Newark man sentenced to more than 8 years in prison for drug trafficking

NEWARK, NJ — A Newark man and associate of the street gang known as the “Famous Boyz” was sentenced Sept. 15 to eight years and two months in prison for conspiring to distribute crack cocaine and possessing with the intent to distribute crack cocaine and cocaine, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Jonathan Garcia, aka “Bebo,” 36, previously pleaded guilty via videoconference before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to an information charging him with conspiring to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, and distributing and possessing with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine. 

Saeed Dawes, aka “Nasty,” 22, of Newark, was sentenced on Aug. 12 via videoconference by Arleo to four years and nine months in prison and three years of supervised release. Dawes previously pleaded guilty before Arleo to an information charging him with one count of conspiring to distribute crack cocaine and heroin.

Jonathan Hernandez, 25, of Newark, pleaded guilty on Aug. 26, before Arleo in Newark federal court to a superseding information charging him with one count of conspiring to distribute crack cocaine and one count of possessing with the intent to distribute crack cocaine.

In October 2018, after a lengthy wiretap investigation, Garcia, Hernandez and Dawes, along with 13 other members of a violent drug-trafficking conspiracy operating in Newark, were charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and heroin. Shaka McKinney and Jahid Vauters, aka “K” and “KO,” also were charged with firearms possession offenses. To date, 14 of the defendants have pleaded guilty to drug and/or firearm charges and seven await sentencing.

On Feb. 25, 2019, a grand jury returned a one-count indictment charging three of the defendants, Patricio Hernandez, Jonathan Hernandez and Garcia, with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine for their alleged participation in supplying the “Famous Boyz” with cocaine. On Sept. 30, 2019, a grand jury returned a 21-count superseding indictment against defendants Patricio Hernandez; Jonathan Hernandez; Garcia; Javon Holmes, aka “J-Dot”; and John Mosley, aka “Breezy” and “Brazy.” The charges in the superseding indictment remain pending against the remaining defendants.

According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court, the defendants are members and associates of the Famous Boyz — a subset of the Brick City Brim set of the Bloods street gang — which dealt significant quantities of heroin and crack cocaine, primarily around the area of South 18th Street and 15th Avenue in Newark. The gang often referred to this area as the “8 Block,” “18th” or simply “8.”

Mosley was a primary source of narcotics for the Famous Boyz and often directed the gang’s drug operations. Mosley and other members of the Famous Boyz shared narcotics, customers and firearms with one another in furtherance of their narcotics-trafficking activities, and they used juveniles to distribute narcotics and stash firearms. Patricio Hernandez and Jonathan Hernandez were among the main suppliers of crack cocaine to Mosley, while Vauters supplied Mosley with heroin. Heroin sold by Famous Boyz members, including Dawes, Karen Armstrong and Eugene Williams, contained a fentanyl analog, which is an extremely dangerous and highly-addictive substance.

Members of the Famous Boyz also used social media to promote the gang’s criminal activities, including by advertising their narcotics-trafficking activities and proceeds and by threatening both rival gang members and any individuals who consider cooperating with law enforcement. Those members who sold narcotics also enriched themselves by committing other crimes, including robberies. Law enforcement, acting on information obtained from a wiretap, arrested West while he was attempting to commit a robbery. After law enforcement seized a .40 caliber firearm from the scene, Mosley was overheard complaining to Holmes, “so all the ratchets gone” and “we just lost all the straps,” referring to the Famous Boyz losing their firearms.

In addition to the prison term, Garcia was sentenced to four years of supervised release.

This case is being conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and is part of the Violent Crime Initiative in Newark. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug-trafficking, weapons-trafficking and money-laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. The VCI was formed in August 2017 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the city of Newark’s Department of Public Safety to combat violent crime in and around Newark. 

The charges and allegations against the remaining defendants are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proved guilty.