PATERSON, NJ – A fourth Paterson member of the Fruit Town and Brick City Brims set of the Bloods pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges on Tuesday in the U.S. Attorney’s ongoing case against the street gang.
Richard Fields, 27, who is also known as “P.O.,” pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Fields admitted to selling crack cocaine to an undercover officer on Oct. 16, 2006, together with an associate of the gang, and to selling marijuana to another individual on Aug. 15, 2006, said a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney.
Fields also admitted to participating in two robberies in Paterson in 2006 with other members of the gang, including Michael McCloud, 26, another Silk City resident, the press release said. Fields was involved in the robbery of a dice game in Paterson, in which a co-conspirator used an AK-47 and gang members took controlled substances, cell phones, and money.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Fields also conspired with other Fruit Town Brims members to commit an armed robbery in retaliation for the shooting of a fellow gang member by a member of a rival gang.
Fifteeen gang members who authorities says were responsible for a variety of crimes in Paterson, Newark and Jersey City were indicted in the case in January and in the past couple months a number of them have pleaded guilty to RICA charges.
The guilty pleas “should help the residents of these cities regain control of their communities from the grip of violence and other ills associated with the drug trade,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in his press release. “Through the joint efforts of state, local and federal law enforcement, we were able to reach all the way to the top of the enterprise and successfully prosecute the state-wide leaders of the set.”
The racketeering conspiracy count to which Fields pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney. The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 20, 2011.
In addition to Fields and McCloud, other Patersonians who have pleaded guilty in the case were 31-year-old Torience Brooks, who admitted he murdered a Jersey City teenager in 2004 in a case of mistaken identity, and Hakeem State.