Seventeen people connected to the Paterson-based 230 Boys street gang were charged federally following a coordinated drug-dealing sweep by a strike force comprised of agents from the DEA, ATF and state, county and local law enforcement, authorities announced Thursday.
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, in bags stamped with such names "9 V2," "Dorney Park," "Pandora," and "I Am Back," federal authorities charged.
The gang members also peddled cocaine base, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
In a separate arrest on Thursday, agents arrested 43-year-old ex-con Matthew Peoples after finding a defaced .357-caliber revolver in the closet during a raid at his Paterson home, federal authorities said.
Agents also reported finding heroin, cocaine and cocaine base, along with instruments used to cook the base -- including a face mask -- and materials used for packaging and selling the drugs when they arrested Peoples, who previously served time for a drug conviction.
Investigators used wiretaps, undercover buys and surveillance to help assemble the 230 Boys case, which Carpenito said will “help ensure that these defendants no longer threaten our communities with these harms and instead are held responsible for their crimes.”
The 230 Boys gang derives its name from a central location -- a liquor store located at 230 Rosa Parks Blvd.
The gang operates 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, they said -- and, as a result, potentially fatal.
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'," an ATF complaint on file in U.S. District Court in Newark says.
The U.S. attorney credited special agents and task force officers with the ATF, special agents of the DEA, the New Jersey State Police, Paterson police and investigators with the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.
Carpenito also cited contributions from the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bergen County Sheriff's Office and the Belleville and Livingston police departments.
Those arrested Thursday had initial appearances scheduled in federal court in Newark before U.S. Magistrate Leda Dunn Wettre.
Handling the case for the government is Assistant U.S. Attorney Francesca Liquori of Carpenito’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit.
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