Newark man sentenced to five years in prison for drug, firearm offenses

NEWARK, NJ — An Essex County man was sentenced on June 22 to five years in prison for his role in a fentanyl conspiracy, and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Jaqua Clayton, aka “Quay,” 23, of Newark, previously pleaded guilty via videoconference before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, and one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. 

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, on March 26, 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Clayton’s residence and recovered a loaded .40 caliber Taurus semi-automatic handgun loaded with 10 rounds of .40-caliber ammunition, and approximately $51,000 in cash. Clayton admitted that he had agreed with another individual to keep Clayton’s narcotics supply inside of the other individual’s apartment to avoid detection from law enforcement. Law enforcement officers obtained and executed a search warrant for the individual’s apartment in March 2021. The search revealed 2,116 glassine envelopes of fentanyl, as well as five plastic bags of unpackaged fentanyl, the total aggregate weight of which exceeded 400 grams. During the search, Clayton arrived and approached the entrance of the apartment. When he observed law enforcement, he fled from the area. Clayton has a prior felony conviction.

In addition to the prison term, Arleo sentenced Clayton to three years of supervised release.