11/28/2014 10:27:50 AM
  
 GANG NEWS ARTICLE ARCHIVES
  
January
  
  
MAP: Where do N.J. criminals get their guns?: The majority of weapons recovered came from New Jersey's cities: Newark, Camden, Jersey City, Paterson, Trenton, Atlantic City, Elizabeth, Vineland, Irvington and East Orange comprised the top 10 and accounting for 1,959 guns. Another 341 cities and towns accounted for 1,636 guns, but the ATF declined to release town-by-town statistics.
Source: nj.com  Date: 1/23/2014
  
Newark mayoral candidate faces blowback for writing letters in support of gang member: NEWARK — As Newark grapples with one of its most violent years to date, The Star-Ledger story detailing mayoral candidate Ras Baraka’s letters supporting a convicted gang lord prompted scorn and praise from city leaders yesterday, highlighting two competing approaches to fighting crime in the state’s largest city. Baraka, the South Ward councilman since 2010 wrote letters on behalf of convicted gang leader Al-Tariq Gumbs at his sentencing in 2010, the same year Gumbs was accused of plotting murders from a federal prison cell in Arizona, court papers show.
Source: nj.com  Date: 1/2/2014
  
Tip leads to the recovery of shotgun from Paterson park trash can: PATERSON — A tip about gang meetings and hidden gun stashes led to the recovery of a sawed-off shotgun in Eastside Park on Wednesday, authorities said. The weapon, which was manufactured by Mossberg, was found in a garbage can in the park, Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik said. The tip came from a confidential source, said Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik said. Detectives from the sheriff’s Gang Intelligence Unit at the jail went to the park around 2:30 p.m. and recovered the weapon, a Mossberg 500C .20-gauge shotgun.
Source: northjersey.com  Date: 1/24/2013
  
Leader of Passaic Latin Kings chapter pleads guilty to threatening Bergen prosecutor: HACKENSACK — An imprisoned former leader of a Passaic Latin Kings chapter pleaded guilty Monday to threatening Bergen County prosecutors during his trial on murder charges. According to The Record, 52-year-old Juan Rosario - known as "King Black Rose" on the streets of Passaic - yelled insults and expletives at prosecutors at multiple hearings, including a November 2007 appearance during which he threatened to kill Assistant Prosecutor Catherine Fantuzzi.
Source: nj.com  Date: 1/16/2013
  
State police detective to speak about gangs, street drugs : EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Detective John Ioia of the New Jersey State Police Gang Unit will speak at CASA for Children’s annual Winter Forum 9:30 a.m.-noon Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Egg Harbor Township branch of the Atlantic County Library, 1 Swift Ave. The free event will feature a presentation by Ioia that details the use and affects of street drugs and gang activity in the community. All are welcome; to register call Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children at (609) 601-7800 or email sara@AtlanticCapeCASA.org .
Source: The Current  Date: 1/14/2013
  
Alleged Crip gang member, already in jail, charged with Linden murder: ELIZABETH — A New Brunswick man already in jail on a weapons conviction has been charged with the August 2011 killing of a rival gang member in Linden, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office said today. Eugene Cady, also known as "FU,” 22, was arrested Wednesday and charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of Kason Wilson, a 24-year-old Linden man, First Assistant Prosecutor Albert Cernadas Jr. said. According to investigators, Cady, an alleged member of the Rollin 30's Crip gang, shot Wilson, who investigators determined belonged to the G-Shine Bloods, several times on Union Street late on August 21, 2011, Cernadas said.
Source: nj.com  Date: 1/10/2013
  
Final defendant in Newark MS13 schoolyard slaying sentenced to 195 years : Final defendant in Newark schoolyard slaying sentenced to 195 years. The criminal justice portion of one of the most heinous murder cases in Newark history came to a close today as Gomez, the final defendant in the Newark Schoolyard slaying was sentenced to 60 years in state prison for each of the murders of Iofemi Hightower, Dashon Harvey and Terrance Aeriel, and 15 years for the attempted murder of Natasha Aeriel, all students or incoming students at Delaware State University. The terms run consecutively.
Source: nj.com  Date: 1/9/2013
  
Jury selection to begin in Newark MS13 schoolyard civil trial : NEWARK — Jury selection is slated to begin today in the civil trial against the Newark Board of Education which alleges security failures led to the August 2007 triple killing behind Mount Vernon Elementary School. All six young men and boys charged in the killing were convicted at trial or pleaded guilty to aspects of the crime.
Source: nj.com  Date: 1/7/2013
  
Anti-gang forum organizers want more people to join discussion: The program Thursday evening at the Union County Police Academy in Scotch Plains was billed as a dialogue on gang awareness. The dozen or so active and retired law enforcement officials, social workers, school administrators and community activists who attended wished more people had attended. A third event is being planned for March, where attendees will continue discussion on best-practices for developing and funding gang-preventive measures and outreach.
Source: mycentraljersey  Date: 1/30/2012
  
How I became a member of $ex, Money, Medford: Burlington County has gangs in almost every town? The county has Crips, Bloods and Latin Kings. It has the “$MM” (Sex, Money, Murder) gang, which has black and white members. Generally, gangs are involved in illegal drug trade, a dicey line of work, since gangs are responsible for one of every six murders in New Jersey.
Source: phillburb.com  Date: 1/29/2012
  
Report: Newark's level of gang-related murders among highest in nation: NEWARK — Fueled largely by the drug trade, gang violence in Newark is on par with historically violent California cities like Los Angeles and Oakland, according to a report the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released today. Using data from 2003 through 2008, the analysis looked at homicides in large cities in 17 states and found the highest level of gang-related murders in Los Angeles, Oakland and Long Beach, Calif., Oklahoma City and Newark.
Source: nj.com  Date: 1/26/2012
  
In plea deal, gang member agrees to testify against his brother, others in death of 13-year-old: TRENTON — Nearly three years after gang gunfire killed 13-year-old Tamrah Leonard at a city block party, the man behind of the wheel of the drive-by shooting pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter yesterday and implicated his younger brother and others in the crime. Keith Warren, 23, accepted a plea deal that requires him to spend 20 years behind bars and to testify against his brother, 20-year-old Lamar Warren, and five other Sex Money Murder Bloods members in the revenge attack meant for rival Gangster Killer Bloods.
Source: nj.com  Date: 1/7/2012
  
2 members of Bloods sentenced for initation, robbery: SOUTH PLAINFIELD — Two members of a sect of the Bloods street gang have been sent to state prison for initiating a 16-year-old boy into the gang and then using him to help rob one fast-food restaurant and attempt to rob a second in South Plainfield. Authorities charged Simpson, Richardson and Ryan Crouch, 21, of South Plainfield, members of the Sex, Money, Murder sect of the Bloods, attempted to rob a Wendy’s on May 8, 2010 and robbed a Burger King of $118 the next day.
Source: nj.com  Date: 1/6/2012
  
