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Press Release

Member Of Violent Grape Street Crips Gang Admits Racketeering Conspiracy

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

Plea Agreement Calls for 25-Year Prison Sentence

NEWARK, N.J. – A member of the New Jersey set of the Grape Street Crips today admitted his role in a racketeering conspiracy that involved shooting rival gang members and conspiracies to distribute heroin and crack-cocaine, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Justin Carnegie, a/k/a “Dew Hi,” a/k/a “Dew,” a/k/a “D,” 30, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court to five counts in a sixth superseding indictment charging him with RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to possess a firearm, and separate conspiracies to distribute one kilogram of heroin and 280 grams or more of crack-cocaine.

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

The N.J. Grape Street Crips controlled drug trafficking and other criminal activities in various areas of Newark, including the area of 6th Avenue and North 5th Street and public-housing complexes at Pennington Court, Oscar Miles, the Millard Terrell Homes, the John W. Hyatt homes and the former James Baxter Terrace complex.

Carnegie admitted that on Oct. 7, 2013, he and other gang members sought to avenge the murder of a fellow gang member who had recently been killed by rival gang members. Carnegie and his fellow gang members travelled to the area of Avon Avenue in Newark where one of Carnegie’s fellow gang members discharged approximately 14 rounds in an attempt to shoot members of the rival gang. After returning to their staging area after the shooting, Carnegie fled law enforcement who attempted to arrest him and his fellow gang members.

Carnegie and other gang members frequently used social media to promote the gang’s reputation for violence and drug-trafficking. For example, Carnegie has previously stated “we be straight rat killing,” referring to the gang’s practice of intimidating or killing cooperating witnesses.

Carnegie and fellow gang members frequently carried and stock-piled firearms in furtherance of the gang’s activities. In May 2010, Carnegie stored a loaded Romarm SA Cugir 7.62x39 assault rifle and an American Industries Calico M100 .22LR carbine, along with ammunition for both weapons, in Orange, New Jersey.

Finally, Carnegie admitted to participating in conspiracies to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 180 grams or more of crack-cocaine.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, if accepted by the court, Carnegie will be sentenced to 25 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 10, 2017.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski, and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher, with the investigation. Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick also thanked prosecutors and detectives of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino, police officers and detectives of the Newark Department of Public Safety, under the direction of Director Anthony F. Ambrose, and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Armando B. Fontoura, for their work on the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Osmar J. Benvenuto and Barry Kamar of the District of New Jersey’s 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.

Defense counsel: John J. Roberts Esq., Chatham, New Jersey.

Updated June 27, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-204