Newark man charged with distributing heroin

NEWARK, NJ — An Essex County man made his initial court appearance June 16 after his arrest in North Carolina on drug charges, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Lester Hicks, aka “Mayhem,” 29, of Newark, is charged by complaint with one count of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute heroin. He made his initial court appearance by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward Kiel.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, law enforcement officers with the Essex County Sheriff’s Office were patrolling around Clinton and Avon avenues in Newark on March 8 when they observed a vehicle run a red light. The officers stopped the vehicle, in which Hicks was a passenger. They determined there was an active warrant for Hicks’ arrest. A search incident to his arrest recovered 78 glassine envelopes of heroin and $121 in cash. Twenty-eight of the envelopes were stamped “Terminator” in red ink, and 50 of the envelopes were stamped “G” in red ink.

Hicks was charged, processed and released with a summons to return to court. That same day, he was allegedly involved in a shooting near Martin Luther King Boulevard in Newark. The shooting was recorded on video and Hicks was identified as one of the shooters, according to Carpenito. After agreeing to self-surrender, he traveled instead to North Carolina, where he was arrested by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Hicks reportedly had a sawed-off shotgun in his possession when arrested.

The drug-trafficking offense carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $1 million fine.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until found guilty in a court of law.