State police report details gang presence in Morris County, NJ: Despite having one of the smallest gang populations in the state, Morris County continues to see its share of gang problems, with several different gangs having a presence in some municipalities, according to the State Police Gang Survey. There are 244 distinct gangs operating in the state, with the Latin Kings having a presence in 106 towns, including Dover and Wharton, and a sect of the Bloods as the second largest. Morris Township identified the Bloods as the most serious problem and MS-13 as the gang that was most actively recruiting members in the township. In Denville, authorities identified a Bloods splinter group, the 9-3 (Nine Trey) Bloods, as the most serious problem and INA as the gang that is actively recruiting. In each municipality, a possibility of conflict exists between the two different gangs over "turf," the survey said.
Source: Daily Record  Date: 1/30/2011
  
Gangs have presence in 254 towns, in every county in N.J., survey shows: Street gangs in New Jersey have a foothold in almost half of the state’s municipalities and reach across all 21 counties, according to a State Police report released yesterday. • There are 244 distinct gangs and 1,575 gang subsets operating within the state.The report, authored by the State Police Intelligence Section, culls responses from 565 of New Jersey’s 566 municipalities as well as county law enforcement agencies. Only Elizabeth did not participate.
Source: nj.com  Date: 1/29/2011
  
Officials acknowledge growth of gangs, difficulty law enforcement faces keeping up: To Lakewood resident Laura Quinones, the murder of a police officer and a series of killings in the last year have given the township a new name. "This isn't Lakewood anymore," she said. "This is Blood-wood." The violence has been so rampant in the last 13 months — five murders plus the death of the police officer — that some officials say the gang problem may be too big for the township to handle. Lakewood is not the first, nor will it be the last, to suffer at the hands of gang members. Active gangs in the township include the violence-prone Bloods, the Latino MS-13 gang and the Latin Kings, according to a 2007 State Police report on gang activity in the state. In 2007, the Bloods were the largest gang, with 150 to 200 members in the township, the report stated. No updated report has been issued since. (3 of 4) North of Lakewood, Plainfield has declared war on its gangs. Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs declared a state of emergency in June following a dozen-plus shooting incidents in the Union County city in the preceeding month. Most of the violence was linked to feuding gangs. Feds crack down on gang members Last week, federal law enforcement officers cracked down, arresting 13 suspected Bloods street gang members and associates in Plainfield. "We had a sting operation," including a nearly one-year investigation that involved federal, state, county and local officers, Robinson-Briggs said. "We feel that this is something very positive in terms of getting a handle on recent gang activity." Related * SPECIAL REPORT: Gangs at the Jersey Shore She said that she believes more arrests will be made. Anti-gang efforts The Jan. 14 shooting of Matlosz, the first Ocean County police officer murdered in the line of duty, sent shock waves throughout the state. The shooting "really has shaken the community to its very bone," Singer said. But gang activity in Lakewood is limited to a couple of sections and is not a township-wide problem, he said. When he served as mayor two years ago, Singer said he worked with the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office to help bolster its anti-gang efforts. Singer said he has confidence in the Prosecutor's Office to battle the problem and plans to meet with Ford. He also will go to state Attorney General Paula T. Dow if necessary, he added. "We've seen the gangs actually get more violent," Singer said. "Gang activity has stepped up and we have to respond to that." Peter Aseltine, a spokesman for the state Attorney General's Office, said he couldn't comment specifically on Lakewood. But investigating and prosecuting violent street gangs is one of Dow's top priorities, he said. Additional resources have been devoted to fighting street gangs, Aseltine said. In April, the attorney general announced $10 million in state and federal money for gang prevention programs, such as helping jailed gang members find legitimate employment once they are released so they do not return to a gang life. (4 of 4) Dow, a former Essex County prosecutor, is "very familiar with the violence that these gangs inflict on communities and is very concerned to address it," Aseltine said. Both the state police and Division of Criminal Justice are involved in gang investigations and gathering intelligence throughout the state, he said. The state police provides intelligence on gang threats to local police departments, he said. The state has a large number of investigations and prosecutions targeting gangs, particularly the Bloods, he said. FBI Special Agent Bryan L. Travers wouldn't comment on whether the gang problem in Lakewood is too large for the township to handle. Related * SPECIAL REPORT: Gangs at the Jersey Shore "We work very closely with law enforcement all around the state," he said. "We have gang task forces and very strong initiatives to address the gang problem in New Jersey." Prosecutor Ford said the Lakewood Police Department is "extraordinarily competent about identifying and dealing with gang issues." "But like so much in crime, it's opportunistic and it's difficult to anticipate what (a gang's) next move is and so forth," she said. "It is a statewide problem and, obviously, it requires a statewide response." The Prosecutor's Office has a Gang Violence Initiative and participates in a joint regional task force on gangs, she said. It also has been involved in informing Lakewood students about gangs, she said. "So what we're trying to do is stop the recruiting of the younger kids," she said. Lakewood Committeeman Lichtenstein said gang prevention starting in the schools will be critical because gangs are recruiting younger and younger children. "We lost an officer," Lichtenstein said. "But there is also a 19-year-old whose life is essentially over." Lakewood is not alone in the county when it comes to gang infestation. Gang issues in Brick Neighboring Brick has its own gang issues, but it has become tougher for the township police to battle them, Police Chief N. Rick Bergquist has said. Last year, due to budget constraints, the township disbanded its four-man Selective Enforcement Team. The squad was formed in 2009 to combat rising drug- and gang-related crimes, and it increased drug-related arrests by 300 percent, Bergquist said. Since the task force was disbanded, its members have been added to the routine police patrols, he said.
Source: Asbury Park Press  Date: 1/23/2011
  
