PATERSON, NJ - A violent street gang believed to be distributing approximately 50,000 doses of heroin and a kilo of crack cocaine per week on Paterson’s streets has been shut down, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced Thursday.
The 12 arrests of alleged leaders, members, and associates of the “42-50” set of Crips who allegedly operated their open-air drug markets in the area of Godwin and Auburn Street took place Thursday, October 15. The area where they are said to have operated has been a hot spot for shootings of rival gangs, including of targeted members of the set that were named after the address they are said to have operated out of.
In addition to seizing over 21,000 wax folds of heroin, some of which also contained fentanyl, investigators reported uncovering a heroin mill inside a building on North York Street where the gang is said to have cut and packaged the potentially deadly heroin for sale as well as a crack cocaine mill inside a Summer Street apartment.
Heroin seized during the operation is said to have been stamped with the same brand names that have been linked to eight fatal and 14 non-fatal overdoses in New Jersey.
Grewal’s statement identified Marvin Goodwin, 29, as the leader of the drug set, and its main drug supplier. Charged along with six others, including Terike Gass, 40, thought to be his closest associate, with first degree racketeering, Goodwin suffered non-fatal injuries in a drive-by shooting in August.
Both Goodwin and Gass face up to 30 years in prison.
“Through collaborative investigations such as Operation 42-50, we are targeting the drug traffickers who profit from the deadly opioid epidemic and bring violence to the neighborhoods of our cities,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Paterson is a regional distribution center for heroin and fentanyl, and this Crips set was running its open-air drug markets in an area torn by gang-related gun violence. We will continue to work closely with the Paterson Police Department to eliminate these criminal organizations that are destroying so many lives.”
Paterson Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale thanked Grewal and all involved in the operation for helping in the Paterson Police Department’s efforts to get drugs off Paterson’s streets. “This battle is ongoing, but our strong partnerships with the Attorney General’s Office, Division of Criminal Justice, and State Police will help ensure that criminal organizations are investigated, disrupted and ultimately dismantled,” Speziale said. “The coordination between us has unleashed the power of the many to bring successful investigations aimed at reducing violence and arresting the individuals responsible for creating a wave of illegal drug distribution in our city.”
During the course of the investigation, detectives made undercover purchases of 10 “bricks” of heroin. Each brick contains 50 single-dose wax folds of heroin. They also seized 108 bricks of heroin and over 200 grams of crack cocaine during execution of search warrants in September. Together those purchases and seizures totaled approximately 5,900 doses of heroin.
When arrests were made and search warrants were executed last Thursday, Oct. 15, investigators seized approximately 15,300 single-dose wax folds of heroin packaged in bricks and 10-dose “bundles.” They also seized more than 800 grams of crack cocaine and approximately $110,000 in U.S. currency.
“In the midst of the COVID pandemic, there is still an opioid crisis and we are still doing all that we can to help those suffering from addiction,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Meanwhile, drug dealers are continuing their corrosive commerce, despite the pandemic, bringing death and destruction to our communities. We are determined to bring these ruthless profiteers to justice.”
Also arrested and facing a number of charges that can land them up to 20 years in prison were:
- Eric Pena, 28, Paterson
- Javon Cook, 28, Paterson
- Christopher Younger, 29, Paterson
- Steven Godbolt, 48, Paterson
- Kenneth McKinney, 21, Paterson
- Andre Anderson, 36, Paterson
- Anthony Hinton, 54, Paterson
- Andre White, 43, Paterson
- Shohamaree Brown, 36, East Orange
- Brian Johnson, 37, Paterson
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