NEWARK, NJ — An Essex County man has admitted to distributing and possessing with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine base, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced Sept. 6.
Raquan Rawls, aka “Bandz,” 24, of Newark, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge John Michael Vazquez by videoconference to two counts in a superseding indictment charging him with distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine base, and distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin.
Stephen Crane Village is a public housing complex in Newark, on the border with Belleville. According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, from at least February 2019 through February 2020, law enforcement officers investigated individuals that controlled an open-air drug market that operated within Stephen Crane Village. On Nov. 21, 2019, Rawls and others sold heroin and cocaine base to an individual while under surveillance by law enforcement. On Dec. 13, 2019, Rawls sold heroin to an individual while under surveillance by law enforcement.
The drug charges to which Rawls pleaded guilty both carry a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2023.