Officials acknowledge growth of gangs, difficulty law enforcement faces keeping up: To Lakewood resident Laura Quinones, the murder of a police officer and a series of killings in the last year have given the township a new name. "This isn't Lakewood anymore," she said. "This is Blood-wood." The violence has been so rampant in the last 13 months — five murders plus the death of the police officer — that some officials say the gang problem may be too big for the township to handle. Lakewood is not the first, nor will it be the last, to suffer at the hands of gang members. Active gangs in the township include the violence-prone Bloods, the Latino MS-13 gang and the Latin Kings, according to a 2007 State Police report on gang activity in the state. In 2007, the Bloods were the largest gang, with 150 to 200 members in the township, the report stated. No updated report has been issued since. (3 of 4) North of Lakewood, Plainfield has declared war on its gangs. Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs declared a state of emergency in June following a dozen-plus shooting incidents in the Union County city in the preceeding month. Most of the violence was linked to feuding gangs. Feds crack down on gang members Last week, federal law enforcement officers cracked down, arresting 13 suspected Bloods street gang members and associates in Plainfield. "We had a sting operation," including a nearly one-year investigation that involved federal, state, county and local officers, Robinson-Briggs said. "We feel that this is something very positive in terms of getting a handle on recent gang activity." Related * SPECIAL REPORT: Gangs at the Jersey Shore She said that she believes more arrests will be made. Anti-gang efforts The Jan. 14 shooting of Matlosz, the first Ocean County police officer murdered in the line of duty, sent shock waves throughout the state. The shooting "really has shaken the community to its very bone," Singer said. But gang activity in Lakewood is limited to a couple of sections and is not a township-wide problem, he said. When he served as mayor two years ago, Singer said he worked with the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office to help bolster its anti-gang efforts. Singer said he has confidence in the Prosecutor's Office to battle the problem and plans to meet with Ford. He also will go to state Attorney General Paula T. Dow if necessary, he added. "We've seen the gangs actually get more violent," Singer said. "Gang activity has stepped up and we have to respond to that." Peter Aseltine, a spokesman for the state Attorney General's Office, said he couldn't comment specifically on Lakewood. But investigating and prosecuting violent street gangs is one of Dow's top priorities, he said. Additional resources have been devoted to fighting street gangs, Aseltine said. In April, the attorney general announced $10 million in state and federal money for gang prevention programs, such as helping jailed gang members find legitimate employment once they are released so they do not return to a gang life. (4 of 4) Dow, a former Essex County prosecutor, is "very familiar with the violence that these gangs inflict on communities and is very concerned to address it," Aseltine said. Both the state police and Division of Criminal Justice are involved in gang investigations and gathering intelligence throughout the state, he said. The state police provides intelligence on gang threats to local police departments, he said. The state has a large number of investigations and prosecutions targeting gangs, particularly the Bloods, he said. FBI Special Agent Bryan L. Travers wouldn't comment on whether the gang problem in Lakewood is too large for the township to handle. Related * SPECIAL REPORT: Gangs at the Jersey Shore "We work very closely with law enforcement all around the state," he said. "We have gang task forces and very strong initiatives to address the gang problem in New Jersey." Prosecutor Ford said the Lakewood Police Department is "extraordinarily competent about identifying and dealing with gang issues." "But like so much in crime, it's opportunistic and it's difficult to anticipate what (a gang's) next move is and so forth," she said. "It is a statewide problem and, obviously, it requires a statewide response." The Prosecutor's Office has a Gang Violence Initiative and participates in a joint regional task force on gangs, she said. It also has been involved in informing Lakewood students about gangs, she said. "So what we're trying to do is stop the recruiting of the younger kids," she said. Lakewood Committeeman Lichtenstein said gang prevention starting in the schools will be critical because gangs are recruiting younger and younger children. "We lost an officer," Lichtenstein said. "But there is also a 19-year-old whose life is essentially over." Lakewood is not alone in the county when it comes to gang infestation. Gang issues in Brick Neighboring Brick has its own gang issues, but it has become tougher for the township police to battle them, Police Chief N. Rick Bergquist has said. Last year, due to budget constraints, the township disbanded its four-man Selective Enforcement Team. The squad was formed in 2009 to combat rising drug- and gang-related crimes, and it increased drug-related arrests by 300 percent, Bergquist said. Since the task force was disbanded, its members have been added to the routine police patrols, he said.
Source: Asbury Park Press  Date: 1/23/2011
  
Atlantic City, NJ: Ex-gang boss gets OK to gamble in casinos: ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — For years, he was one of the top three leaders of The Ghost Shadows, a notorious Chinese street gang in New York that dealt in drugs, illegal gambling and other vices, and he spent eight years in prison for racketeering. But now Robin Chee says he's a changed man, and wants to be able to gamble in Atlantic City casinos. Besides, he said, none of his old crimes happened in Atlantic City or in a casino. New Jersey placed Chee on its exclusion list in 1995, after he was arrested on racketeering charges, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The list typically bars mobsters, con men, casino cheats and other unsavory characters from entering Atlantic City casinos.
Source: daily record  Date: 1/19/2011
  
School bus hit by gunfire in Newark: NEWARK — A small, yellow school bus was hit by gunfire today as it dropped off students from a Newark elementary school to their homes, officials said. The three students on the bus were from the Dayton Street Elementary School. They were not injured, Newark Public Schools spokeswoman Valerie Merritt said.
Source: NJ.COM  Date: 1/18/2011
  
Latin Kings street gang member is given 50 years in prison: PLAINFIELD — A high-ranking member of the Latin Kings street gang was sentenced today to 50 years in state prison, authorities said. Francisco Demoscoso, 36, of Plainfield, was found guilty in September of first-degree attempted murder, second-degree aggravated assault and weapons offenses, and had been facing a possible life term, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office said. Demoscoso and fellow gang member Jorge Acosta attacked a Plainfield man outside the Chez Marie nightclub in the early morning hours of Jan. 26, 2008, said Assistant Prosecutor Joshua McMahon, who prosecuted the case.
Source: NJ.COM  Date: 1/18/2011
  
Lakewood, NJ has long been a hotbed for gang activity: Police arrested Jahmell W. Crockam, 19, of Lakewood, in the shooting death Friday of township Police Officer Christopher Matlosz. Following a 38-hour manhunt, Crockam was apprehended in Camden early Sunday morning. Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford would not say whether Crockam was a member of a gang. But Rosendo Perez, president of the New Jersey Gang Investigators Association, said: "As soon as I heard about it, I immediately knew it was gang-related." In Lakewood, as in many other gang-entrenched cities and towns throughout New Jersey, it has been "business as usual," said Edwin Torres, an investigator for the State Commission of Investigation. "Gangs are not operating under budget cuts. By no means are these guys scaling back."
Source: daily record  Date: 1/17/2011
  
Anti-crime group says it's rolling into Camden: CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — The anti-crime group Guardian Angels said Thursday that it will send members to Camden just before police layoffs take effect. The group says 40 members from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania will arrive in Camden on Sunday.
Source: daily record  Date: 1/13/2011
  
New Jersey sees 15-percent spike in homicides over past year: Homicides rose by 15 percent in New Jersey last year, marking the first time in four years that the state saw an annual increase in slayings, according to a Star-Ledger survey of county prosecutor’s offices. Most of New Jersey’s homicides were related to disputes over narcotics or gang territory, according to Paul Loriquet, spokesman for state Attorney General Paula Dow. He said it would be hard to pinpoint a reason for the spike. There were 364 homicides in New Jersey last year, according to the survey, compared with 320 in 2009. The last time the state saw an annual hike in homicides was 2006, when 427 people were killed, according to statistics.
Source: nj.com  Date: 1/1/2011
  
