Skip to main content
Press Release

Leader Of Newark Bloods Street Gang – The South Side Cartel – Sentenced To 45 Years In Prison For Five Murders, Racketeering, Other Violent Crimes In Furtherance Of The Gang Enterprise

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

NEWARK, N.J. – The leader of one of Newark’s most violent street gangs was sentenced today to 540 months in prison for his admitted 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, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas to violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) as part of a 27-count second superseding indictment. Judge Salas imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

“This sentence effectively ends Farad Roland’s reign as the leader of the South Side Cartel.” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “Working with our partners in the FBI, the Newark Department of Public Safety, and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, we have removed a dangerous and violent predator from the streets of Newark, making the city safer for everyone. Stopping violent crime is a top priority of this office, and this sentence should be a warning to those who traffic in illegal drugs and commit acts of violence in support of their criminal enterprises that the office will take action to ensure that they will no longer walk free to terrorize their community.”

“Farad Roland chose to kill for the South Side Cartel of the Newark Bloods and now he can serve time for the gang,” Newark FBI Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie said. “This conduct will not be tolerated and today’s sentence should send a message that the FBI, together with our law enforcement partners, will pursue and prosecute members of violent street gangs who seek to inflict violence and 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 and statements made in court:

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 scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 13, 2018.

Roland’s admission of guilt includes acknowledgement of his 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.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Salas sentenced Roland to five years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ehrie; 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 sentencing.

The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel Robert Frazer of the Violent Crimes Unit, Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney Howard of the Economic Crimes Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Desiree Grace Latzer of the Violent Crimes Unit.

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

Updated June 12, 2018

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 18-209