A Newark drug dealer caught with a gun was sentenced to five years in federal prison, authorities said.
Ricky Terrell, 24, was one of several dealers targeted for running an open-air drug market – slinging heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and more -- at the Stephen Crane Village public housing complex near the Belleville border, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said.
Several law enforcement agencies teamed up to smash the operation, making undercover buys and intercepting phone calls and text messages, among other tactics, she said.
On Feb. 25, 2020, they raided Terrell’s home and found heroin and cocaine, a 40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and several rounds of ammo, the U.S. attorney said.
Rather than face trial, Terell took a deal from the government, pleading guilty to having a gun while trafficking drugs.
He must serve just about all five years of his term because there’s no parole in the federal prison system.
U.S. District Court Judge John Michael Vazquez also sentenced Terrell via videoconference in Newark earlier this month to three years of supervised release.
Several law enforcement agencies worked the case under the auspices of the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) in Newark, which fights violent crime in and around the city, Honig said.
She specifically cited special agents and task force officers with the Newark offices of the ATF and DEA, police from Newark and Belleville, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation leading to the sentencing, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey Agnew of Honig’s Organized Crime and Gangs Unit.
Honig also thanked the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office and police from Nutley, Bloomfield, Orange, West Orange and Verona for their assistance.
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