Newark schoolyard slaying trial set for first of six charged in killings: NEWARK -- Nearly 2 1/2 years after three college friends were shot dead in a Newark schoolyard, a trial date has been set for one of the accused killers. Jury selection is scheduled to begin April 5 for Rodolfo Godinez, 26, of Newark, one of the six young men charged in the Aug. 4, 2007 execution-style killings, said Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Thomas McTigue, who is handling the case with Assistant Prosecutor Romesh Sukhdeo. Cases against the five others, including three who were juveniles at the time, have not yet made it to trial. Defense motions, a change in the judge and prosecutors’ attempts to try the juveniles as adults have slowed the proceedings. All six defendants have pleaded not guilty to killing Terrance Aeriel, 18, Dashon Harvey, 20, and Iofemi Hightower, 20, who were robbed, and shot in the back of the head behind Mount Vernon School in the Ivy Hill section.
Source: Star Ledger  Date: 1/27/2010
  
Two members of N.J. drug ring linked to Bloods gang get prison: TRENTON -- A New Jersey member of the Nine Trey Gangsters set of the Bloods street gang has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in a drug distribution ring. Forty-one-year-old Oscar Randall, of Lower Township, was sentenced today in state Superior Court in Trenton. He pleaded guilty in September to first-degree racketeering. Also sentenced Thursday was 29-year-old Stanley Foote of Newark. He pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to distribute narcotics, admitting he sold drugs in Newark with members of the Nine Trey Gangsters. He got a 10-year prison term.
Source: nj.com  Date: 1/14/2010
  
Hells Angels founder: Kidnapping suspect's no son of mine: The Missouri man suspected of giving orders that led to a mistaken-identity kidnapping in Newton was making things up when he allegedly boasted of a connection with the Hells Angels, an attorney representing Hells Angels founder Sonny Barger said on Thursday. William James Barger, 48, told people he was Sonny Barger's son and was starting a Hells Angels chapter in the Midwest, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Vernon County, Mo. on Wednesday. Fritz Clapp, an attorney who represents Sonny Barger, said in an e-mail on Thursday evening that his client, who founded the Oakland chapter of the Hells Angels, never heard of the suspect arrested in Missouri. He also said William Barger had no connection to the Hells Angels. "Ralph 'Sonny' Barger has no children, although at least once or twice every year someone claims to be his offspring," Clapp said. "He has never heard of this 48-year old named William James Barger, whose story about connections to the club is also a complete fabrication."
Source: Daily Record  Date: 1/14/2010
  
No bail for Ortiz; says he'll fight extradition: The reputed gang member charged with murdering a man in Jersey City's Ringside Lounge was denied bail at his arraignment Thursday in a Brooklyn courtroom and will remain at Rikers Island until his extradition hearing. Miguel "Migs" Ortiz, 25, of Fairmount Avenue in Jersey City, said at the arraignment that he will fight extradition to New Jersey and no date for the extradition hearing has been set, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said. Ortiz - a Latin Kings street gang member, according to authorities - was apprehended by officials in Brooklyn Thursday morning as the result of a coordinated effort by law enforcement agencies on both sides of the Hudson.
Source: Jersey Journal  Date: 1/11/2010
  
Jersey City Ringside Lounge murder suspect arrested in Brooklyn, ID'd as Latin King: The suspect in the Jersey City Ringside Lounge murder was arrested in Brooklyn early this morning in a coordinated effort by law enforcement agencies on both sides of the Hudson, officials said. Miguel Ortiz, 25, of Fairmount Avenue in Jersey City, has been identified, meanwhile, as a member of the Latin Kings, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said. "This was an extremely critical investigation and an excellent example of inter-agency cooperation," DeFazio said of the 4 a.m. bust. "It was a brazen incident. Thank God, no one was injured apprehending this dangerous defendant."
Source: Jersey Journal  Date: 1/8/2010
  
An inside look at an outside art: Graffiti artists keep on leaving their mark: On a recent late afternoon, as the sun set on the underbelly of the dingy and dimly lit Route 3 overpass in East Rutherford, vibrant markings from a graffiti artist caught their final rays of illumination. The illegal murals are permanently displayed on pylons that hold up the bridge over the Thomas E. Dunn Memorial Highway and NJ Transit train tracks. Some consider the work to be art, some a way to gain notoriety through tagging and others see it as vandalism. “It’s a quality-of-life issue,” Rutherford Police Detective Michael Garner said of the graffiti in his jurisdiction. “A lot of people do it for notoriety. … They do it for exposure.” Officials with the Lyndhurst, East Rutherford, Rutherford and North Arlington police departments noted that they have been hit with taggings — some more frequently than others. North Arlington and Rutherford have seen a high number, while Lyndhurst has reported hardly anything.
Source: The Leader  Date: 1/8/2010
  
FBI: Burgeoning gangs rival foreign drug cartels: Criminal gangs in the United States have swelled to an estimated 1 million members responsible for up to 80 percent of crimes in communities across the nation, according to a gang threat assessment compiled by federal officials. The major findings in a report by the Justice Department's National Gang Intelligence Center, which has not been publicly released, conclude gangs are the "primary retail-level distributors of most illicit drugs" and several are "capable" of competing with major U.S.-based Mexican drug-trafficking organizations. "A rising number of U.S.-based gangs are seemingly intent on developing working relationships" with U.S. and foreign drug-trafficking organizations and other criminal groups to "gain direct access to foreign sources of illicit drugs," the report concludes. The gang population estimate is up 200,000 since 2005.
Source: Daily Record  Date: 1/31/2009
  
Raids targeting Essex Co SMM Blood drug ring snare 20: Raids in Essex County this week netted 20 alleged gang members and their associates who are part of a sophisticated narcotics ring, authorities said. In the latest busts yesterday morning in Newark, law enforcement officials detained five people who were part of an elaborate operation that sold about 100 bricks of heroin and several hundred grams of cocaine per week to gang members in Newark, Orange, South Orange, Irvington and Elizabeth, said Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow. The drug raids, named "Operation Trifecta," began Sunday by targeting upper-level dealers in Orange, Irvington, Elizabeth and Newark. Yesterday's bust focused on Newark apartment buildings on Spruce Street, Johnson Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the Hood Barbershop on Washington Avenue, which served as a central hub for the drug ring, according to Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly. Of those arrested, 16 are men and four are women, according to a list provided by Dow. All of them are accused of having ties or being members of a Bloods set called Sex Money Murder, Dow said.
Source: Star Ledger  Date: 1/31/2009
  
Bloods member sentenced to 70 years for shooting in Irvington: The leader of a dangerous set of the Bloods street gang was sentenced today to 70 years in prison for his role in the shooting of a rival Crips gang member in Irvington and conspiring to another member of his own group. Michael Smart, 26, of Irvington, will have to serve nearly 60 years of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole under the terms imposed by Superior Court Judge Charles Delehey in Trenton, said Deborah Gramiccioni, director of the division of Criminal Justice. Smart, a reputed "Universal 4-Star General" in the Nine Trey set of the Bloods street gang, was convicted Jan. 23 of racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, weapons offenses and resisting arrest after a three-week trial in Mercer County. Prosecutors said Smart participated in the shooting of a Crips street gang member in Irvington on May 4, 2006. He then fled to Atlantic City, where he conspired to kill another Nine Trey member, authorities said. He was arrested May 17, 2006, in Atlantic City after he pointed a .38-caliber handgun at a police officer and wounded the officer's dog. Smart was one of 46 alleged Nine Trey members indicted in September 2007 on various charges, including selling guns and drugs in communities throughout New Jersey. Of those defendants, 27 have pleaded guilty to charges in the lengthy indictment. Smart was the first to go to trial and several other trials are pending for later this year, said Peter Aseltine, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office.
Source: Star Ledger  Date: 1/31/2009
  
