Ex-Leader of Newark Street Gang Admits Role in Murders, Carjackings, and Kidnappings
A Newark gang leader has been sentenced to decades behind bars after pleading guilty to several murders in Essex County, New Jersey. The defendant, Frank Roland, is a 33-year-old man from Newark, NJ. He was accused of committing numerous crimes over the course of nearly a decade, including five homicides. According to authorities, Roland used to be the leader of the South Side Cartel in the South Ward of Newark.
While serving as a gang leader, Roland reportedly led a “reign of terror” and ordered members of his gang to commit carjackings, kidnappings, and murders. At its peak, the gang had around 20 members with tattoos of local buildings or the initials of the gang: SSC. Essex County law enforcement struggled for years to contain the gang’s violence, with Newark police citing the South Side Cartel as a “perfect example” of how just a few criminals could drive violent crime in the region.
Newark police eventually managed to arrest Roland, his brother Amin Roland, and several other members of the South Side Cartel. Amin Roland was later sentenced to 10 years in a federal prison for unlawful possession of a weapon. Meanwhile, Roland was charged with 27 different crimes, including multiple counts of homicide. One of the alleged killings came in the aftermath of a fatal robbery in Newark, with Roland allegedly murdering an associate who was set to testify against him.
Plea Agreement in Newark Gang Member’s Murder Case
In December 2013, Roland was indicted at the federal level on the criminal charges. He ultimately avoided the harshest penalties by reaching a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark, New Jersey. Roland agreed to plead guilty to seven of the criminal charges against him; in exchange for Roland’s guilty plea, federal prosecutors agreed to recommend that he be sentenced to a term of incarceration of 45 years. That plea agreement was recently approved by U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo at the U.S. District Court in Newark, NJ.
Before trial was set to commence, Roland had already been declared intellectually disabled. This meant that even if convicted by a jury, he could not be sentenced to death. Instead, the maximum penalty in the case would have been life imprisonment.
Contact an Experienced Essex County Criminal Defense Attorney in Newark, New Jersey
Have you been charged with murder, assault, or any other violent crime in Newark, NJ? Contact Newark criminal defense lawyer Travis Tormey today to schedule a free initial consultation about your case.