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Press Release

Essex County Man Sentenced to 65 Months in Prison for Role in Drug Trafficking Organization

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A Newark man was sentenced today to 65 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute narcotics, including fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine; and possessing with intent to distribute various narcotics, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Ali Carney, 46, of Newark, pleaded guilty on Jan. 17, 2024, before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to a superseding information charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine; and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:

From April 2021 through October 2022, Carney and others – members and associates of the Grape Street Crips gang – participated in a drug trafficking organization that controlled the drug trade in and around the Oscar Miles Village housing complex in Newark. Carney admitted his role in the conspiracy and that he sold controlled substances on a near daily basis during the conspiracy.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton sentenced Carney to three years of supervised release.

All 11 of Carney’s co-defendants – Thomas Barney, Najuwan Blake-Williams, Altray Brown, Najee Carney, Tyrone Cradle, Jaquan McAllister, Ikaim McSwain, Latif Terry, Shaquan Ward, Taji Williams, and Zaid Williams – previously pleaded guilty in connection with their respective roles in the conspiracy.

A year-long investigation revealed that the drug trafficking organization distributed over a kilogram of fentanyl-laced heroin and over 280 grams of crack cocaine. Law enforcement also seized multiple firearms, which were used in furtherance of the narcotics trade, from the members of the conspiracy.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Ortiz; investigators of the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; investigators from the U.S. Marshal Service, under the direction of Marshal Juan Mattos Jr.; investigators of the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura; and the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Director of Public Safety Fritz G. Fragé, with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas.

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 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 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. Attorneys Samantha C. Fasanello and Olta Bejleri of the Criminal Division in Newark.

Updated May 31, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 24-210