An Atlantic City man who authorities say “littered the streets of Atlantic City and surrounding areas with dangerous drugs” was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison Wednesday.
Toye Tutis, 46, could have faced life in prison after pleading guilty in November to drug-trafficking conspiracy.
He and longtime girlfriend, Jazmin Vega, also pleaded guilty to money laundering. She is scheduled to be sentenced June 14.
Tutis admitted to purchasing and distributing 150 to 450 kilograms of cocaine and about 26 kilograms of heroin out of his Ta’Ja Laundromat in Atlantic City. He laundered between $1.5 million and $3 million in drug proceeds.
Vega helped launder the proceeds through the couple’s various businesses, including Ta’Ja Construction I LLC, Ta’Ja Real Estate Investors LLC, and Integrity Heating and Cooling LLC.
They purchased more than 30 properties with the dirty money, authorities said. They had to forfeit 20 properties, cash and other assets as part of the plea deal.
“Defendant Tutis laundered more than just clothing at his Atlantic City laundromat – he also laundered the proceeds of his significant heroin and cocaine drug trafficking ring,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said. “The sentence handed down today punctuates the end of both his drug trafficking and his money laundering activities, and is yet another example of our efforts to clean up the streets of Atlantic City and the towns surrounding it.”
FBI Newark Special Agent-in-Charge Gregory Ehrie said that “the magnitude of his crimes may never be fully known but his actions fed a deadly drug epidemic that claims countless lives.”
“The FBI is committed to working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to drive drug traffickers like Toye Tutis out of business and rid the community of these threats to public health and public safety,” Ehrie said.
“Mr. Tutis’ actions show his main concern was making a profit off the misery of others,” said Susan A. Gibson, special agent-in-charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division. “His term in federal prison will allow him to experience some misery of his own. DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to pursue those who choose to poison our community.”
Tutis will also have five years’ supervised release when his sentence is complete.
Nine other people have pleaded guilty to participating in the drug trafficking conspiracy or other related drug trafficking in the Atlantic County area, including:
• Kabaka Atiba, 49, of Atlantic
City, sentenced on Oct. 16, 2017, to 120 months in prison and five years of
• Tozine Tiller, 45, of Absecon, sentenced on Jan. 3, 2018, to 235 months in prison and five years of supervised release;
• TeJohn Cooper, 45, of Galloway Township, sentenced on Sept. 12, 2017, to 96 months in prison and one year of supervised release;
• Ronald Douglas Byrd, 53, of Pleasantville, sentenced on July 11, 2017, to 96 months in prison and five years of supervised release;
• Kareem Taylor, 43, of Atlantic City, sentencing scheduled for June 3, 2019;
• Talib Tiller, 46, of Mays Landing, sentenced on Sept. 5, 2017, to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release;
• John Wellman, 43, of Somers Point, sentenced on July 13, 2017, to 130 months in prison and five years of supervised release;
• Phillip Horton, 53, of Los Angeles, California, sentencing scheduled for June 3, 2019;
• and Francisco Alberto Rascon-Muracami, 25, of Obregon, Mexico, sentenced on Oct. 30, 2015, to 70 months in prison and five years of supervised release.