Newark, NJ–Six members of the Brick City Brims set of the Bloods street gang were arrested last week for their alleged roles in a major drug trafficking organization that dealt heroin in and around Newark.
Tyrone Brown, 34, Lamarr Burwell, 22, and Miles McCloud, 37, all of Newark, and Martin Pettiford, 23, of Irvington, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and one or more counts of possession with intent to distribute heroin.
Brown is also charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute a fentanyl analogue.
Omar Wyche, 29, of Newark, and Keyeen Scott, 37, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, were each charged with one or more counts of possession with intent to distribute heroin.
The defendants allegedly dealt heroin in the area of Hayes Street and 14th Avenue near the New Community Corporation (NCC), according to court documents.
In addition to selling narcotics in and around the NCC – primarily in a courtyard area gang members refer to as “the desert” – members of the drug trafficking organization alerted each other to the presence of police, rival gang members or drug dealers within NCC; pooled narcotics; shared narcotics proceeds and customers; and raised bail money for each other following an arrest.
Members of the organization have also engaged in violence in connection with their narcotics trafficking activities.
“These arrests represent our commitment to ensuring that the neighborhood in and around New Community Corporation complex is free from individuals who blatantly commit crimes and jeopardize the safety and quality of life of our residents,” Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said. “We will continue working tirelessly with our federal and local law enforcement partners to keep Newark safe.”
U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said the arrests signal an important step in the fight to retake the Newark streets from dangerous gangs and drug dealers.
“The activities described in the criminal complaints unsealed today describe an active marketplace where heroin and crack cocaine are sold openly on the streets of Newark and surrounding areas,” Carpenito said. “The wiretaps and surveillance provide a glimpse into the violent and dangerous world these defendants have created in one neighborhood. Our office, working together with our federal and local law enforcement partners, is focusing on ridding neighborhoods of just this type of activity, one gang at a time."
An investigation led by the FBI used physical and video surveillance, confidential informants, cooperating witnesses, dozens of controlled narcotics purchases, record checks, narcotics seizures and multiple telephone wiretaps to uncover the operations of the drug trafficking organization.
The count of drug trafficking conspiracy carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine. The drug possession counts carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
The drug trafficking organization operating out of the NCC was an original focus of the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI), which was formed in 2017 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the City of Newark’s Department of Public Safety for the sole purpose of combatting violent crime in and around the Newark.
The VCI includes the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the ATF, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New Jersey Division, the U.S. Marshals, the Newark Department of Public Safety, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, New Jersey State Parole Board, Union County Jail, New Jersey State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center/Real Time Crime Center, New Jersey Department of Corrections, the East Orange Police Department, and the Irvington Police Department.