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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Crack-Cocaine Wholesaler For The New Jersey Grape Street Crips Gang Pleads Guilty To Drug Trafficking Charges

NEWARK, N.J. – A Passaic County, New Jersey, member of the New Jersey set of the Grape Street Crips today admitted his leadership role in a conspiracy to distribute 2.8 kilograms of crack-cocaine, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Jamar Hamilton, a/k/a “Gunner,” 27, of Totowa, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court to Count 22 of the fourth superseding indictment charging him with participating in a continuing criminal enterprise, a statute that applies to organizers, supervisors, or managers of drug-trafficking organizations who derive substantial income from their criminal activities.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

The New Jersey set of the Grape Street Crips controlled drug trafficking and other criminal activities in various areas of Newark. Hamilton and other members of the gang, including Hakeem Vanderhall, a/k/a “Keem,” a/k/a “Sugar Bear,” Eric Concepcion, a/k/a “Eddie Arroyo,” a/k/a “E-Wax,” a/k/a “Wax,” Tyquan Clark a/k/a “Tah,” and Rashan Washington, a/k/a “Shoota,” used and shared a dedicated cell phone to accept orders for, and distribute, thousands of clips of crack-cocaine to other distributors of crack-cocaine, including members of the New Jersey Grape Street Crips.

To protect their gang and drug territory, the New Jersey Grape Street Crips operating in the 6th Avenue and North 5th Street location used “community guns” that were easily accessible to gang members. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement agents seized numerous firearms, including a .410 caliber assault rifle, a.45 caliber Thompson semi-automatic carbine, a 7.62 caliber assault rifle, and numerous semi-automatic handguns.

The charge to which Hamilton pleaded guilty carries a statutory mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison and a $2 million fine. Sentencing is set for June 9, 2016.

Clark has pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and awaits sentencing. Charges against Vanderhall, Concepcion, and Washington remain pending. The charges and allegations against them are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski, and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Andrew Campi, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked prosecutors and detectives of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray; police officers and detectives of the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Director Anthony A. Ambrose; and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Armando B. Fontoura, for their work on the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Osmar J. Benvenuto and Barry A. Kamar of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF)/Narcotics Unit of the Criminal Division in Newark.

This case was conducted under the auspices of OCDETF and the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

Defense counsel: Howard P. Lesnik Esq., Newark

16-055
Topic: 
Drug Trafficking
Updated June 15, 2016