US from waypoints in New Jersey and California.READ MORE: WATCH LIVE: DA To Provide Update On Ongoing Issue Of Dirt Bikes, Motorcycles On Philly Streets Following Deadly Shooting In Port Richmond
Authorities say the drug trafficking organization was headed up by 34-year old-Andrew Davis of Kingston, Jamaica, who was also a career musician performing under the name “Flippa Mafia.”
Investigators say that from his home in Jamaica, Davis would direct his brother Kemar to send drugs from Hollywood, Calif. to 28-year-old Marsha Bernard in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Bernard would then distribute the shipments of cocaine to other drug dealers, and send the proceeds back to the Davis brothers in California and Jamaica.READ MORE: Philadelphia Police: Man Shot In Chest, Killed In Kensington
The investigation started in March of 2011, when detectives from Camden and the Burlington County prosecutor’s office seized two packages from a mail facility in Marlton, NJ, allegedly on their way to Andrew Davis and Marsha Bernard. Each package contained four kilograms of cocaine.
That led to “Operation Next Day Air” when, on March 15th, authorities executed search and arrest warrants in Cherry Hill, Mount Laurel, and Los Angeles.
In total, detectives seized more than 26 kilos of cocaine with a street value around $780,000, two handguns, and more than $600,000 in cash.
Marsha Bernard and the Davis brothers were being held at the Camden County Jail on charges of leading a narcotics trafficking network, money laundering, distribution of cocaine, and conspiracy. Bail was set at $500,000 for each.MORE NEWS: 25-Year-Old Man Rushed To Hospital After Shot Multiple Times In Philadelphia's Fairhill Section
Five of the other six people arrested are from South Jersey and were being held on lesser charges. A 33-year-old Philadelphia woman was also charged with conspiracy after turning herself in to authorities two months after the other arrests.