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Press Release

Essex County Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Drug Distribution

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

NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 60 months in prison for conspiring to distribute cocaine base and distributing fentanyl and cocaine base, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Marvin Lagrier, aka “Black Jesus,” 40, of Newark, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court to a superseding information charging him with one count of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl. Lagrier was a Newark Housing Authority employee at the time of his arrest. Judge Arleo imposed the sentence today by videoconference.

A codefendant, Tyrell Wilson, aka “Hell Rell,” 37, of Rahway, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base and one count of possession with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base. Judge Arleo sentenced Wilson on Feb. 14, 2022, to 10 years in prison.

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

On Sept. 19, 2019, law enforcement officers approached an apartment in Essex County, New Jersey, to execute a court-authorized search warrant. Wilson and Lagrier exited the apartment and attempted to flee the area but were apprehended and placed under arrest. Upon searching the apartment, as well as Wilson’s vehicle and a backpack that Wilson discarded while fleeing, law enforcement officers recovered a large amount of cocaine base, heroin, and fentanyl as well as many items of drug paraphernalia for packaging narcotics. Law enforcement officers also recovered a firearm and several rounds of ammunition as well as several cellular phones. They also recovered several brown Newark Housing Authority uniforms bearing the name tag, “Marvin,” which matched the uniform that Lagrier wore at the time of his arrest. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Arleo sentenced Lagrier to four years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark, and members of the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

This case is part of the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI), which 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, the U.S. Marshals, the Newark Department of Public Safety, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, N.J. State Parole, Union County Jail, N.J. State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center/Real Time Crime Center, N.J. Department of Corrections, the East Orange Police Department, the Orange Police Department and the Irvington Police Department.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey Agnew and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kendall Randolph of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gang Unit in Newark.

Updated June 30, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 22-250