Leader of irvington, n.J., gang sentenced to more than 27 years in prison for crack cocaine distribution conspiracy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. – The leader of the Irvington, N.J., Brick City Brims set of the Bloods street gang was sentenced to 325 months in prison today for his involvement in a large-scale conspiracy to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Mark Manasse, a/k/a “M-Ease,” 28, of Irvington, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Jose L. Linares to one count of a superseding indictment, charging him with knowingly and intentionally conspiring to distribute 280 grams or more of the drug. Judge Linares imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Manasse was a leader of the Bloods street gang known as the Brick City Brims, who were distributing significant amounts of crack cocaine in and around the city of Irvington and elsewhere from February 2010 through April 2011. Manasse and his conspirators controlled the drug trafficking in and around the areas of 18th Street and Columbia Avenue in Irvington. Manasse maintained control of drug trafficking in these areas through the use of violence and intimidation.
Manasse and more than a dozen others were arrested on April 19, 2011, by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI) along with officers of the N.J. State Police and Irvington Police Department.
During the investigation, federal agents used a confidential source who was able to infiltrate the gang. Federal agents identified two cell phones Manasse used to conduct his narcotics trafficking activity and obtained court orders authorizing interception of drug-related phone calls. The agents intercepted thousands of calls during which Manasse discussed, orchestrated and directed the distribution of drugs. The calls also showed that Manasse directed, ordered and participated in acts of violence in order to maintain and protect the drug trafficking activity of the Brick City Brims in Irvington.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Linares sentenced Manasse to five years of supervised release. As a special condition of the supervised release, Judge Linares also banned Manasse from associating with any known street gang or organized crime members.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of ICE HSI in Newark, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew M. McLees; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Col. Joseph R. Fuentes; the Irvington Police Department, under the direction of Deputy Chief of Police Dwayne Mitchell, Senior Law Enforcement in Charge and Director Joseph Santiago; and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael H. Robertson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
Defense counsel: Kathleen M. Theurer Esq., Jersey City, N.J.