NEWARK, N.J. – Two associate members of the DeCavalcante crime family were charged with possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute; one defendant was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
Mario Galli III, 27, and Jason Vella, 37, both of Toms River, New Jersey, are each charged by complaint with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Galli is also charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Sept. 19, 2019, investigators from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office executed search warrants on each of the defendants’ residences and recovered in excess of 150 grams of cocaine and drug paraphernalia, including digital scales, glassine envelopes, a money counter, baking soda, grinders, and $2,295 in cash. Also recovered from Galli’s residence was a FEG 9mm Model PGK-9HP gun loaded with 12 rounds of ammunition. At the time, Galli was on supervised release from a 2016 federal conviction for conspiracy to distribute in excess of 500 grams of cocaine.
The charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The count of being a felon in possession of a firearm carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, which must be served consecutively to any sentence on the drug count and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited the members of the FBI’s Organized Crime Task Force under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark; and investigators from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O’Malley of the U.S. Attorney=s Office’s Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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