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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Soldier Of Violent Bloods Street Gang Admits Racketeering Conspiracy

Plea Calls for 22-Year Prison Sentence

NEWARK, N.J. – A soldier of the Sex Money Murder set of the Bloods street gang today admitted his role in a racketeering conspiracy that involved attempted murder and conspiracy to distribute heroin, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Laquan Reed, 27, a/k/a “Drama,” of Montclair, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to Count Two of a 14-count superseding indictment charging him with racketeering conspiracy.

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

The Bloods street gang is organized into subgroups, called “sets,” that operate in specific geographic locations. Sex Money Murder is the set that operates primarily in Essex County, New Jersey. Reed, a ranking member in Sex Money Murder, admitted that from 2007 to 2011 he committed a series of violent crimes to advance the gang’s objectives. He admitted that he conspired with set members to murder a rival gang member on Aug. 3, 2011, identified in the indictment as “Victim 6.” Reed admitted he and others engaged in a shootout in an effort to kill the rival gang member in and around Newark. Reed also admitted conspiring to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin in and around Newark.

The plea agreement requires Reed to be sentenced to 22 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for July 10, 2017.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI and the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark; the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray; the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Armando V. Fontoura; and the Newark Department of Public Safety, under the direction of Anthony F. Ambrose, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski; and special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Scott C. Curley, for their roles in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mary Toscano, Chief, Organized Crime and Gangs Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division, and Dara Govan of the Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: James Patton Esq., Livingston, New Jersey

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
17-095
Updated March 30, 2017