Cherry Hill woman pleads guilty to federal drug charge
CAMDEN – A Cherry Hill woman, accused of dealing drugs with her adult son, has pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge, court records show.
Candace Gottlieb, 59, and her adult son Tyler were arrested in June after a months-long investigation into the alleged sale of heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and marijuana from their home in the Brookfield section, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Investigators seized about 6,600 pills containing suspected heroin and fentanyl, as well as guns and cash, during a raid at the suspects’ house.
Gottlieb, a former diving coach, admitted guilt Tuesday to conspiring to distribute a substance with 400 grams or more of fentanyl, records show.
The plea deal would allow Gottlieb to avoid a 10-year mandatory minimum prison term for her offense.
Under the agreement, Gottlieb acknowledged conspiring to distribute almost 700 grams of fentanyl, more than 500 grams of cocaine and 25 kilograms of marijuana, according to the federal prosecutor’s office.
She also agreed to surrender more than $2,000 in cash and two guns, and will not contest the forfeiture of property involved in the crime.
Tyler Gottlieb, 27, awaits trial in federal court, Camden, on drug and weapons charges.
The alleged drug operation surfaced in March when authorities found almost $70,000 and suspected heroin in bags belonging to Tyler Gottlieb at Philadelphia International Airport.
An FBI informant then made several alleged drug buys at the Gottliebs’ home, secretly recording Candace Gottlieb during the alleged sale of 600 pills containing heroin and fentanyl, according to a criminal complaint.
The informant reported seeing “large quantities of cocaine” during one visit to the home, as well as several hundred pills believed to contain fentanyl and “three stacks containing numerous individually packaged bags of suspected heroin,” the complaint said.
After her arrest, Gottlieb was dismissed as the longtime diving coach at The College of New Jersey in Ewing, Mercer County.
The school’s website described Gottlieb as "one of the most decorated diving coaches in the Metropolitan (MET) Conference."
It said she also was the founder of the South Jersey and Blue Dolphin diving clubs, and formerly served on the Junior Olympic International Committee.
Gottlieb is to be sentenced Feb. 25 by U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler in Camden.
Jim Walsh: @jimwalsh_cp; 856-486-2646; firstname.lastname@example.org
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