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Gang members plea to planning hit

Two members of Camden's Nine Trey Headbustas street gang admitted in court this week that they plotted to kill a fellow gang member in 2007, authorities said Tuesday.

Juan Vargas, 27, of Philadelphia, and Dionicio Adams,28, of Camden, pleaded guilty Monday in Superior Court in Camden County to conspiring to murder Nathaniel Clay, the state Attorney General's Office said. Investigators learned of the plan and arrested the men before it could be carried out.

Adams said in court that he was "posted up" outside Clay's home on the 1500 block of Thorn Street in Camden and either had a gun or access to one, according to Peter Aseltine, spokesman for the Attorney General's Office. He planned to shoot Clay as he left the house, Aseltine said.

Vargas said that he was going to call Clay that day to "flush him out" of the house, the spokesman said.

Under the plea agreements, the state will recommend state prison sentences of 13 to 15 years for Vargas and 10 to 12 years for Adams.

The Nine Trey Headbustas, a violent set of the Bloods street gang. Authorities allege that it was controlled by Michael Anderson, who was serving time in state prison at the time of the planned hit.

Vargas was the "street commander" and leader of the set's drug operations. Adams and Clay were among the set's three "street supervisors."

Officials said the gang dealt large quantities of crack cocaine and heroin in the city's Broadway district and in the neighborhood around Stevens and Benson Streets.

During a series of raids in November 2007, authorities seized 500 bags of heroin intended for street sale, about three pounds of marijuana, 2 1/2 ounces of crack cocaine, two handguns, and about $10,000 in cash.

A state grand jury indicted 15 members of the gang, including Vargas, Adams, Clay and Anderson, in 2008 on charges including racketeering, drug dealing and conspiracy to commit murder.

The investigation, known as Operation Broadway, was coordinated by the state Division of Criminal Justice and the federally funded High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Camden Task Force. Attorney General Paula Dow credited cooperation between state law enforcement agencies for the indictments.

Anderson is the only one of the gang members who has not pleaded guilty. He is charged with being a leader of the drug trafficking network, which carries a possible life sentence, and conspiracy to have Clay murdered.