The ringleader and a crew of 16 members of a Paterson-based heroin ring tied to the Bloods street gang – along with 16 accused buyers from Bergen, Rockland and Orange counties -- were named in a sweeping indictment produced by a massive multi-agency investigation, New Jersey authorities said Thursday.
The investigation targeted open-air drug dealing and gun violence controlled by a multi-layered ring in a section of the 4th Ward of Paterson known as the four corners -- or “4K” area – where Mercer, Putnam and Warren streets meet Rosa Parks Boulevard.
Leading the “4K Bloods” – also known as the “Korner Boyz” -- were Jaumel Reese, 35, of Passaic, and one of his alleged “bulk suppliers,” Jesse Garcia, 27, of Lodi, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said.
A raid of Garcia’s home turned up 90 bricks of heroin, a handgun, hollow-nose bullets and more than $19,000 in drug proceeds, Grewal said.
Named with Reese and Garcia in a 63-count state grand jury indictment are 15 other alleged members of the ring, including Eric Huntington, 41, of Paterson, one of Reese’s top “runners” or suppliers to street-level dealers, he said.
“This investigation really took aim at the heart of the problem,” the attorney general said, “because Paterson is a major hub for heroin distribution across northern New Jersey and the open-air drug markets allegedly controlled by this Bloods set in the city’s 4th Ward have a history of gun violence.”
“There can be little doubt that we saved lives by stopping the heroin trafficked by these gang members from reaching people struggling with addiction in Paterson and the surrounding region,” Division of Criminal Justice Director Veronica Allende added.
“When heroin dealing is introduced into a community, gun violence is not far behind,” said State Police Col. Patrick Callahan. “And if you add dangerous street gangs to the equation, the effect on a city’s residents can be devastating.”
The other accused ring members named in the indictment are all from Paterson except for Angela Whitehead, 32, of Prospect Park:
- Jerome Deas, 38;
- Marvelous Pitts, 31;
- Shaques Huntington, 24;
- Herbert Pitts, 60;
- Justin Jones, 24;
- Jeffrey Hunter, 29;
- Markeith Davis, 48;
- Tariq Jackson, 25;
- Devon Armstrong, 40;
- Jonathan Cedeno, 22;
- Isaac Coleman, 32;
- Hanife Dock, 29;
- Theodore Blackshear, 46.
Also named in the indictment is Reese’s girlfriend, Winter Burch, 36, of Passaic. She’s charged with possession of both codeine and false government documents.
The remaining defendants are accused heroin buyers:
- Carl McKenith, 65, of Englewood;
- Robert Ferri, 33, of Wyckoff;
- Michael Ryerson, 48, of Paterson;
- Frank Marchionni, 26, of Nanuet;
- Jonathon Kleinberg, 29, of New City;
- Michael Armao, 33, of Greenwood Lake;
- Daniel Grimm, 67, of Franklin, NJ;
- Brent Howell, 33, of Blairstown, NJ;
- David Boralsky, 35, of Stanhope, NJ;
- Michael Sheridan, 42, of Johnson, NJ;
- Nicholas McLaughlin, 26, of Greeley, PA.;
- Christopher Holbert, 24, of Hawley, PA;.
- Chelsea Rouse, 34, of East Stroudsburg, PA.;
- Jennifer Halterman, 33, of East Stroudsburg, PA.;
- Jasmine Soto, 28, of Milford, PA.;
- Christopher Gutierrez, 34, of Milford, PA.
“Operation Pitfall” was led by the New Jersey State Police Gangs & Organized Crime North Unit, the Division of Criminal Justice, the State Parole Board, the Newark Police Department and ICE Homeland Security Investigations, Grewal said.
Deputy Attorney General Amy Sieminski presented the case to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.
The indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson in Trenton, who assigned the case to Paterson.
Grewal commended the prosecutors in the Division of Criminal Justice, the detectives in the New Jersey State Police Gangs and Organized Crime North Unit -- including the lead investigator, Detective Scott Sanders -- and all of the detectives, officers and special agents from the various agencies who participated.
THE INDICTMENT (with individual mugshots/driver's license photos): www.njpublicsafety.com .
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