Three purported members of the Rollin' 60s Neighborhood Crips gang were indicted on charges of murder and attempted murder Wednesday, federal officials said.
Elijah Williams, aka “Lil Smith,” 21; Jason Franklin, aka “Freak,” aka “OG Freak,” 37; and Tre Byrd, aka “Bands,” aka “G Bandz,” 20 -- all of Newark -- were charged by indictment with Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) conspiracy, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said.
Williams is accused of shooting four individuals and hitting two in Newark on Sept. 25, 2018, authorities said. Both victims survived the attack.
Then, on March 20, 2019, Williams shot and killed another victim with help from Franklin and Byrd in Irvington, according to court documents.
The attacks didn't end there. On June 20, 2020, Byrd worked with another Rollin' 60s gang member to rob a victim at gunpoint in Newark, authorities said.
Williams was arraigned Wednesday, before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court. Byrd was arraigned June 9, before Judge Wigenton, and Franklin remains at large.
All of the defendants face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.
Honig credited special agents and task force officers of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges.
Special agents and task force officers with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Craig B. Kailimai; prosecutors and detectives with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II; police officers and detectives of the Irvington Police Department, under the direction of Director Tracey Bowers; police officers and detectives of the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara; the Essex County Sherriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura; and the Bloomfield Police Department, under the direction of Samuel A. DeMaio, Director of Public Safety.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francesca Liquori of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit.
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