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Paterson Drug Kingpin Gets 24 Years For Leading Distribution Network

Otis Clyburn
Otis Clyburn Photo Credit: Jerry DeMarco

SOUTH PASSAIC, N.J. -- A Paterson drug kingpin was sentenced to 24 years in state prison -- half of it without parole -- for leading a ring that distributed large amounts of heroin and cocaine to city stash houses.

Otis Clyburn, 46, pleaded guilty on June 19 to possessing heroin with the intent to distribute, conspiracy and money laundering.

Deputy Attorney General Amy Sieminski prosecuted Clyburn and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau

Clyburn was arrested during a major investigation by the New Jersey State Police Street Gangs North Unit and the Division of Criminal Justice that began in 2012.

Investigators said he had just delivered $113,000 in a duffel bag for a heroin purchase and he had a semi-automatic handgun in his car.

Authorities ended up seizing more than 1,500 bricks of heroin -- more than 75,000 doses -- along with 1,500 vials of powder cocaine, 167 bags of crack cocaine and $438,511 in cash.

“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 NJSP Supt. Col. Rick Fuentes. “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.”

Six alleged associates of Clyburn have also been charged in the investigation.

Hoffman commended detectives from the State Police Street Gangs North Unit. Deputy Attorney General Philip Mogavero and former Deputy Attorney General Erin Callahan also worked on the case, he said.

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