6 Parsippany teens accused of bias intimidation: PARSIPPANY -- Four 15-year-old boys were arrested after allegedly outlining a swastika on Sunday and again Monday on a snow-covered car belonging to a Jewish family, police said Thursday. Two of the boys also allegedly teamed with two fellow Parsippany High School students in lighting a pack of firecrackers inside a Hindu temple on Sunday, police said. A homeowner in the Lake Hiawatha section reported Monday night that the family car, on successive days, had been defaced with a swastika outlined in snow, according to Parsippany Police Sgt. Yvonne Christiano. Parsippany Schools Superintendent LeRoy Seitz said Thursday that school officials were not notified by police of the arrests, since the alleged vandalism did not occur on school property. In December 2005, three Parsippany High School seniors were suspended for five days but not arrested after they admitted burning a swastika into the practice football field. In response, the school sought to bolster academic programs pertaining to the Holocaust.
Source: Daily Record  Date: 1/23/2009
  
Teenager accused of shooting woman in head: A 17-year-old Jersey City boy with suspected ties to the Bloods street gang has been charged with shooting a Jersey city woman in the head at a boarding house off Journal Square on Thursday, police said. According to reports, the victim was rushed to the Medical Center where she began having seizures and was placed in an induced coma.
Source: Jersey Journal  Date: 1/21/2009
  
Attorneys spar over testimony in slaying: As the first of three trials in the gang-related shooting death of a Somerset County teenager nears, the attorneys have been arguing over expert testimony and a jailhouse informant. The Somerset County Prosecutor's Office has charged Fabian Austin, 19, of Franklin Township, with first-degree murder and third-degree aggravated assault in the death of Ammar Simmons, 18, and jury selection is scheduled for Thursday. The attack occurred July 15, 2007, at the Franklin Township Little League complex on DeKalb Street in Simmons' hometown, where the Bloods had gathered for a fight, police said. Simmons claimed to be one, but when he failed a "G" check, a series of questions meant to determine whether an individual is a true member, a beating reportedly ensued. Family and friends say he wasn't a gang member. Austin is accused of telling a juvenile to get a gun that had been stashed nearby and shoot Simmons, allegations that surfaced after a jailhouse informant said Austin bragged about it while at the Somerset County jail.
Source: Star Ledger  Date: 1/19/2009
  
Plainfield High locked down and 4 arrested: Authorities are trying to determine how a loaded handgun and large-blade kitchen knife got through the metal detectors at Plainfield High School yesterday morning, prompting a campus-wide lockdown that resulted in the arrests of four students. The lockdown began around 10 a.m., after authorities found a loaded .380-caliber handgun inside the backpack of a 15-year-old male student, authorities said. The teen, along with two 17-year-old students, was arrested and taken into custody. Police believe the three are members of the Bloods gang and were planning an after- school confrontation with a rival gang in Plainfield, public safety director Martin Hellwig said. "We believe there was gang activity involved in this incident," he said. The high school, which has about 2,000 students, has a recent history of violence. An annual report released by the state last year held out the school as the state's lone "persistently dangerous" school as defined under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which factors in the number and severity of incidents over several years. The school had reported 25 assaults against staff and 18 cases of weapons possession or sales in the previous three years.
Source: Star Ledger  Date: 1/17/2009
  
IMG 464 gang member admits role in Morristown assault: A Morristown man faces 10 years in state prison after admit ting he plotted to severely beat another man. Tyson "Nitty Grits" McCoy, 27, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Superior Court in Morristown to second- degree conspiracy to commit ag gravated assault. McCoy was among 24 suspects arrested in the fall of 2006 under an investigation called "Operation Di rect Pressure" by Morris County law enforcement. That crackdown on gang recruitment and drug dealing came in response to a rash of violence that summer, authorities had said. McCoy and a co-defendant, Casey Chatmon, then 26, of Jersey City, initially were charged with conspiracy to murder Tyquan Cutler on Sept. 8, 2006, in Morristown. Wiretaps caught them talking about the plan, allowing police to whisk Cutler off a Morristown Street minutes before the killing was to take place, police had said. Authorities had said McCoy, Chatmon and other defendants were suspected Bloods gang members who recruited high-schoolers and subjected them to "beat-ins" for initiation to the gang.
Source: Star Ledger  Date: 1/17/2009
  
Bloods member sentenced to 50 years for Newark courtyard shooting: A reputed member of the notorious Double ii Bloods gang was sentenced today to 50 years in state prison for opening fire with an assault rifle in a Newark courtyard, killing one man and wounding two others. Kaseem Camel, 35, of East Orange, was sentenced by Essex County Superior Court Judge Michael Nelson, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office. Camel, 35, is accused of spraying the courtyard of the Grace West Manor Apartments with 13 shots from an AK-47-style assault rifle on Nov. 29, 2006, at about 5 p.m. Authorities said Mumford, a Newark father of two who held a job, was pronounced dead at the scene, but may not have been the intended target. Two other men, Shelden Oaks and Dale Fisher, both 18 at the time, were injured by the shots, and police said both were members of Bloods gangs.
Source: nj.com  Date: 1/17/2009
  
SMM Bloods member busted on drug charges: More than 350 vials of suspected cocaine and nearly 100 bags of suspected heroin were seized yesterday when a reputed 5-star member of the Sex, Money, Murder set of the Bloods street gang was arrested at the Salem Lafayette Court housing complex in Jersey City, officials said. Abigi Shabazz, 22, aka "BG," of Martin Luther King Drive at Union Street, was charged with multiple drug offenses, including drug possession with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school and within 500 feet of public property, reports said.
Source: Jersey Journal  Date: 1/10/2009
  
