71 Alleged Newark Crips Members Arrested in Federal Probe, 1 Accused of Plot to Murder FBI Agent

More than 70 people have been arrested after a long-running investigation into a New Jersey street gang on charges, including drug trafficking, witness intimidation, and a plot to kill an FBI agent, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

The investigation targeted the New Jersey set of the Grape Street Crips.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced charges against 50 alleged gang members and associates, along with 21 others who were previously charged with conducting illegal activities in various neighborhoods and public housing in Newark.

"As this investigation demonstrates, the New Jersey Grape Street Crips are allegedly one of the largest and most dangerous street gangs in Newark as well as a prolific narcotics trafficking organization that floods the streets of New Jersey with heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine," Fishman said.

Corey Batts, 30, of Newark was charged with plotting to kill one of the FBI special agents who were investigating the gang. Batts attempted to smuggle to another gang member images of the agent that were obtained as part of a case where Batts faced attempted murder charges, prosecutors said.

He was arrested after allegedly giving the photos to an informant, Fishman said.

Batts was in jail and wasn't available to comment on the charges. It wasn't immediately known if he had an attorney.

Other alleged Crips members face drug charges in what prosecutors say was a conspiracy to sell crack cocaine that operated using just one cellphone. Fishman said that at times, as many as 180 calls a day were placed to and from the phone to sell the drugs.

Others are accused of using social media to intimidate witnesses and rival gang members. Postings commonly included the acronym "K.A.R.", which Fishman said stands for "Kill All Rats." 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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