NEWARK, N.J. – A member of the New Jersey set of the Grape Street Crips was sentenced today to 19 years in federal prison for his participation in a racketeering conspiracy that involved using other gang members to intimidate a witness during a state criminal trial, as well as conspiracies to distribute heroin and crack-cocaine, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Ahmed Singleton, a/k/a “Gangsta-Moo,” a/k/a “Gangsta,” a/k/a “Mooshie,” 29, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to three counts in the sixth superseding indictment charging him with RICO conspiracy and separate conspiracies to distribute one kilogram of heroin and 280 grams or more of crack-cocaine. Judge Arleo imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
Singleton was charged in November 2016 in a 22-count indictment charging 14 members and associates with, among other things, seven murders, numerous attempted murders, and numerous other violent and drug trafficking crimes committed as part of the racketeering conspiracy. The gang’s leader, Corey Hamlet, a/k/a “C-Blaze,” a/k/a “Blaze,” a/k/a “Blizzie,” a/k/a “Castor Troy,” 41, of Belleville, New Jersey, and two other violent gang members were convicted in July 2018 following a two-month trial. Thirteen of the 14 defendants charged in the indictment have been convicted. One remaining defendant, Khalil Stafford, is pending trial.
An additional 68 members and associates of the Grape Street Crips who were arrested in a coordinated takedown in May 2015 were separately charged with drug-trafficking, physical assaults, and witness intimidation. Sixty-six individuals also have been convicted, and charges remain pending against two.
According to the documents filed in this case and other cases and the evidence presented at trial:
As part of the racketeering conspiracy, Singleton admitted that he used fellow members of the New Jersey set of the Grape Street Crips to intimidate a witness against him by having those gang members sitting in the gallery of the courtroom as the witness took the stand. Singleton was facing criminal charges brought by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office for aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a firearm for a shooting that occurred in April 2013. As a result of Singleton’s effort, the witness refused to testify against him and the charges were dismissed.
Afterwards, Singleton was intercepted over a wiretap bragging to a fellow gang-member: “Who you know cause a ruckus on these motherfuckin’ streets, come home, do whatever the fuck they want, and still be out here, son?”
Singleton also admitted to participating in conspiracies to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 280 grams or more of crack-cocaine.
The 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.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Arleo sentenced Singleton to five years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, and special agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson, with the investigation. He also thanked the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens 3rd, and the Essex County Sherriff’s Office, under the direction of Armando B. Fontoura, for work on the case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Osmar J. Benvenuto, Chief of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit, Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry A. Kamar of the Criminal Division, and and Richard J. Ramsay of the Appeals 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.