A routine filing in a criminal drug case wending its way through federal court in Rochester caught my eye the other day because of the unique name of the defendant.
Poop's real name is Mark Jones Jr., but he goes by Poop. Everybody calls him Poop, even his father, Pimp Juice, and his brother, Bug.
Poop is a pseudonym. But in Poop's case it is also what linguists call an autonym or autological word, meaning a word that describes itself, because judging by the court papers against him, Poop is a piece of poop.
You're laughing now, but wait'll you hear about Poop.
Poop is a 29-year-old man who pleaded guilty last week to felony drug and gun charges in U.S. District Court in Rochester. Federal prosecutors alleged he led a heroin ring in the Southern Tier referred to in court papers as the Poop DTO, or drug-trafficking organization.
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He's a convicted felon who served a three-year stretch in New Jersey for dealing dope and had a warrant for his arrest on another felony drug charge before federal agents busted him last fall.
Poop lived in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in a house with children and lots of drugs, guns and cash, according to the complaint against him and others.
"Poop got a crib in Wilkes-Barre," Pimp Juice allegedly told an undercover informant. "His little boys, is three of them. Some young kids. Moving s--- hard for Poop. They got guns in the crib. They got dope in the crib. They got money in the crib."
Pimp Juice, who is 53 and whose name suggests he's irresistible to women, was a lackey for Poop. At one point, Pimp Juice allegedly complained of having to stay up all night to prepare his son's heroin for street sales.
"You gotta bag it up. You gotta tape it up. Then you gotta rubber band it up," Pimp Juice griped, according to the complaint. "Poop is paying me to bag it up."
Federal agents and state and local police had been onto Poop like flies on poop since July 2015.
They alleged in the complaint that Poop had been peddling heroin in the Southern Tier for at least two years and that his operation ran like this:
Poop bought his heroin from suppliers named Reef and Punta. A couple of couriers named Woody and Body transported the dope to Elmira in Chemung County, where it was overseen by Bug, who stashed it at his grandmother's house.
From there, according to the complaint, the Poop DTO entrusted the heroin to Pimp Juice for packaging and to Body and another guy named Ree for selling.
All eight of them were arrested in a series of sweeps last year. In addition to Poop, two of them, Punta and Body, have since pleaded guilty. All of them face from 10 years to life in prison.
Poop and the gang talked of becoming the dominant heroin pushers in Elmira and using violence to edge out the competition, according to the complaint.
At one point, Body allegedly told Bug he would "pull a Vito" on another dealer, an apparent reference to Don Vito Corleone from The Godfather movies.
This while users of their product were dying.
Three people who bought heroin from the Poop DTO died of overdoses in the span of five months, according to the complaint.
The first was 29-year-old Randy Manwaring Jr., who was found dead in his Elmira apartment in September 2015. He was followed by Sean Powers, 49, of Elmira Heights, a month later, and 39-year-old Jeffrey Lynch, of Horseheads, in February 2016.
The Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office, which conducts autopsies for much of the region, concluded that all three men died from the combined effects of heroin and fentanyl, a synthetic opioid many times more powerful than morphine that is often mixed with heroin because it's cheap to produce.
If that's not the handiwork of a piece of poop, I don't know what is.
David Andreatta is a Democrat and Chronicle columnist. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle