Newark gang member sentenced to 19 years in prison

NEWARK, NJ — A member of the New Jersey set of the Grape Street Crips was sentenced on March 4 in Newark federal court to 19 years in federal prison for his participation in a racketeering conspiracy that involved using other gang members to intimidate a witness during a state criminal trial, as well as conspiracies to distribute heroin and crack-cocaine, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced. The Grape Street Crips controlled drug trafficking and other criminal activities in various areas of Newark.

Ahmed Singleton, aka “Gangsta-Moo,” “Gangsta” and “Mooshie,” 29, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to three counts in the sixth superseding indictment charging him with RICO conspiracy and separate conspiracies to distribute one kilogram of heroin and 280 grams or more of crack-cocaine.

Singleton was charged in November 2016 in a 22-count indictment charging 14 members and associates with, among other things, seven murders, numerous attempted murders, and numerous other violent and drug-trafficking crimes committed as part of the racketeering conspiracy. The gang’s leader, Corey Hamlet, aka “C-Blaze,” “Blaze,” “Blizzie” and “Castor Troy,” 41, of Belleville, and two other violent gang members were convicted in July 2018 following a two-month trial. Thirteen of the 14 defendants charged in the indictment have been convicted. One remaining defendant, Khalil Stafford, is pending trial; Stafford is presumed innocent unless or until he is found guilty in a court of law.

An additional 68 members and associates of the Grape Street Crips who were arrested in a coordinated takedown in May 2015 were separately charged with drug trafficking, physical assaults and witness intimidation. Sixty-six individuals also have been convicted, and charges remain pending against two, who are presumed innocent unless or until found guilty in a court of law.

According to the documents filed in this case and other cases and the evidence presented at trial, as part of the racketeering conspiracy, Singleton admitted that he used fellow members of the New Jersey set of the Grape Street Crips to intimidate a witness against him by having those gang members sitting in the gallery of the courtroom as the witness took the stand. Singleton was facing criminal charges brought by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office for aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a firearm for a shooting that occurred in April 2013. As a result of Singleton’s effort, the witness refused to testify against him and the charges were dismissed.

Afterward, Singleton was intercepted over a wiretap bragging to a fellow gang member that he had committed numerous crimes yet was not in jail. Singleton also admitted to participating in conspiracies to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 280 grams or more of crack-cocaine.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Arleo sentenced Singleton to five years of supervised release.

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