What to Know
- Seventeen affiliates of a Newark Street gang have been charged in connection with heroin and crack cocaine trafficking
- Fourteen people affiliated with the "Famous Boyz" were arrested Thursday. Three others were already in custody on state charges
- The arrests came after a "long-running wiretap investigation" into the gang, prosecutors said
Seventeen people affiliated with a Newark street gang known as the “Famous Boyz” have been charged in connection with the gang’s heroin and crack cocaine trafficking activities, prosecutors said.
Fourteen people allegedly affiliated with the gang, which is a subset of the Brick City Brims — which is itself a subset of the Bloods gang — were arrested Thursday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey said. Three other people were already in custody on state charges, the attorney’s office said.
The arrests came after a “long-running wiretap investigation” into the street gang, prosecutors said.
Members of the gang dealt “significant quantities of heroin and crack cocaine” in Newark, primarily around South 18th Street and 15th Avenue, which the gang referred to as the “8 Block,” the “18th” or as “8,” according to prosecutors.
The heroin dealt by the gang contained a fentanyl analogue that was “extremely dangerous and highly addictive,” prosecutors said.
More than a dozen shootings, meanwhile, have been linked to the Famous Boyz, which have a rivalry with another gang in Newark, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors say a man named John Mosley directed the Famous Boyz’ drug operations, supplying narcotics to them and using children to distribute them and hide firearms.
Two men named Patricio Hernandez and Jonathan Hernandez allegedly supplied some of the crack cocaine the gang dealt to Mosley, according to prosecutors. A man named Jahid Vauters, meanwhile, supplied heroin to Mosley, prosecutors said.
Law enforcement officers found firearms, a brick of heroin and more than 100 grams of crack cocaine at Vauters’ home during the investigation, according to prosecutors.
Even the Famous Boyz’ customers complained about the fentanyl analogue their heroin contained, prosecutors said.
“I’ll be honest — cause it’s fentanyl bro, I don’t want to kill myself, you know what I’m trying to say like….” one customer said to Mosley, according to prosecutors. “I’m just trying to f---ing like have a good time, not kill myself.”
Members of the gang promoted and advertised their activities on social media, posting threats toward anyone who was considering cooperating with the investigation, prosecutors said.
They were also allegedly involved in several robberies, according to prosecutors.
“The criminal complaint unsealed today describes an active marketplace where heroin and crack cocaine are sold openly on the streets of Newark and surrounding areas and illegal firearms and threats of violence are used to protect that trade,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said in a statement.
“Today’s arrests signal an important step in our continuing fight to retake our streets from violent gangs and drug dealers.”