NEWARK, NJ — Nine Newark residents were charged for their roles in conspiracies to distribute and possess with intent to distribute narcotics, acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced March 25.
Robert Covington, aka “Nachie,” 55; Korey Smith, aka “Murda,” 36: Jeffrey Workman, aka “Rah,” 53; Yvonne Jackson, 49; Carlos Stokes, aka “Ab,” 54; Karen Gamble, 50; and Alaa Covington, 21, are charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute at least 40 grams of fentanyl. Robert Covington, Workman, Williamson, Stokes and Gamble are also charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Smith is additionally charged, along with Leroy Baxter III, 55, and William Lane, 57, with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin. Eight of the defendants appeared by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor on March 25. Stokes remains at large.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court, from August 2020 through March 2021, multiple individuals were involved in selling fentanyl and cocaine in an open-air narcotics market in Bradley Court Housing Complex in Newark. These individuals comprise at least two separate drug-trafficking organizations, or DTOs, which have overlapping membership.
DTO-1 involved individuals engaged in the distribution of fentanyl and included Robert Covington, Smith, Williamson, Gamble, Workman, Stokes and Alaa Covington. DTO-2 involved individuals engaged in the distribution of cocaine and included Robert Covington, Williamson, Gamble, Workman and Stokes.
The investigation revealed that Robert Covington was one of the leaders and organizers of DTO-1’s and DTO-2’s distribution of fentanyl and cocaine in or around Bradley Court. He allegedly purchased powder cocaine and fentanyl from various sources, including Smith; “cooked” powder cocaine into crack cocaine or directed others to do so; used various “stash houses” to store and distribute fentanyl and cocaine and to store narcotics proceeds; and employed multiple drug dealers, including Workman, Williamson, Stokes and Alaa Covington, among others, to distribute fentanyl and cocaine to the area surrounding Bradley Court.
Smith — the alleged fentanyl supplier for DTO-1 — was also reportedly engaged in distributing heroin in and around his residence on Fairmount Avenue in Newark from at least January 2021 to the present, along with Baxter, Lane and others.
The conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine. The heroin and cocaine conspiracy charges each have a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proved guilty.