Lachoy Walker is giving a Newark federal court jury an insider’s account of the rise and fall of a notorious drug ring, says the Newark Star-Ledger. Prosecutors say Walker friend Hakeem Curry, 30, oversaw a multimillion-dollar network that funneled tons of drugs to dealers in two New Jersey counties over a decade, and used murder to silence those who interfered. He faces charges including criminal conspiracy, narcotics distribution, and money laundering. Walker, 31, is a rarity: a former trusted lieutenant willing to cooperate.
The model he described to jurors sounded like something out of Business 101: A “connect” — short for connection — supplies bulk narcotics to a boss, who then distributes to his street managers, he said. Each manager oversees “pitchers,” who make the hand-to-hand sales to users. Each pays for the drug but charges the next level a little more than he paid, swelling profits up the ladder. Managers also pay lookouts, usually armed with walkie-talkies, to report police sightings, and neighbors to stash the daily flow of drugs, guns and money. The savvy dealer uses rental cars and prepaid cell phones, talks in code, and watches for the “stickup boys” — bandits who target cash-rich drug dealers — and to always give police a fake name, which makes bail-jumping easier. Branding was key, he said. “It’s like a domino effect. Once the word get out that this particular brand of heroin is good, everybody’s going to come and get it.”