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Reputed Newark Gangster Known As ‘Half A Brain’ Charged In Shootings

A reputed Newark gang member faces charges in connection with a conspiracy to deal drugs, federal authorities said.
A reputed Newark gang member faces charges in connection with a conspiracy to deal drugs, federal authorities said. Photo Credit: File

A Newark man who authorities say is steeped in the violent world of the city’s street gangs was charged Monday with attempted murder in connection with a conspiracy to deal drugs, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Sean “Half a Brain” Hills, who has also gone by “Rydaman” and “Half”, was charged with Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization conspiracy as well as distribution of cocaine. The RICO laws target organized crime.

Hills, 28, is believed to be a longtime member of the New Jersey Grape Street Crips and is so immersed in the gang culture he has the names of its top members tattooed on his face, authorities said.

Hills is one of several dozen alleged members of the Grape Street Crips charged since 2015 for offenses including murder, attempted murder, drug trafficking and witness intimidation.

Hills is accused of shooting and wounding one person in 2012 as part of an attempted takeover of the drug market near South 14th Street and 14th Avenue. Hills shot and wounded a second person the following year, authorities said.

He has also been charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

He faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years on each count for the RICO conspiracy and the narcotics charges, and a fine of $250,000 on the RICO conspiracy charge and $1 million on the drug charge.

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