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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 15, 2021

Passaic County Man Sentenced to 45 Months in Prison for Distributing Fentanyl

NEWARK, N.J. – A Passaic County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 45 months in prison for distributing fentanyl, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Tawan Grier, a/k/a “TJ,” 22, of Paterson, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti to an information charging him with knowingly and intentionally distributing fentanyl. Judge Martinotti imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

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

Grier is an associate of the 230 Boys street gang, which operates primarily around Rosa Parks Boulevard and Godwin Avenue in Paterson. Through numerous controlled purchases of narcotics, consensually recorded telephone calls and text messages, physical surveillance, and the analysis of telephone call detail records, law enforcement officers determined that from September 2018 through Oct. 1, 2019, Grier and other members and associates of the 230 Boys distributed narcotics, including heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine base.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Martinotti sentenced Grier to three years of supervised release.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents and task force officers with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Newark Division, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Toby C. Taylor; special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark; officers of the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; officers of the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora; detectives of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Camelia Valdes; and the Passaic County Sheriff's Office, under the direction of Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik, with the investigation leading to the charges. She also thanked the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bergen County Sheriff's Office and the Belleville and Livingston police departments for their assistance with the case.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francesca Liquori, of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
21-315
Updated July 15, 2021