10 Jersey City men have been charged in a conspiracy that led to either burglaries or attempted burglaries at 40 different pharmacies throughout northern New Jersey, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig said.
Mohummad Simmons, 25, also known as “Mo Waps;” Tamir Brown, 27, aka “Stragg;” Rico Phang, 19, aka “Little Mil;” Deon Davis, 24, aka “Dee;” Michael Simeus, 27, aka Jerk;” David Booker, 28; Darrel Hicks, 25; Daquan Hart, 22, aka “Day Day;” Jamiel French, 27, aka “Money Mil;” and Tyriq Rembert, 28, all of Jersey City, are all charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit burglary involving controlled substances.
Simmons, Hart, and Rembert appeared by videoconference for their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III on Jan. 22nd, while Hicks appeared today by videoconference for his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda D. Wettre.
Brown is in custody on related state charges and the remaining defendants remain at large.
“The complaint charges that the defendants went on a crime spree throughout northern New Jersey, breaking into pharmacies and stealing dangerous controlled substances, including opioids,” Honig said in a statement.
“I applaud the Drug Enforcement Administration and our local law enforcement partners for responding quickly to identify these suspects so that they can be brought to justice.”
From October 11th, 2020, through December 22nd, 2020, the defendants forcibly entered and burglarized, or attempted to burglarize, pharmacies throughout northern New Jersey. T
hey typically wore dark clothing, face masks, and gloves, and gained entry to the pharmacies by breaking windows or doors with a brick or a rock.
They took various types of controlled substances and other prescription drugs for the purpose of redistribution.
During these burglaries, several controlled substances were prioritized, including codeine, a Schedule II controlled substance, acetaminophen with codeine, a Schedule III controlled substance, and promethazine with codeine, a Schedule V controlled substance.
Pharmacies were victimized in Secaucus, North Bergen, Linden, Guttenberg, Kenilworth, Madison, Short Hills, Iselin, Jersey City, West New York, North Arlington, and Lyndhurst.
For example, on October 11th, at approximately 4:40 a.m., Simmons, Phang and a conspirator forcibly entered a pharmacy in Secaucus and took promethazine with codeine, a Schedule V controlled substance, and were recorded on surveillance video.
They fled the scene in a black Chevrolet Malibu registered to Simmons. Prior to the burglary, the Malibu approached the area of the burglary following a silver Pontiac Grand Prix. Immediately after the burglary, the Malibu departed the area following the Pontiac.
In another instance, on November 6th, at approximately 5:45 a.m., Simmons and Phang forcibly entered a pharmacy in Linden with the intent to steal controlled substances.
Approximately one hour and fifteen minutes before the burglary, the two men had been the subjects of a motor vehicle stop in Union, New Jersey, while traveling in the Malibu.
Surveillance video footage from the pharmacy in Linden showed Simmons and Phang wearing the same clothing that they were wearing during the body camera footage of the motor vehicle stop.
The surveillance video also showed Simmons and Phang depart the area of the burglary in the Malibu.
The charge of conspiring to burglarize pharmacies carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.