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Press Release

Four Union County Men Charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics

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

NEWARK, N.J. – Four Union County, New Jersey, men were charged for their roles in conspiracies to distribute and possess with intent to distribute narcotics, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig and Acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo announced today.

Tyshawn Jones, 45; Walter Gibbs, 50; Rodney McCrae, 51; and Syhid Ellison, 37; all of Elizabeth, New Jersey, are charged by complaint with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl. Each defendant is also charged with additional narcotics offenses. Jones, McCrae, and Ellison were arrested this morning and are scheduled to appear this afternoon by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward S. Kiel. Gibbs remains at large.

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

From August 2020 through May 2021, the defendants sold heroin and fentanyl in an open-air narcotics market around Third Street between Court Street and Magnolia Avenue in Elizabeth. Through numerous controlled purchases of drugs, surveillance, and the analysis of telephone records, the investigation uncovered evidence that the defendants conspired with each other and others to distribute heroin and fentanyl. The defendants sold heroin that is frequently mixed with fentanyl, a potent, synthetic opioid that is approximately 50 times stronger than heroin.

Each count charged in the complaint carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of at least $1 million.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited investigators of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Ruotolo; special agents and task force officers with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark; officers of the Elizabeth Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Giacomo Sacca; and investigators of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey E. Zyriek Enriquez of the Violent Crimes Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Mitchell of the OCDETF/Narcotics Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated May 6, 2021

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 21-194