NEWARK, NJ — U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced criminal charges on Oct. 26 against 42 defendants related to racketeering, violence, narcotics distribution and federal firearms offenses. The charges stem from five separate investigations conducted by federal, state and local enforcement partners.
“Keeping New Jersey safe and reducing violent crime are core to this office’s mission, and I have no higher priority as U.S. attorney. The scourge of senseless gun violence plagues too many of our communities, particularly in our urban centers. We are committed to protecting the public from violent criminal organizations, and we will relentlessly hold those who harm and threaten the public accountable,” Sellinger said. “The arrests and charges announced today were achieved through my office’s collaboration with our federal, state and local partners through our Violent Crime Initiative. Our VCI model targets the dangerous offenders and criminal organizations throughout New Jersey who threaten the public and perpetrate violence within our most vulnerable communities.”
The VCI is a multiagency program designed to combine the resources of New Jersey’s federal, state and local law enforcement to identify, target and prosecute violent offenders and criminal organizations throughout New Jersey.
“Selflessly working and coordinating with our law enforcement partners has strengthened our ability to better protect the public from violent actors and organized criminal conduct,” Sellinger said, adding that shooting incidents statewide and in cities where the VCIs operate are appreciably lower than the year-to-date total from last year, including a 23-percent reduction statewide, a 30-percent reduction in Newark, a 27-percent reduction in Jersey City and a 12-percent reduction in Paterson. “These decreases are not a reason for anyone to rest easy or let up, but it is a positive note for our communities that have seen all too much violence.”
“My primary responsibility and focus as attorney general is keeping the residents of our state safe — whether by tackling a rise in auto thefts or taking actions to prevent gun violence, including by holding violent offenders accountable,” New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said. “Today, as a result of the efforts of various law enforcement agencies, we are once again demonstrating that effectively investigating and prosecuting violent crimes requires collaboration across local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. We are, quite simply, stronger and more effective when we collaborate, communicate and share resources — which are precisely the type of partnerships we are fortunate to have here in New Jersey.”
As part of the VCI’s investigation of the drug trafficking organization at the Oscar Miles Housing Complex in Newark, 14 individuals were charged by criminal complaints with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute narcotics, including fentanyl, heroin and cocaine. According to the allegations in the complaints, the charged defendants participated in a drug trafficking organization made up members and associates of the Grape Street Crips street gang. The Essex County residents arrested in this action are: Thomas Barney, 47; Najuwan Blake-Williams, 23; Altray Brown, 29; Ali Carney, 44; Najee Carney, 21; Mookadean Cheeseboro, 35; Tyrone Cradle, 26; Michael Griffin, 32; Jaquan McAllister, 21; Ikaim McSwain, 32; Latif Terry, 39; Shaquan Ward, 37; Taji Williams, 37; and Zaid Williams, 35.
Ten members and associates of the Rollin’ 60s Neighborhood Crips street gang were recently charged by superseding indictment with participating in a racketeering conspiracy involving drug trafficking, carjackings, robberies, nonfatal shootings and murder. According to the allegations in the superseding indictment, from in or around 2015 through 2022, the Rollin’ 60s Neighborhood Crips criminal organization operated in Essex and Union counties, the New Jersey prison system, and elsewhere in New Jersey and nationally. During this alleged conspiracy, several of the charged defendants committed multiple nonfatal shootings and a murder, in furtherance of the Rollin’ 60s Neighborhood Crips criminal organization. The individuals arrested in this action are: Union County resident Abdul Yarrell, aka “Runit Up” and “BB,” 23; and Essex County residents Jason Franklin, aka “Freak” and “OG Freak,” 38; Elijah Williams, aka “Lil Smith,” 22; Tre Byrd, aka “Bands” and “G Bandz,” 21; Kareem Green, aka “Try Me,” 31; Tyheim Terry, aka “Ty” and “Rollin’ Ty,” 24; Amir Warden, aka “Stampz” and “Killa,” 30; Rahjon Cox, aka “Tsu Surf,” 32; Amir Edmonds, aka “G Baby,” 21; and Nygee Johnson, aka “Gito,” 24.
Seven members and associates of the Bounty Hunter Bloods street gang were indicted for participating in a racketeering conspiracy that involved the commission of multiple murders, multiple nonfatal shootings, fraud and narcotics distribution. According to the allegations in the indictment, from in or around 2019 to 2022, the Bounty Hunter Bloods criminal organization operated in Somerset, Middlesex, Passaic and Mercer counties, as well as within the New Jersey prison system. During that period, several of the charged defendants are alleged to have committed violent acts, including murder, a mass shooting, and assaults with deadly weapons, all in furtherance of the affairs of Bounty Hunter Bloods criminal organization. In one instance, members of the Bounty Hunter Bloods are alleged to have shot nine people in New Brunswick, killing two. Over the course of this conspiracy, members and associates of the Bounty Hunter Bloods criminal organization are alleged to have shot 16 people in New Jersey, killing three. The seven arrested individuals hail from Middlesex, Mercer and Somerset counties.
Six defendants were charged by criminal complaints with conspiring to participate in a drug trafficking organization that distributed fentanyl and crack-cocaine in and around Lincoln Park in Newark. This investigation also resulted in the seizure of 13 firearms and quantities of cocaine. The defendants are Newark residents: Ramon Mangan, 39; Jamar Farrell, 44; Khalid Holland, 43; Tyree Norris, 33; and Dashawn Hines, 23; as well as Hillside resident Ted Sanon, 22.
Finally, five members and associates of several branches of the Trinitarios street gang were arrested and charged by criminal complaints with conspiring to distribute cocaine and heroin, as well as firearms offenses. According to the allegations in the complaints, the defendants conducted their narcotics and firearms activities in and around the 5th Ward of Paterson. Each of the defendants is from Paterson.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaints and indictments are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proved guilty.