Judge lowers bail in gang-rape case: A Superior Court judge agreed to reduce the bail from $300,000 to $200,000 for a Trenton man accused in the gunpoint gang-rape of a woman. Tyrell Rawls, 19, is charged with kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated assault and weapons offenses in the Jan. 2, said Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Moran. The victim told police that she got into a car driven by Rawls after a backseat passenger, "Reek," who she knew from high school, told her they'd give her a ride home. Another man, later identified as Michael Larkin, 20, was in the front seat. Instead, she was driven to the Sleepy Hollow Motel in Lawrence where a room was rented, Moran told Judge Mitchel Ostrer. "You might as well let this happen or I'll shoot you," Larkin allegedly told her. She still refused and "Reek," allegedly hit her in the face, Moran said. Then the three men allegedly raped her, taking turns holding a pistol to her head, Moran said. The woman struggled with one of the men and bit him, Moran said. In addition to reducing the bail, Ostrer ordered that Rawls have no contact with the victim if released. Meanwhile, Larkin, of Oakland Avenue in Trenton was arrested Thursday by the U.S. Marshal's NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force, according to Casey DeBlasio, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor. Larkin, a reputed member of the Nine Trey gangsters who is alleged to have brought the gun in the rape incident, was also charged with making a false public alarm that sparked a scare at The College of New Jersey in 2007. He had called his former girlfriend at the college and told her there was a shooting at a freshman dorm, officials said. Larkin was allowed to enter the Pretrial Intervention Program in that case. Meanwhile, a third man charged in the rape, Tareek "Reek" Holmes, 20, of Oakland Avenue in Trenton, who also goes by the name "Freaky," was still being sought by the task force yesterday, DeBlasio said.
Source: Times of Trenton  Date: 1/10/2009
  
SMM Gang leader sentenced: A 29-year-old second-in-command of the Sex Money Murder Bloods in Trenton was sentenced to 13 years in prison yesterday. Antonio Merritt, of Bryn Mawr Avenue, had previously pleaded guilty to first-degree racketeering for his role in a heroin distribution ring. Supervising Deputy Attorney General Mark G. Eliades, chief of the Division of Criminal Justice gangs and organized crime bureau, asked Superior Court Judge Thomas Kelly to sentence Merritt to the agreed upon sentenced of between 12 and 15 years. Saying that he was one of the gang's leaders, Eliades added, "It was a big operation." Merritt was indicted in September 2007, along with others in the drug distribution ring, after a wide spread investigation dubbed "Operation Dawg Pound." 'Dawg' refers to how Bloods gangsters greet each other. Investigators included the New Jersey State Police, Divi sion of Criminal Justice, U.S. Attor ney's Office, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, Mercer County Prosecutor's Office, Mercer County Sheriff's Office, Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, Asbury Park Police Department, Dover Township Police Department, Ewing Police Department, Freehold Borough Police Department, Jackson Township Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Long Branch Police Department and Trenton Police Department.
Source: Times of Trenton  Date: 1/10/2009
  
N.J. Supreme Court hears witness-intimidation case: The state Supreme Court heard arguments this morning on whether a witness in a criminal case can be excused from testifying, yet have a statement he gave authorities admitted as evidence, because he was afraid to take the stand after being threatened by the person on trial. Although no New Jersey rule of evidence addresses the issue, questions by the justices suggested they would be inclined to create one if it included proper safeguards for the rights of the accused and the conduct of criminal trials. Such a decision would have widespread implications at a time when so-called witness intimidation has become a problem in prosecuting criminal cases, especially in urban areas and crimes involving gang members.
Source: nj.com  Date: 1/7/2009
  
Violent deaths on streets and in homes: Violence born of gangs and drugs played its part in raising the tally of Hudson County murders to 36 in 2008, but victims of domestic violence were represented in unusually high numbers last year. "Obviously, many divergent factors lead to incidents of domestic violence," said Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio in reference to the five women believed killed by their boyfriends or husbands last year. "This is a higher number of homicides within the domestic violence setting than we have had in recent years." The prosecutor noted the confluence of gangs, drugs and illegal guns as a perennial factor at the root of a number of murders in Jersey City in 2008. But he noted that gang activity in the city seemed to wane following a large crackdown in October on alleged members of a "Crips" street gang based in the Booker T. Washington public housing complex.
Source: Jersey Journal  Date: 1/7/2009
  
Reputed Bloods member sought: MIDDLESEX COUNTY — A reputed Bloods street gang member accused of ambushing a Woodbridge detective after fleeing across Route 1 from an undercover drug investigation in the parking lot of an Avenel motel is being sought by authorities. Jamaal Caldwell has been indicted on charges of aggravated assault and hindering an investigation in the Oct. 18 incident. Caldwell is 6 feet tall and weighs about 220 pounds. He is either 29 or 30. His last listed address was in an apartment complex at 285 McFarlane Road in Colonia. The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office is asking anyone with information on the fugitive to call (732) 745-3362 during weekdays and (732) 745-3300 on nights and weekends.
Source: Home News Tribune  Date: 1/28/2008
  
Police charge two teens in man's shooting: VINELAND -- Two 17-year-old Vineland males were arrested Friday morning in connection with a shooting Tuesday that wounded a South Fourth Street man. Both are alleged to be local members of the "Bloods" street gang, according to police. The motive in the shooting appears to have been robbery. The victim reported $400 in cash stolen, officers said.
Source: Daily Journal  Date: 1/27/2008
  
More vandalism seen in borough: FOUNTAIN HILL | In the borough park at Stanley Avenue and North Lynn Street, teenagers have left their signature on the side of the pavilion building: "SSW." Those initials are the mark of the South Side Warriors, one of the groups linked to damage at the playground area in recent months, police Chief Tim Stephens said. The members are known to travel in groups of 10 to 15, all wearing dark clothing, Stephens said. Other potential offenders include members of the Five Points group, but there could also be other groups of teenagers with no formal organization, Stephens said. No arrests have been made, but police are investigating the ages and names of the group members, Stephens said. While the groups might fit the description of being gangs, there has been no evidence of drug or gun activity connected to the groups, he said. "These are groups of young people who do stupid stuff, criminal mischief," Stephens said. "I'm not so sure we have to be fearful at this point."
Source: The Express Times  Date: 1/26/2008
  
P'burg leaders: Graffiti, 'tags' are not wanted: PHILLIPSBURG -- The Town Council is considering approving a graffiti ordinance at its next meeting. "It is a detriment to the community," he said during the Tuesday, Jan. 15 council meeting. "It breeds more graffiti and gang signs. There is no place for it in our town." Wyant would like to see an ordinance that requires owners of public and private property to remove the unwanted art within a certain amount of time. If the graffiti and spray-painted gang signs, also known as "tags," is not removed then the township would have the right to remove it and bill the property owner.
Source: Warren Reporter  Date: 1/26/2008
  
VINELAND: Police say reputed gang member accidentally shoots man: A reputed member of the Crips gang was arrested after he accidentally shot a 21-year-old man at Arbors Apartments in the 800 block of North Main Road Monday night, according to police. Kenny “Baby K” Harden, 18, of the 700 block of Buck Street, Millville was held on $100,000 bail on charges of aggravated assault, causing widespread risk of injury and unlawful possession of a weapon. Harden also had contempt warrants from Millville Municipal Court totaling $5,730 bail. Another reputed Crips member identified as Dominic “Smooth” Luckey, 20, of the 700 block of Alps Place was charged with tampering with evidence and held on $20,000 bail.
Source: Daily Journal  Date: 1/23/2008
  
