NEWARK, N.J. – Eleven people were charged today for their respective roles in a fentanyl and crack cocaine distribution organization that sold large quantities of controlled substances in the area of Brookdale Avenue and Abinger Place in Newark, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Leon Clark, aka “Dino,” 40; Abdul Price, aka “Ab,” aka “Dred,” 43; Elijawan White, aka “Eli,” 33; Janice Anderson, 53; Sherriff Simpson, 38; Kesean Holley, aka “Jack,” 29; Terrance Brown, aka “B-Love,” 42; Corey Ewings, 38; Elijah Robinson, aka “Horse,” 40; Barry Jordan Jr., 48; and Frazier Burton, 46, all of Newark, each were charged by superseding complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and 280 grams or more of crack cocaine. Ten of the defendants are in custody and are scheduled to have their initial court appearances today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre by videoconference.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
The defendants ran an open-air narcotics market in the area of Brookdale Avenue and Abinger Place. For several months, law enforcement officials conducted extensive surveillance of the area, conducted numerous controlled purchases of narcotics, and analyzed telephone records, all of which demonstrated extensive interactions among Clark, Price, White, Anderson, Simpson, Holley, Brown, Ewings, Robinson, and Jordan. The investigation likewise revealed that Burton was a primary supplier of heroin and fentanyl to the drug trafficking organization. At the time of his arrest this morning, Burton was in possession of approximately 100 bricks of suspected heroin and fentanyl branded with stamps that matched prior sales from the drug trafficking organization.
The count with which the defendants are charged carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum sentence of life in prison and a maximum fine of $10 million.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the supervision of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark; special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina in Newark; and the Bloomfield Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Samuel A. DeMaio, with the investigation leading to the charges. She also thanked police officers and detectives of the Newark Police Department, officers of the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, detectives of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the East Orange Police Department, and the Essex County Department of corrections for their assistance with the investigation.
The investigation was conducted as part of the Newark Violent Crime Initiative (VCI). The Newark VCI was formed in August 2017 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the City of Newark’s Department of Public Safety for the sole purpose of combatting violent crime in and around Newark. As part of this partnership, federal, state, county, and city agencies collaborate and pool resources to prosecute violent offenders who endanger the safety of the community. The VCI is composed of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the ATF, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New Jersey Division, the U.S. Marshals, the Newark Department of Public Safety, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, New Jersey State Parole, Union County Jail, New Jersey State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center/Real Time Crime Center, New Jersey Department of Corrections, the East Orange Police Department, and the Irvington Police Department.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha C. Fasanello of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Unit in Newark and DeNae M. Thomas of the Office’s Violent Crimes Unit.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.