A city drug ring leader who unloaded large quantities of heroin and cocaine from stash houses onto city streets received a 24-year prison sentence Friday afternoon, according to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.
Otis Clyburn, 46, received a 24-year prison sentence before New Jersey Superior Court Judge Miguel de la Carrera, for first-degree heroin possession with intent to distribute, two counts, second-degree conspiracy, and third-degree money laundering, authorities said.
Clyburn pleaded guilty to the charges on June 19, 2015.
“Clyburn and his associates were distributing large quantities of heroin in Paterson, which is where so many drug users from the northern suburbs of New Jersey come to obtain heroin,” said Acting Attorney General John Hoffman. “By putting major drug dealers like Clyburn in prison for lengthy terms, we are reducing the flow of heroin fueling addiction in our communities.”
Authorities said was caught during a long-term drug investigation by the New Jersey State Police Street Gangs North Unit and the Division of Criminal Justice that began in 2012. State troopers seized 75,000 doses of heroin or 1,500 bricks from Clyburn’s ring.
1,500 vials of powder cocaine and 167 bags of crack cocaine was also confiscated from the ring, authorities said.
$438,511 in cash was seized as suspected drug proceeds. Clyburn was indicted in early 2013, but that didn’t halt his operations. In February 2014, Clyburn allegedly had large quantities of heroin which was recovered by authorities following searches of his house, his girlfriend’s house, multiple stash houses he rented, and several of his vehicles.
When, Clyburn was arrested, he had just delivered $113,000 in a duffel bag for a big heroin buy. Authorities found a semi-automatic handgun in his car. 1,150 bricks, a brick contains 50 wax folds of heroin, was recovered from Clyburn’s garage locations.
State police also recovered a money counter, chest containing bulk currency, and $337,243 in cash that included the $113,000 duffel bag confiscation.
“Once again, we see the combination of a drug dealer carrying huge sums of cash and a gun, showing clearly the connection between the drug trade and violence in our cities,” said Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “These crimes Clyburn committed, investigated by the State Police and prosecuted by the Division of Criminal Justice, have earned him every bit of the long jail sentence he now faces.”
Clyburn ran a large scale drug distribution operation from Paterson with a number of associates who took orders from him. Six of those associates have been charged in the investigation, authorities said.
“We’re aggressively investigating and prosecuting heroin trafficking as well as the diversion and abuse of prescription opiates such as oxycodone,” said Elie Honig, Director of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Given the trend of drug users getting hooked on prescription pain pills and then switching to cheaper and more deadly heroin, we know we need to fight this battle on multiple fronts.”