TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a Trenton narcotics dealer was sentenced to prison today for distributing a first-degree quantity of cocaine. He was charged in an investigation by the New Jersey State Police, during which he distributed half a pound of cocaine.
Marcus Covington, 37, of Trenton, N.J., was sentenced to 30 years in state prison, including 15 years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Robert W. Bingham II in Mercer County. Covington was found guilty May 17 by a Mercer County jury of all five counts against him in a state grand jury indictment, including a first-degree charge of distribution of cocaine, second-degree charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and distribution of cocaine within 500 feet of a public housing project, and third-degree charges of possession of cocaine and distribution of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school.
Deputy Attorneys General Michael A. Klein and Sarah Mielke tried the case and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. They were assisted at trial by Analysts Kimberly Namura and Nathalie Kurzawa. Covington was indicted as the result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Gangs & Organized Crime Central Unit and Crime Suppression Central Unit. Detective Douglas Muraglia was the lead detective for the State Police.
The state presented testimony and evidence that from Feb. 10 through June 15, 2016, Covington conducted 10 sales of cocaine in Trenton totaling approximately 224 grams. In three of the transactions, Covington was assisted by a co-conspirator, Wayne Meyers, 36, of Trenton. Meyers previously pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree distribution of cocaine. He was sentenced in June to seven years and two months in state prison, including 43 months of parole ineligibility.
“While the opioid epidemic has rightly focused law enforcement attention on heroin, fentanyl and opioid pain pills, we have not lost sight of the fact that cocaine is involved in hundreds of overdose deaths in New Jersey each year and fuels the gun violence that surrounds street-level drug dealing,” said Attorney General Grewal. “I commend the trial team and State Police detectives who have ensured that this drug dealer will spend a long time in prison, where he can’t traffic his poison.”
“We will continue to partner with the New Jersey State Police to investigate and prosecute the narcotics traffickers profiting from addiction in our communities,” said Director Veronica Allende of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice. “We want drug dealers like Covington to know that they will face lengthy prison sentences for their crimes.”
“By selling cocaine near schools and residential homes, Covington put law-abiding citizens and their children in danger of the gun violence that goes hand-in-hand with drug dealing,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “I commend the outstanding work of the New Jersey State Police Gangs and Organized Crime Central Unit and Crime Suppression Central Unit who worked closely with our partners to send this defendant to prison.”
Deputy Attorney General Klein presented the case to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Erik Daab and Bureau Chief Lauren Scarpa Yfantis. Attorney General Grewal commended the members of the New Jersey State Police Gangs & Organized Crime Central Unit and Crime Suppression Central Unit who conducted the investigation.
Andrew Ferencevych and John Furlong, Esqs., Furlong and Krasny, Ewing, N.J.
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