FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 20, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – A member of the Fruit Town and Brick City Brims set of the Bloods from Paterson, N.J., today admitted to his role in a range of violent crimes and conspiring to distribute narcotics, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Richard Fields, a/k/a “P.O.,” 27, of Paterson, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). Fields entered his guilty plea today before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler in Newark federal court.
According to court documents and statements made in court:
As part of his racketeering activities in furtherance of the gang’s activities, Fields admitted to selling crack cocaine to an undercover officer on Oct. 16, 2006, together with an associate of the gang, and to selling marijuana to another individual on Aug. 15, 2006. Fields also admitted to participating in two robberies in Paterson in 2006 with other members of the gang, including Michael McCloud, 26, of Paterson, a/k/a “Ike Brim,” and others. Fields was involved in the robbery of a dice game in Paterson, in which a co-conspirator used an AK-47 and gang members took controlled substances, cell phones, and money. He also conspired with other Fruit Town Brims members to commit a robbery, also involving a gun, in retaliation for the shooting of an FTB member by a member of a rival gang. McCloud pleaded guilty to the RICO conspiracy charge in August 2011 and is scheduled to be sentenced on November 10, 2011.
Fields’ plea is the latest action in a larger investigation that has targeted the leadership and members of the Fruit Town Brims/Brick City Brims. Documents filed in this and related cases identified FTB/BCB as a major, violent criminal enterprise operating throughout New Jersey’s state prison and county jail systems and in Newark, Paterson and Jersey City. Its members have committed acts such as murder, kidnapping, robbery, bribery, extortion and trafficking in controlled substances.
“The results of this investigation – guilty pleas by leading members and associates of the Brims – should help the residents of these cities regain control of their communities from the grip of violence and other ills associated with the drug trade,” U.S. Attorney Fishman said. “Through the joint efforts of state, local and federal law enforcement, we were able to reach all the way to the top of the enterprise and successfully prosecute the state-wide leaders of the set.”
The racketeering conspiracy count to which Fields pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 20, 2011.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force – under the Direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward – which includes members from the Newark Police Department; East Orange Police Department; Essex County Department of Corrections; Hudson County Sheriff’s Office; Jersey City Police Department; the New Jersey Division of Parole; the Paterson Police Department, and the N.J. Department of Corrections, Special Investigations Division, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.
He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, and the Special Operations Division’s National Gang Targeting, Enforcement and Coordination Center, under the direction of Director John Sieder, for their roles.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melissa L. Jampol, Lisa Colone, and Robert Frazer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Ruth Liebesman Esq., Fort Lee, N.J.