Cops outline initiative to fight gangs: VINELAND -- Police have a three-point plan to deal with gang-related crime and violence. The plan includes: Identifying gang members and associates; Sharing intelligence information with other law enforcement agencies and school authorities and; Intervention with juveniles suspected of gang activity. "Chief (Timothy) Codispoti has instructed commanders of the criminal division and patrol division to take a pro-active approach to gang activity in this area," Ulrich said. "We're using all of our resources to identify problem areas and combat gang violence."
Source: Daily Journal  Date: 1/23/2008
  
2 men arrested on drug charges: Two men, one of whom reportedly has ties to a Hispanic street gang, have been arrested on cocaine and marijuana possession charges, authorities said. Juan Carlos Simbana, 27, was arrested and charged with distributing the drugs from his East Main Street residence within the Bound Brook Apartments on Route 28 and elsewhere in Bound Brook, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor's. At the apartment, members of the prosecutor's office's Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force found a loaded .22-caliber revolver, $1,421 in cash, 17 resealable bags of cocaine, 26 resealable bags of marijuana, a larger bag of marijuana, drug packaging materials and a digital scale, Prosecutor Wayne J. Forrest said. He noted that detectives later learned Simbana is a member of La Prima, a Hispanic street gang with origins in Texas.
Source: Courier News  Date: 1/19/2008
  
Judge postpones murder trial at defense's request: A Superior Court judge yesterday agreed to delay a murder trial for Antoine Strong until April to allow Strong's attorney to appeal a ruling. Strong, who prosecutors claim was the leader of the 59 Brims, a set of the Bloods street gang, is accused of giving the order to kill a member of the rival Valentines gang -- an order that led to the execution-style death of 15-year-old Robert Simmons III.
Source: The Times  Date: 1/15/2008
  
Police arrest 10 Bloods in Camden: Police have arrested 10 alleged members of a Camden Bloods gang that used "violence and intimidation" to protect a drug enterprise in the Broadway business district, according to a report in the Courier Post. The report said the Nine Trey Headbusta street gang "has been dealing large quantities of crack cocaine and heroin" for several years, state Attorney General Anne Milgram said in a statement. The gang also was active along nearby Stevens and Benson streets, acting Camden County Prosecutor Joshua M. Ottenberg said Monday.
Source: NJ. Com  Date: 1/15/2008
  
NEW UNIT FIGHTS GUNS AND GANGS: Hudson County will be rolling out a new weapon to combat the spread of gang violence - a gang unit operated by the county prosecutor's office. Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said: "We can't ignore the fact that there has been increased gang activity in Hudson County and this new unit is being created to undertake longterm investigations to gain intelligence on that activity and suppress it." "In Jersey City, most of the homicide shootings involve drugs and/or gangs," the prosecutor said. Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings and other gangs have been identified as operating in the county, he said.
Source: Jersey Journal  Date: 1/14/2008
  
6 arrested in Millville Blood Gang raid: Six people have been arrested in connection with a spate of gunfire incidents that have plagued this Cumberland County community since Jan. 1. Authorities said those arrested are suspected members of the Bloods street gang, which originated in Los Angeles and has gone nationwide. One handgun, cocaine and marijuana were seized in the arrests Thursday in Fairfield Township. Authorities suspect the Bloods may be fighting with members of the Crips, another Los Angeles street gang that has gone national. Authorities said the recent violence is possibly connected to illegal drug sales, which provide revenue for both gangs. There have been six gunfire incidents -- including the wounding of two men -- in the city since the year began.
Source: Corrier Post  Date: 1/13/2008
  
'Crafty' Bloods leader gets 17 years in prison: Facing trial for murder in Mercer: TRENTON -- A Bloods gang leader who pleaded guilty in federal court last year to drug trafficking, and who awaits a murder trial in Mercer County for a gang-related killing, was sentenced yesterday to 17 years in federal prison. Omar Aikens, 28, of Trenton, was a capo in the Sex Money Murder Bloods set when he was ar rested in August 2005 on federal drug charges, which stemmed from a larger investigation of the Bloods by local, state and federal authorities dubbed "Operation Capital City." While in federal custody in the drug case, he and four others were charged in March 2006 with the July 2005 murder of a 19-year-old man who prosecutors have said challenged Aikens' status in the gang.
Source: The Times  Date: 1/12/2008
  
Warren Co Pagan OMG jailed for role in '05 killing: A would-be member of the Pagans motorcycle gang was sentenced yesterday to eight years in prison for charges stemming from the 2005 shooting death of a Hillsborough man who was killed for wearing a Hells Angeles T-shirt. After listening to a teary plea from the victim's sister and words of remorse from the defendant, Superior Court Judge Edward Coleman sent Warren resident Peter Ciarletta, 30, to jail. Ciarletta's attorney J. Michael Farrell reminded the judge his client was not the one who shot and killed 40-year-old John Grover on April 17, 2005 at Gatto's Sports Cafe in Manville. Co-defendant William "Rodent" Martin Jr., was sentenced last month to 28 years in prison as the one who pulled the trigger. Grover was wearing a T-shirt of the Pagans' rival gang.
Source: Star Ledger  Date: 1/12/2008
  
FBI takes most of the 793 Blood drug gang's deadly 'subsidiary' off Newark's streets: As he sat in his cell at New Jersey State Prison in Trenton last July, Bloods gang leader David Allen put the word out to his Newark street lieutenants that he wanted to shake things up. Allen's 9 Tre Gangster, the largest Bloods set in New Jersey, was decimated by a string of arrests. So, federal authorities say, Allen told his underlings he was creating an offshoot called 7 9 Tre and ordered them to convert. But all the while, the FBI's Violent Gang Task Force was watching, and this week delivered another blow to the gang, rounding up seven members on drug conspiracy charges. An eighth suspect surrendered late yesterday. Three others named in the federal complaint remain at large. Among those arrested was Sharif "Booda" Williams, Allen's "top guy" in Newark who conducted the 7 9 Tre's street business, said FBI Special Agent Ron Lyman, who supervises the gang task force. So far, the FBI investigation has led to the arrests of nearly 30 gang members.
Source: Star Ledger  Date: 1/11/2008
  
Millville police get backup: MILLVILLE, N.J. -- As many as 12 gang detectives from the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office have joined forces with State Police gang specialists to provide the city with extra night patrols during a period when gang activity has also seemed to increase.
Source: South Jersey News  Date: 1/11/2008
  
Two teens deny charges in separate homicides: In one case, a 16-year-old from Newark was charged with fatally stabbing his father's girlfriend last September in the apartment where they lived. Authorities said Derell Pritchett thought Jeanine Darby, 32, had stolen his cell phone. The other case involved a fatal shooting last March by a 17-year-old from Newark who had been living and going to school in Bloomfield in what a defense attor ney called a gang-related incident. Stafford has been indicted on charges he shot and killed Kyle Ali Smith, 21, of Montclair, on Glen wood Avenue near Watsessing Park in Bloomfield on March 2, 2007. Police say he also wounded Ahmad Grier, 21, of Belleville, in the incident. The defense attorney did not deny that his client had a gun, but Maglione claimed Stafford had reason to be leery because he'd had been jumped by Bloods in the past and also has had two cousins "executed" by the gang.
Source: Star Ledger  Date: 1/11/2008
  
