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Press Release

Two Leaders Of 'Red Breed Guerillas' Street Gang Sentenced To Lengthy Prison Terms For Drug And Gun Possession

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

NEWARK, N.J. – Two leaders of a Bloods street gang set known as the “Red Breed Guerillas” were sentenced today to prison terms for drug trafficking and illegal possession of weapons, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Kaseem Upshaw, a/k/a “Uzi Kaz”, 34, and Anthony Pearson, a/k/a “Iz”, 32, both of Newark, were sentenced to 130 and 128 months, respectively, in prison. Both pleaded guilty in November 2013 before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas to conspiracy to distribute heroin and being convicted felons in possession of eight firearms. Judge Salas imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

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

On Sept. 1, 2011, law enforcement officials executed a search warrant on an apartment on Stratford Place in Newark. They recovered 2,440 envelopes of heroin and eight guns, including three semi-automatic rifles, four handguns, and one shotgun, as well as 400 rounds of ammunition. Pearson and Upshaw were charged in a superseding indictment with being leaders of the Bloods set known as the “Red Breed Guerillas,” which controlled the drug trade in that area of Newark, and with being responsible for maintaining that apartment as part of their heroin distribution efforts.

During their guilty pleas, both Pearson and Upshaw admitted that from March 1, 2011, through Sept. 1, 2011, they used the apartment on Stratford Place in Newark to store heroin that was eventually distributed on the street.  They both admitted they were in possession of the eight firearms after having previously convicted of felonies in New Jersey Superior Court.

In addition to the prison terms, Judge Salas sentenced Upshaw and Pearson each to five years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl Kotowski; and Newark Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah A. Coley and Police Chief Ivonne Roman, for the investigation leading to today’s sentencings.

The Government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Donnelly and Robert Frazer of the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.


Defense counsel:

Pearson: Michael Pedicini Esq., Chatham, N.J.

Upshaw: James Patton Esq., Livingston, N.J.          
Updated March 18, 2015