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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Police Dispatcher Charged with Murder Conspiracy

Officials silent on arrests
New Jersey Courier Post by LEO STRUPCZEWSKI  -October 11, 2008 

CAMDEN — A city police department dispatcher was charged with conspiracy to commit murder on the same day law enforcement officials dismantled a drug organization during a series of raids earlier this week. Marilyn Barrito was being held at Camden County Jail on $300,000 bail Friday, the jail's admissions office said. Barrito is a dispatcher with the Camden Police Department, the city clerk's office confirmed. Arrested in the raids was Anthony Flores, a 33-year-old Camden man. Flores, now in jail on $1.1 million bail, faces charges that include leading a narcotics network, racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder, possession of weapons and possession of narcotics, a Camden County Jail admissions officer said. His arrest was one of many made Thursday morning when members of the Camden Police Department, Camden County Prosecutor's Office and New Jersey State Police raided seven area locations. During those raids, state troopers "fast-roped" from a helicopter into the Northgate I apartment building and teams of law enforcement officials made their way into at least two city homes and an auto detailing shop in East Camden at 6 a.m.

Camden Police Inspector Michael Lynch, a spokesman for the department, would not say whether the raids occurred and would not address charges against Barrito. Like Lynch, other officials refused to acknowledge Thursday's events and would not offer an explanation as to why. In fact, the Camden Police Department, Camden County Prosecutor's Office and Camden County Jail all refused to release a list of those charged. Jail officials said a lawyer for the county would not allow them to do so. Neither Camden Police Chief Scott Thomson and Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk would address how deep corruption runs in the police department or how it is being handled. "We are, as an organization, committed to ensuring that every employee within the department conducts themselves in a professional and ethical manner," Camden Police Inspector Michael Lynch said in a general statement. "We won't tolerate anything less -- from the top executive down to the newest employee." When asked about the role of corruption in the city's police department, Jason Laughlin, a spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor's Office replied: "That's not a matter we're going to talk about."

Peter Aseltine, a spokesman for Attorney General Anne Milgram, said Friday that the Attorney General's Office had not heard about a Camden Police Department dispatcher being arrested. On Thursday, New Jersey State Police Sgt. Stephen Jones said 17 people were arrested while teams of law enforcement officials were "executing a number of search warrants as part of an ongoing operation." Though exact charges were not known, several arrests dealt with alleged drug distribution, Jones said Thursday. "The larger aspects of that investigation still continue," he said. Flores, the 33-year-old Camden man, owned the auto detailing shop -- T and T Auto Detailing -- which was the subject of Thursday's raid. Though details of Flores' alleged drug organization were not available Friday, aspects of his history were. According to the New Jersey Department of Corrections Web site, Flores was on parole at the time of his arrest. He has previously served time in state prison for drug conspiracy charges and making terroristic threats.

In July, Flores' twin brother, Elvin, was shot to death in front of T and T Auto Detailing. The brothers were co-owners of the business and the initials in the business's name stood for "Tito" and "Tone" -- the brothers' nicknames -- family members said following the homicide. Elvin Flores also served time in state prison, the Department of Corrections Web site shows. His charges included drug distribution and drug conspiracy charges. Elvin Flores was most recently released from prison in July 2007. Officials said Elvin Flores' homicide occurred after he and his brother hosted a party inside the shop and the alcohol ran dry. Elvin Flores began kicking out his guests. A fight erupted in front of the facility and someone pulled a gun on Anthony Flores. When Elvin Flores attempted to quiet the situation, he was shot. On Sept. 4, investigators charged Abdul Malik, a 20-year-old Camden man, with Elvin Flores' homicide. Officials would not comment on whether that homicide is related to Anthony Flores' alleged drug organization. Reach Leo Strupczewski at (856) 317-7828 or

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