Two members of the Grape Street Crips gang admitted in federal court to dealing large quantities of heroin and crack cocaine in Newark and Jersey City, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Toma Williams, aka “T-Dubbs,” 38, and Jihad Coles, aka “Half Dead,” 30, both of Newark, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judges Madeline Cox Arleo and Esther Salas, respectively, in Newark federal court yesterday, officials said.
Williams pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, as well as one count of using a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, authorities said.
Additionally, Coles pleaded guilty on July 8 to one count of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of crack-cocaine, court documents show.
Furthermore, Williams admitted that, between March 2014 and Oct. 3, 2014, he conspired with others to distribute kilogram quantities of heroin to members and associates of the Grape Street Crips.
During the course of a wiretap investigation of Williams, the DEA learned that Williams was a supplier of heroin to members of the Grape Street Crips operating in and around the area of North 5th Avenue and 6th Street in Newark.
In addition, Williams ran an alleged drug-trafficking organization that supplied heroin to other individuals in and around Newark and Jersey City.Following Williams’ arrest, DEA agents discovered a sophisticated secret compartment inside Williams’ car.
Inside that secret compartment, Williams had approximately two kilograms of heroin and a loaded semi-automatic firearm, which Williams admitted today he used to protect his supply of heroin and his drug profits, authorities said.
Also, Coles admitted that between March 2012 and August 2012 he conspired with others to distribute hundreds of grams of crack-cocaine at the Mildred Terrell Homes public-housing complex located on Riverview Terrace in Newark.
As a long-time member of the Grape Street Crips, Coles admitted today that he served as an organizer and leader of the crack-cocaine distribution conspiracy.
The heroin conspiracy charge to which Williams pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum sentence of life in prison, and a fine of up to $10 million.
The firearms charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison—which must run consecutive to the sentence imposed for the heroin conspiracy—a maximum sentence of life in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.
Finally, the crack-cocaine conspiracy charge to which Coles pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum sentence of life in prison, and a fine of up to $10 million.
Williams and Coles are scheduled to be sentenced on October 19 and November 9, respectively.
In May 2015, over the course of three weeks, 50 alleged members and associates of the Grape Street Crips were charged in criminal complaints that alleged drug-trafficking, physical assaults, and witness intimidation.
The charges were the result of a long-running investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the FBI, in conjunction with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Newark Police Department and Essex County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Narcotics.
Over the course of the entire investigation, 71 defendants have been charged with federal and state charges.