According to law enforcement, the suspects are members of the Grape Street Crips, a well-known street gang with origins in Los Angeles. The suspects, ages 26 and 28, allegedly conspired with other gang members to sell heroin and cocaine in Newark. The illegal activity reportedly occurred between December 2014 and May 2015.
Federal, state, and local authorities conducted a lengthy investigation into the drug distribution scheme. The investigation included phone-taps and other means to collect evidence against the suspects.
At the conclusion of the investigation, police arrested 50 alleged gang members and associates of the gang. Among those arrested were the two suspects.
The 28-year-old suspect recently appeared in U.S. District Court in Newark NJ and pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to distribute heroin in Newark, NJ.
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old suspect appeared in district court and pleaded guilty to conspiring to sell crack cocaine. Additionally, he pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a handgun because police allegedly found him attempting to hide a .280-caliber pistol when he was arrested at a residence in Newark, New Jersey.
As a result of the 28-year-old suspect’s plea deal with prosecutors, he faces a potential term of incarceration of 20 years in federal prison, as well as a fine of $1 million. The other suspect could be sentenced to between 5 and 40 years in federal prison and incur a fine of $5 million.
Both suspects will have to return to federal court in Newark in February 2016 for formal sentencing.
For additional information about this case, go to the NJ.com article entitled “Alleged N.J. Crips Plead Guilty to Drug Conspiracy Charges, Officials Say.”