An alleged Jersey City gang member has been charged with two counts of witness tampering after posting videos of witness interviews to Facebook, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Laquan Clark, 31, of Jersey City was arrested and charged with two counts of witness tampering, stemming from multiple Facebook posts in his name between Dec. 27 and Dec. 28, officials said.
Several of the Facebook posts contained videos of witness interviews conducted during a previous police investigation into a criminal street gang of which Clark is an alleged member, authorities said.
Hudson County View was forwarded the links to several of the interviews yesterday, which spanned from approximately seven to 30 minutes.
“Clearly this type of criminal behavior is meant to intimidate and harass any potential witnesses from co-operating with law enforcement,” Suarez said in a statement.
“We take any interference with the criminal justice system very seriously and will prosecute this individual to the fullest extent of the law.”
At the conclusion of the investigation in April 2016, Clark and 21 other co-defendants were arrested and he is currently under indictment for numerous offenses including gang criminality, aggravated assault, robbery, narcotics and weapons offenses, police said.
At the time, Clark was released on bail was being monitored with an ankle monitoring bracelet before his arrest today for witness tampering, officials said.
An investigation of the public areas of Clark’s Facebook account indicated that in the comment section attached to the postings by Clark there were threats against the lives of the persons depicted in the videos, authorities said.
Witness tampering is a first degree crime and if convicted, Clark will face up to 20 years in prison on these charges. Bail for these charges has been set at $150,000, cash only, police said.
Additionally, Suarez credited the Jersey City Police Department’s Major Case and Street Crimes Units for the investigation, as well as the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Gang Task Force.
Furthermore, the prosecutor also thanked members of the community who immediately expressed concern about the Facebook postings and their implications to the criminal justice system in Jersey City.