A reputed Paterson gang member who fled to Georgia amid a massive federal investigation of fatal drug trafficking shot and wounded a Belleville man in the city before he left, authorities revealed Wednesday.
Keith Brinkley, a 29-year-old reputed member of the 230 Boyz, already was facing heroin-trafficking charges when he skipped town after shooting the 31-year-old victim in the area of Pearl and Carroll streets on Sept. 24, authorities said.
Federal agents took Brinkley into custody in Georgia at the end of October, and he was brought to New Jersey this week, records show.
While the U.S. attorney's office in Newark wants him for the drug case, local prosecutors have charged Brinkley with first-degree attempted murder and weapons offenses in the September shooting, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora confirmed Wednesday.
A week after that incident, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced that Brinkley was the only defendant still at large of 17 alleged 230 Boyz members charged in a heroin, fentanyl and cocaine trafficking case.
The rest were all in custody following a coordinated sweep by a strike force comprised of agents from the DEA, ATF and state, county and local law enforcement, Carpenito said.
The 230 Boys members and associates, all Paterson residents, were involved in selling heroin tied to more than 60 fatal overdoses in New Jersey over the past year, the U.S. attorney said. They also peddled cocaine base, he said.
The 230 gang derives its name from a central location: a liquor store located at 230 Rosa Parks Blvd.
The gang has operated primarily along Godwin Avenue, between Rosa Parks Boulevard and East 18th Street, and in the vicinity of the 12th Avenue basketball courts, federal authorities said.
Members sell heroin in bricks and bundles that is frequently mixed with fentanyl, a potent, synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin -- and, as a result, potentially fatal – investigators said.
230 Boys are "often involved in ongoing feuds with other local gangs, including the '4K Korner Boys,' a street gang [that] operates primarily on Rosa Parks Boulevard between Keen and Lyon streets, and the Glock Boys, a street gang [that] operates primarily on the north side of Paterson and is often referred to by 230 Boys as 'down the hill'," the complaint sworn by the ATF says.
News of Brinkley’s arrest comes a day after 25-year-old reputed gang leader Shakeem “230 Starter” Ricks was shot and killed.
Ricks had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated assault – and was sentenced to four years in state prison -- following the September 2014 shooting death of Nazerah Bugg, a JFK High School basketball standout who aspired to play professionally.
After receiving credit for time served while awaiting the outcome of the case, Ricks was released in July 2018, records show.
Brinkley had bought three bricks of heroin stamped “Welcome to Sinaloa,” referring to the Mexican state notorious for drug trafficking, money laundering and organized crime, a complaint on file in U.S. District Court in Newark charges.
He remained held pending a Feb. 25 hearing in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.