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Press Release

Leader Of Newark Bloods Street Gang – The South Side Cartel – Admits Five Murders, Racketeering, Other Violent Crimes In Furtherance Of The Gang Enterprise

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

Plea Deal Calls for 45-year Prison Sentence

NEWARK, N.J. – The leader of one of Newark’s most violent street gangs today admitted his role in five murders, an armed carjacking, an armed robbery of a drug dealer, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and drug conspiracy as part of a racketeering conspiracy involving the South Side Cartel, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.


Farad Roland, 33, had been charged with violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) as part of a 27-count second superseding indictment, which was returned in June 2013.


“With today’s guilty plea, Farad Roland’s reign as the leader of the South Side Cartel is over.”  U.S. Attorney Carpenito said.  “It is the mission of this office to make the streets of New Jersey safe for all of its citizens.  The Roland case is a perfect example of cooperation between my office, the FBI, Newark police and the Essex County prosecutor effectively working to remove a dangerous felon from our community.”

“Today's plea is a direct result of the hard work and dedication shared between state, local and federal authorizes in their efforts to combat violent gangs in our communities,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Timothy A. Gallagher said.  “We are committed to combating this epidemic of violence that often takes young lives and creates fear in our communities. The FBI and our partners will aggressively pursue gangs wherever they surface and are steadfast to making Newark and the surrounding communities, a safe place for our citizens.” 


According to documents filed in this case:


The South Side Cartel was a sub-set of the Bloods street gang that operated primarily on Hawthorne Avenue in Newark. Originally a neighborhood-based gang whose main activities were selling drugs and committing violent acts to aid the drug-trafficking business, many of the gang’s members were officially brought into the Bloods gang in 2002 and 2003. The gang often operated out of apartments located at 496-500 Hawthorne Avenue, which were dubbed “the Twin Towers.” Local law enforcement made repeated narcotics and gun arrests at this location. Many of the South Side Cartel members had tattoos showing the Twin Towers and the logo “SSC,” which represented the gang’s initials.


Between 2003 and 2010, the South Side Cartel was generally known among law enforcement and the FBI as the most violent street gang in Newark, committing numerous murders, shootings, robberies and other violent acts in furtherance of the enterprise. At its peak, the South Side Cartel had about 20 members or associates, many of whom have since been killed in gang-related murders or who are serving prison sentences for gang-related crimes. Roland’s two co-defendants, Malik Lowery and Mark Williams, previously pleaded guilty in federal court.  Lowery was sentenced in August 2016 to more than 26 years in federal prison. Williams is awaiting sentencing.


Today’s admission of guilt includes Roland’s participation in a host of racketeering acts to further the South Side Cartel’s goals, including:


  • The Feb. 20, 2005, murder of a Newark resident who was shot during a robbery attempt that Roland ordered one of his gang associates to carry out;
  • The Feb. 23, 2005, murder of the 19-year-old gang associate who committed the Feb. 20, 2005 robbery-murder, to prevent him from cooperating with law enforcement and implicating Roland;
  • The Oct. 20, 2007, murder of a fellow South Side Cartel member who had fallen into disfavor with the gang;
  • The retaliation murders of two people on March 27, 2008, outside the Oasis Bar located on Lyons Avenue in Newark.


Roland also admitted committing an armed carjacking; an assault with a dangerous weapon in the 2008 shooting of a fellow gang member with whom Roland had a dispute; an assault with a dangerous weapon in the 2009 shooting of a rival gang member; the armed robbery of a drug dealer in East Orange, New Jersey; and conspiracy to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin and 280 grams of crack cocaine.


Under terms of the plea agreement, Farad agreed to a prison term of 45 years. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 14, 2018.


U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher; the Newark Police Division, under the direction of Department of Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose; and Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.


The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel Robert Frazer, Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney Howard of the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Desiree Grace Latzer of the General Crimes Unit.


Defense counsel:

Farad Roland: Richard Jasper Esq. and Michael Bachrach Esq., New York; and Stephen Turano Esq., Newark

Updated January 26, 2018

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 18-033