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Press Release

Grape Street Crips Associate Pleads Guilty To Committing Murder During Home-Invasion Robbery

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

NEWARK, N.J. – A Newark man today admitted his involvement in an August 2015 home invasion that left one person dead, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Jahad Lemons, a/k/a “JBird,” 26, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court to all four counts of an indictment charging him with one count of murder during a crime of violence, one count of Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy, one count of Hobbs Act robbery, and one count of using a firearm during a crime of violence.

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

On Aug. 18, 2015, Lemons, Aaron Terrell, a/k/a “Push,” 27, and Papayaw Mack, a/k/a “GY,” 25, as well as two other individuals – referred to in the indictment as “CC-1” and “CC-2” – used firearms to rob the apartment of an individual referred to in the indictment as “Victim-1” at a residential building in Newark. They targeted Victim-1 because they believed Victim-1was a heroin trafficker whose residence contained narcotics and related proceeds.

At the residential building, Lemons, Terrell, Mack, CC-1, and CC-2 allegedly surrounded Victim-1, forced him into his apartment, and then proceeded to rob at gunpoint Victim-1 – as well as Victim-2 and Victim-3 who were already inside the apartment – of cash and personal affects. During the course of the robbery, Terrell and CC-2 allegedly discharged their firearms, which killed Victim-1 and seriously wounded Victim-2.

All three men were originally charged by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office with murder and robbery. On Aug. 26, 2015, Terrell was arrested by the Newark Police Department, while Lemons was arrested in Georgia on Oct. 26, 2015. Mack remains at large. Terrell is also facing separate federal charges in a sixth superseding indictment for his participation in a racketeering conspiracy related to the New Jersey set of the Grape Street Crips, a violent street gang operating in and around Newark.

Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Lemons will be sentenced to between 17 years and 22 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for June 12, 2017.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked prosecutors and detectives of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray, and police officers and detectives of the Newark Department of Public Safety, under the direction of Director Anthony F. Ambrose, for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Osmar J. Benvenuto and Barry A. Kamar of the Criminal Division in Newark.

This case was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (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.

The charges and allegations against Terrell and Mack are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defense counsel: Kathleen M. Theurer Esq., Jersey City, New Jersey

Updated February 21, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-046