Second escaped Union inmate caught in Mexico City: Blunt was arrested in Mexico City shortly before 5 p.m. today, Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said. He was captured by U.S. Marshals and did not surrender, said Romankow, who did not immediately have further details. Espinosa, a 20-year-old Bloods street gang member who was awaiting sentencing for a 2005 fatal drive-by shooting in Elizabeth, was caught Tuesday night in a basement apartment six blocks from the jail. This afternoon, he was taken to state prison in Trenton for his own safety. The pair had been at work for two weeks, slowing - and loudly - chiseling through the walls of their adjoining cells before squeezing through the holes and into the night at about 9 p.m. Dec. 14, Romankow said. They made a brazen leap to freedom over razor wire before parting ways in an escape authorities have compared to the film "The Shawshank Redemption." To cover their breakout, the prisoners papered over the holes with pictures of bikini-clad women and left stuffed dummies in their beds. They also left behind a cheeky thank-you note that named one of their guards, Rudolph Zurick, who committed suicide Jan. 2, the day he was to speak to investigators about the escape. Zurick, 40, shot himself at his home in South Amboy and had been cooperating with the investigation, his lawyer said.
Source: NJ.Com  Date: 1/9/2008
  
Police say teen, woman had stolen gun: Vineland: Kareema Bentley, 24, of Walnut Manor Apartments in the 700 block of East Walnut Road, and a 17-year-old resident of Millville Garden Apartments in the 100 block of West Foundry Street were charged at 12:10 a.m. Sunday. Bentley was held on $25,000 bail and the juvenile was held at the county detention center. Police said the incident began at Arbors Apartments in the 800 block of North Main Road when a 23-year-old resident reported that a man tried to get into her apartment, apparently looking for her boyfriend. The victim said the suspect had his arm inside his jacket but she did not see a weapon when he pounded on her door, then left in a black Nissan. The victim said she thought the incident might be connected to activity by the Bloods street gang but gave no specific reason. Police could not immediately substantiate the claim and both suspects denied any association with the Bloods.
Source: Daily Journal  Date: 1/9/2008
  
Anatomy of a gang war: No one is quite sure why the beating happened. Some say it was over a $70 drug debt; others blame it on an argument over a basketball game. The attack last summer led to the shooting of the victim's cousin. In retribution, the cousin's brother shot someone and a war between two Newark drug crews was on. By the time it was over, a string of shootings spanning three of the city's four wards had left at least two dead and four injured. In this case, the warring families were two chapters of the Bloods street gang. Police haven't pieced together every detail of the conflict between Sex Money Murder and the Brick City Brims; it remains under investigation. But they believe the feud continued into October, when members of the two factions arranged a meeting on Bergen Street to try to negotiate a truce.
Source: Star Ledger  Date: 1/6/2008
  
Newark's West Ward Shootings: Including Saturday's shooting, six people have been shot in the West Ward since Nov. 29: Nov. 29: Aleah Hamlin, 19, Chanel Armour, 23, and Alphe Rene, 21, were found shot to death inside a third-floor apartment at 128 N. 13th St. Police have not arrested a suspect in what they have called a gang hit. Dec. 4: Maurice Cook, 22, of Easton, was shot in what police called a botched armed robbery. Police said Cook and Tyrone Wright, 22, of Newark, tried to rob Robert Pierce Jr., 27, of Easton, who opened fire in self-defense, striking Cook in the abdomen. Police said Wright claimed he was a member of the Crips street gang. On Saturday, two unidentified victims were shot at 926 Washington Street.
Source: Express Times  Date: 1/6/2008
  
Movement afoot to make it tougher on gangs: Asbury Park Press
Source: TRENTON — Proposals intended to crack down on guns and gangs advanced Thursday in the Senate and an Assembly committee. The Senate voted 32-0 for legislation, which the Assembly Judiciary Committee also endorsed, that makes it a second-degree crime to knowingly carry prohibited firearms in public places. Currently it is a third-degree crime. If gang involvement is found, there's a mandatory minimum five-year prison term. New Jersey needs a strong law that reduces violence and makes it easier to prosecute gang members, whose escapades are often difficult to prove in court because witnesses are intimidated from testifying, said Stephan Finkel, an assistant attorney general.  Date: 1/4/2008
  
Blood Gang member pleads guilty in '06 cop slaying: A 20-year-old Orange man pleaded guilty Thursday in the fatal shooting of a police detective in 2006. Raynard Brown faces up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced next month. Brown admitted shooting Detective Kieran T. Shields from a porch on Aug. 7, 2006 after Shields and his partner responded to a report of gunshots. Brown, a reputed member of the Bloods street gang, was arrested less than 13 hours later in East Orange after police received a telephone tip.
Source: Daily Record  Date: 1/3/2008
  
Lawmakers advance gun and gang bills: Several measures to crack down on gun crimes and gang activity advanced in the Legislature on Thursday. One bill regulates the sale of handgun ammunition. Only those who hold valid permits to buy or carry handguns would be able to buy handgun ammunition under the measure. Gun collectors with valid relics licenses would be exempt. A second bill would require handgun thefts to be reported within 36 hours after they are discovered. Failure to do so would result in a $500 fine. The fifth proposal would create two new gang-related offenses: gang criminality and promoting organized street crime.
Source: South Jersey News  Date: 1/3/2008
  
Siblings admit guilt to various offenses: Two North Warren Street brothers who prosecutors claim are members of the Bloods street gang, which their father denies, entered guilty pleas to various charges yesterday. Joshua Reeves, 25, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault before Superior Court Judge Gerald Council for the Jan. 3, 2005, shooting of Jason Pecco, who authorities said is a member of the rival Crips gang. Pecco was wounded in his right leg at East State and Mon mouth streets.
Source: The Times  Date: 1/1/2008
  
Firing range inferno, gangs in Momouth Coounty's top 10: Gang members were involved in several murders and other incidents in the most urban to the most suburban areas of the county. In June, two Little Egg Harbor men were among the 46 reputed members of the Nine Trey set of the Bloods indicted on various charges by a state grand jury. In September, Asbury Park police and the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office Gang Task Force arrested 21 Blood members and associates in Asbury Park and the surrounding area on various charges. As part of that investigation, police also seized some 350 packages of suspected heroin and broke up a drug distribution operation at an Avenue A home in Asbury Park that employed children as young as 13. Gang issues in neighboring towns spilled their borders, causing even the more suburban areas to become more proactive. Point Pleasant Beach police held a seminar to inform residents how to recognize gang members and report activity to police. Police said there are no known gang members living in the area, but they pass through occasionally.
Source: Asbury Park Press  Date: 1/1/2008
  
  
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