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Grape Street Crips Gang Members Get 18 Years in Prison for Racketeering and Drug Trafficking Charges

JUNE 21 (NEWARK, N.J.) – Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New Jersey Division and William E. Fitzpatrick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey announced two crack-cocaine wholesalers for the New Jersey set of the Grape Street Crips were each sentenced today to 18 years in prison for their roles in racketeering and drug trafficking conspiracies operating in Newark.

Hakeem Vanderhall, aka “Keem,” aka “Sugar Bear,” 33, of East Orange, New Jersey, and Eric Concepcion, aka “Eddie Arroyo,” aka “E-Wax,” aka “Wax,” 30, of Clifton, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to Count 1 and Count 18 of a sixth superseding indictment charging them with racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute crack-cocaine.  Judge Arleo imposed the sentences today in Newark federal court.

The New Jersey Grape Street Crips controlled drug trafficking and other criminal activities in various areas of Newark.  Vanderhall, Concepcion and other members of the gang used and shared a dedicated cell phone to accept orders and distribute, thousands of clips of crack-cocaine to other distributors, including other gang members.

To protect their gang and drug territory, the New Jersey Grape Street Crips operating in the area of 6th Avenue and North 5th Street in Newark used “community guns” that were easily accessible to gang members.  During the course of the investigation, law enforcement agents seized numerous firearms, including a .410 caliber assault rifle, a.45 caliber Thompson semi-automatic carbine, a 7.62 caliber assault rifle, and numerous semi-automatic handguns.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski in Newark, and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation.  He also thanked prosecutors and detectives of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray; police officers and detectives of the Newark Department of Public Safety, under the direction of Director Anthony F. Ambrose; and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office under the direction of Armando B. Fontoura, for their assistance in this case.


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