The North Jersey Herald-News, April 20, 1986

"They had a cocaine ring
and John Artis was running it."

Detective Sgt. Robert Kronyak
Suburban Trends, April 23, 1986


PLEASE NOTE: This ad contains a false claim that Artis was "fully exonerated" regarding the triple murder. That is not true. He was convicted twice and released on parole. Years years a federal judge overturned his conviction due to alleged procedural errors, NOT evidence. To this day NO judge or jury has ever declared Carter and Artis innocent.


John Artis was released on parole for murder in 1981. Five years later he was busted for dealing drugs, pleaded guilty and was sent back to prison. Artis has put a positive spin on that arrest: He blames his drug bust on the circulatory disease he developed while in prison for murder. He says, in effect, that the drugs were for medicinal use.

The Washington Post reported in 2000:

"Having read that cocaine might lessen the pain of his disease, Artis began using the drug. It wasn't long before he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine. Artis pleaded guilty."

News stories of his arrest paint a much different picture. They report that Artis was part of an drug-dealing operation that was monitored by electronic surveillance, and that Artis was tight with the drug ring's leaders.

Of course, if John Artis wants the public to be certain that his involvement with the drug ring was innocent, all he has to do is request that the wiretap records be released. He won't. One former prosecutor said he believes Artis pleaded guilty to keep those records from becoming public -- Artis didn't want his family to know the truth.

In his pro-Carter book, James Hirsch maintains Artis' clean-cut image by ignoring this significant episode. He says that Artis, after being released on parole, "counsels troubled youths and gives speeches." The articles below paint a much different picture.

Please note that the excerpts are linked to pdf files containing the complete original articles.


Index of complete news articles -- CLICK HERE

Photo of Artis' co-defendants -- CLICK HERE

APRIL 19, 1986 -- John Artis ... was among 12 persons arrested Friday in connection with a drug operation that police said supplied cocaine bought in Upper Manhattan to customers in Passaic County.

Artis, 40, was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, authorities said.

Police said they also found a stolen, fully loaded .45 caliber handgun in Artis' Paterson apartment. ... [The gun was reportedly stolen from Norfolk, Va.]

Artis' wife, Dorothy, was arrested and charged with possession of narcotics paraphernalia, possession of valium and possession of a gun without a permit. ...

Artis is being held without bail; bail for his wife was set at $5,000. ...

Police allege that since December, members of the drug ring made trips about twice a week to Upper Manhattan to purchase cocaine and "crack," a highly potent form of cocaine that is consumed by smoking.

The suspects allegedly transported the drugs to New Jersey and sold the substances to users and other dealers in Wayne, Bloomingdale, Hawthorne, and Paterson.

[Donald Campolo, chief assistant prosecutor in charge of the narcotics unit of the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office], said there is evidence that Artis took part in both the purchase of the cocaine in Manhattan and in making deliveries. Campolo said that Artis had a close relationship with Ms. Hendricks and Ms. McCaghey, whom he described as the leaders of the ring.

Authorities believe that each week the suspects sold cocaine valued at $3,000 to $5,000 on the wholesale level and an unspecified amount of crack, Campolo said.

The Record, April 20, 1986 [CLICK HERE]

Campolo said ... objects used in packaging and consuming narcotics were found in the 1985 car [Artis] was driving.

The prosecutor said a loaded .45-caliber pistol and other drug implements were found Friday night in Artis' Redwood Avenue apartment in Paterson.

Campolo described Artis as one of the principals in a drug distribution ring operating primarily from two sites in Wanaque and one in Paterson. The ring sold narcotics to buyers in upper Passaic County, Campolo said.

Campolo said his office will attempt to prove that Artis was one of several persons who bought drugs in upper Manhattan and delivered them to locations in Wanaque and Paterson.

"It was not an unusual operation," Campolo said. He said orders were taken and filled at two chief locations in Wanaque. Campolo said the ringleaders made certain never to keep drugs in any volume at either site at any particular time. "They knew their needs and made buys based on those needs," Campolo said.

The North Jersey Herald-News, April 20, 1986 [CLICK HERE]

"This was a retail, rather than a wholesale operation," Campolo said. "They did not carry a large inventory, and turned over what they had very quickly. ...

Police found a small amount of cocaine and narcotics paraphernalia in [Artis'] 1985 Ford Thunderbird, as well as a stolen .45-caliber handgun and more paraphernalia in his apartment.

At Ringwood Avenue in Wanaque, police arrested the reputed leader of the ring, Rosemarie Linda Hendricks, 39. Authorities confiscated about 1/8-ounce of cocaine, narcotics-cutting and -packaging equipment, Valium, a small amount of marijuana, and drug-transaction records in the apartment.

The News, April 21, 1986 [CLICK HERE]

According to Paul Uhlik, assistant county prosecutor, narcotics unit, the ring was uncovered with the assistance of electronic devices. "Information on possible drug trafficking became available, and we employed electronic surveillance."

Lakeland Today, April 23, 1986 [CLICK HERE]

The cocaine ring was apparently supplying drugs to dealers rather than users. "They weren't holding significant amounts," said Kronyak. "They were running to New York every day, which we knew from surveillance."

Uhlik said, "It was a very well organized operation, apparently supploying not only users but other dealers.... There was dealing going on right out of the 7-11 Store in Haskell."

Uhlik said Artis came into the picture as the investigation unfolded.

Suburban Trends, April 23, 1986 [CLICK HERE]

Main Hurricane Carter Page