NEWARK, N.J. – A New Brunswick resident is among two alleged ranking members of the Bloods street gang who have been charged with conspiring to distribute fentanyl and heroin in Newark, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
Leonard Wade, a/k/a “Clap,” 49, of New Brunswick, and Ezra A. Strong, a/k/a “Doonka,” 30, of Brick, are charged in separate complaints with conspiracy to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl and more than 100 grams of heroin, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey.
Wade is also charged with possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.
Wade appeared for an initial appearance by videoconference today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer.
Strong appeared for an initial appearance by videoconference on Wednesday, before Judge Hammer.
Both men are currently detained.
According documents filed in this case and statements made in court, law enforcement officials have seized 831 grams of suspected fentanyl and 612 grams of suspected heroin, as part of an investigation into a drug trafficking organization (DTO) operating in Monmouth and Middlesex counties, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.
Authorities said the investigation has revealed that Wade, allegedly a ranking member of the Sex Money Murder (SMM) subset of the Bloods street gang, is a leader of the DTO.
Strong, allegedly a ranking member of the Fruit Town Brims, also a subset of the Bloods street gang, distributes fentanyl and heroin on behalf of the DTO.
On Oct. 1, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant of Wade’s residence and recovered a 9mm caliber semi-automatic polymer “privately made” handgun, along with 50 rounds of 9mm ammunition and five rounds of .45 caliber ammunition.
The count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute over 400 grams of fentanyl carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a $10 million fine. The ammunition offense carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Monmouth/Ocean HIDTA Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson, with the assistance of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Gang and Criminal Enterprise Unit, with the investigation leading to the arrests.