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Ex-girlfriend of ex-con gets 3 years in prison for Bergen County Jail drug conspiracy

Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia
Photo Credit: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF
Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia
Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia

EXCLUSIVE REPORT: Conspiring by phone with her now-ex-boyfriend to distribute cocaine while he was in the Bergen County Jail got a Staten Island woman a three-year state prison sentence, leaving her mother to care for her 7-year-old son.

Charmaine Coit, 25, could be free in nine months after pleading guilty to conspiracy.

Meanwhile, her former partner in crime, ex-con Marcus Carter, moved last week to withdraw his own guilty plea of two months ago, which was intended to spare Coit by putting the full weight on him.

Two officers with the Bergen County Sheriff’s Intelligence Unit quickly sniffed out the conspiracy last May, recording more than two dozen phone conversations between the couple — including one in which Coit refers to a mugshot of Carter in CLIFFVIEW PILOT ( see below) .

They were a mix of friendly and sometimes romantic conversation, profanity, sexual references and disputes that all centered on a wide-ranging conspiracy to have Coit take over Carter’s cocaine distribution business.


The two are heard discussing how many packaging bags to buy, where to get cocaine and how to package and sell it. Their talk also becomes contentious, especially involving money transfers into Coit’s bank account to raise bail for Carter, skirting the law.

“It’s your money, they can’t do anything,” Carter, 36, tells Coit at one point.

“TD Bank wants to know where the money is coming from,” she replies, anxiously.

On another call he tells her to register a car “in Michael’s name” and she angrily says to “leave Michael out of this.”

Coit’s attorney, James Orlando, identified Michael as Coit’s brother.

The couple did nothing to conceal their intent — no codes or vague language — even though the sheriff’s office warns that each call is recorded, said Superior Court Judge Edward A. Jerejan, who reviewed the calls himself.

Orlando told the judge that older Carter pressured his client.

Marcus Carter, Charmaine Coit (STORY / FILE PHOTOS: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia)

“She’s never been in trouble before. She didn’t finish high school,” he said.

While she’s in prison, Orlando said, her son will be cared for by his grandmother.

“This is a situation that’s hard to understand,” Jerejian told Coit. “You seem like a nice person. You have a child, I don’t know what the situation is, or your bond with Mr. Carter.

“But after listening to those tapes, you have to pay a price. You’re involved. You make your own decisions. It will be a hardship to your child for you to go to prison.

“Do your time and move on with your life.”

“Yeah” she answered, shaking her head sadly.

Jerejian had been reviewing the calls to determine their admissibility when Coit took her plea in February.

The next day, Carter admitted that he had two handguns and more than a quarter-pound of cocaine when he led a U.S. marshal on a chase through Route 3 traffic in East Rutherford outside the Homestead Village/Extended Stay in August 2013.

Authorities at the time said Carter — who was wanted in New York — was carrying two Raven Arms .25-caliber handguns, hollow-nose bullets and 123 bags of cocaine that would have sold for roughly $7,500 on the street when he took off across the highway and was caught.

Carter would have received a maximum prison term of 15 years with no parole eligibility for at least 10 for the plea.

If convicted at a trial, Carter faces up to 40 years. He also has pending charges in New York. He remained held on $117,500 bail today.

Coit, who last year served six months in the Hudson County Correctional Facility for an unrelated offense, was taken to the Bergen County Jail following her sentencing last Friday.

Defense attorney James Orlando, Charmaine Coit (STORY / PHOTOS: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia)

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