16 charged in 2nd takedown of Newark drug-trafficking organization

NEWARK, NJ — Sixteen people were charged Aug. 21 in connection with their alleged roles in a drug-trafficking organization that distributed heroin and crack cocaine in Newark, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced. To date, 27 individuals have been charged in connection to this alleged organization.

Anthony Brinson, 27; Kayron Caldwell, 26; Calvin Cheek, 47; Murad Fleming, 18; Sherod Green, 25; Furad Loyal, 30; Jaquwin Marlin, 30; Khalif Nash, 20; Zahir Nash, 19; Dimani Newby, 25; Nasir Sanders, 21; Shawn Scott, 32; Kahlid Windley, 31; Stephan Young, 19, all from Newark; and Jeray Alson, 28, from Vauxhall, are each charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Loyal was additionally charged with one count of illegal possession of a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. Sean Collins, 50, from East Orange, was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 280 grams of more of cocaine base, or “crack” cocaine. Nine of the defendants are currently in custody.

According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court, the defendants are allegedly members of a drug-trafficking organization that sold heroin and crack cocaine in and around Newark, specifically Hayes Street and 14th Avenue in the area of the New Community Corp. community development. The organization also reportedly supplied drugs to customers and other distributors elsewhere. The organization is comprised of members of the Brick City Brim set of the Bloods street gang.

On March 5, 11 defendants, including Keith Herd, the alleged leader of the organization, were charged in connection with the investigation. On Aug. 1, Martin Pettiford, 23, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin. The charges against the other individuals remain pending.

Investigation reportedly revealed that, in addition to selling narcotics, Herd and the other members of the organization alerted each other to police and rival gang member or drug dealer presence within NCC, shared narcotics supply, narcotics proceeds and customers, and raised bail money for each other. Members of the organization have also allegedly engaged in violence and been the subject of violence in connection with their narcotics-trafficking activities.

An investigation led by the FBI used physical and video surveillance, confidential informants, cooperating witnesses, dozens of controlled narcotics purchases, record checks, narcotics seizures including of heroin, and multiple telephone wiretaps to uncover the operations of the drug-trafficking organization.

The drug-trafficking conspiracy counts carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. The illegal possession of a firearm count carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime count carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed.

Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, and members of the Newark Department of Public Safety, under the direction of Director Anthony F. Ambrose, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Essex County Sheriff’s Office, N.J. Department of Corrections, N.J. State Parole Board and U.S. Marshals for their assistance.

These charges and allegations are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proved guilty in a court of law.

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