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NEWARK, N.J. – A Newark man was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to distribute heroin and crack cocaine, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Cory Canzater, a/k/a, “Big C,” 47, of Newark, was previously found guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin and more than 28 grams of cocaine base, distribution of heroin and distribution of cocaine base. Canzater was convicted following a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty in Newark federal court, who imposed the sentence today by videoconference.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

Canzater engaged in a heroin and crack cocaine distribution conspiracy, led by Ahmad Johnson, a/k/a “OC,” 40, of Newark. Other members of the conspiracy included Maurice McPhatter, a/k/a “Ree,” Willie McPhatter, a/k/a “Roc,” Keith Henderson, and Sacha Negron, all of Newark.  Canzater was a runner, who distributed narcotics for the Johnson drug trafficking organization.

Through the authorized interception of telephone calls and text messages, controlled purchases of heroin, the use of confidential sources of information, and other investigative means, law enforcement learned that Canzater was a member of a conspiracy led by Johnson, who was responsible for obtaining wholesale amounts of drugs, including heroin and cocaine, and processing and packaging the drugs for sale in and around Newark. During the September 2017 takedown of the organization, law enforcement conducted a series of search warrants and found over a kilogram of heroin, over 200 grams of crack cocaine, and over 150 grams of fentanyl.

Johnson pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy and was sentenced on April 15, 2019, to 180 months in prison. Maurice McPhatter pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy and was sentenced on May 15, 2020, to 120 months in prison. Willie McPhatter, Henderson, and Negron have all pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy charges and are awaiting sentencing.

This case was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

In addition to the prison term, Judge McNulty sentenced Canzater to five years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents and officers with DEA’s High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Group 1, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan Gibson, with the investigation leading to today’s sentence.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia Astorga and Ari B. Fontecchio of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

MIL Security OSI