FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – A known associate of the Grape Street Crips criminal street gang involved in a 2009 crack cocaine conspiracy was convicted today for his role in the conspiracy to sell the drug, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
The jury returned a guilty verdict against Stevie Buckuse, 35, of Newark, following a two-day trial before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler in Newark federal court. Buckuse was convicted of all three counts charged against him in the Second Superseding Indictment on which he was tried: one count of conspiring to distribute crack cocaine and two counts of distribution of crack cocaine.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
Buckuse conspired with members of the Grape Street Crips, including Marquis Works, a/k/a “Freak,” and Rasheed Smith, a/k/a “Weed,” to sell crack cocaine in the Hyatt Court housing community in Newark between June and August 2009. In total, Buckuse and his co-conspirators distributed approximately 120 grams of crack cocaine during the course of the conspiracy, investigated through the use of an FBI confidential informant.
On the conspiracy count (Count One) and one of the distribution counts (Count Three) Buckuse faces a minimum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a fine of $8 million. On the other distribution count (Count Two), Buckuse faces a minimum potential penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 80 years in prison and a fine of $4 million – as well as any restitution ordered by the court. Sentencing is currently scheduled for September 29, 2011.
Both Works and Smith have pleaded guilty to crack cocaine charges and await sentencing before Judge Chesler.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent In Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty verdict.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rodney Villazor and David Foster of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Narcotics/Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Michael Pedicini Esq., Morristown, N.J.