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Press Release

Passaic County Residents Admit Drug and Firearm Charges

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

NEWARK, N.J. – Two Passaic County, New Jersey, residents admitted to possessing contraband within a Paterson, New Jersey, home, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.

Roshiema James, 49, of Paterson, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to an information charging her with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, cocaine, and cocaine base. On June 23, 2021, Matthew P. Peoples, 44, of Paterson, pleaded guilty before Judge Chesler to an indictment charging him with possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.

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

On Oct. 3, 2019, pursuant to a lawful search of James’ residence, at which Peoples was an overnight guest, investigators recovered a loaded .357 caliber Rossi revolver with a defaced serial number from a bedroom closet and fentanyl, cocaine, cocaine base, and drug paraphernalia. Peoples, who knew he had previously been convicted of a felony, admitted to knowingly possessing the firearm and ammunition, and James admitted that she possessed the controlled substances with the intent to sell them. 

The offense to which James pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. The offense to which Peoples pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing for both defendants is scheduled for Oct. 27, 2021.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (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 .

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; and detectives of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Camelia Valdes, 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.

Updated June 24, 2021

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 21-281