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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 22, 2019

Leader Of Violent East Orange Street Gang Charged With Drug And Gun Offenses

NEWARK, N.J. – An East Orange, New Jersey, man appeared in court today on charges of distribution of phencyclidine and marijuana, possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug distribution crime, and the use of a minor to distribute drugs, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Tyree Thomas, a/k/a “Hellboy,” 26, is charged by complaint with seven counts of distribution of phencyclidine, commonly known as PCP; one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and phencyclidine; one count of possession with intent to distribute phencyclidine; one count of using a minor to distribute drugs; and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III in Newark federal court and was detained without bail.

According to documents filed in this case:

Thomas is allegedly the leader of the East Orange set of the Bloods street gang known as the “Sheedside Pirus,” and a high-ranking member of a separate East Orange Bloods set known as the MOB Pirus, both of which primarily operate out of East Orange, Orange and Newark.

An investigation conducted over the course of several months by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) included multiple purchases of PCP and marijuana from Thomas by an undercover ATF agent between April and July of 2019.

The counts of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and PCP are punishable by a maximum of 40 years in prison. The count of employing a juvenile in a drug distribution scheme is punishable by a maximum of 80 years in prison. The count of distribution of PCP is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison. The count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is punishable by five years in prison, to be served consecutively to any other sentence.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the ATF, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charles J. Patterson; officers of the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose; officers of the East Orange Police Department, under the direction of Chief Phyllis Bindi; special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Mark McKevitt; the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; the N.J. Department of Corrections, under the direction of Acting Commissioner Marcus O. Hicks Esq.; the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II; and the Orange Police Department under the direction of Director Todd Warren, with the investigation leading to the charges.

This case was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). 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 government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Naazneen Khan and Senior Trial Counsel Robert Frazer of the Criminal Division’s Violent Crimes Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Vera Varshavsky of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime/Gangs Unit.

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

Defense counsel: Charles Alvarez Esq., Bloomfield, New Jersey

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated August 22, 2019