Grape Street Crips member sentenced to life in prison for murder of bystander and related drug-trafficking charges
NEWARK, N.J. – DEA New Jersey Division Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson and U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Craig Carpenito announced a member of the Grape Street Crips gang was sentenced today to life in prison for murder in aid of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute heroin and other drug crimes.
Khalil Stafford, aka “Stod,” aka “Homicide,” 35, of Newark, was previously convicted following a three-week trial before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo, who imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court. Stafford had been acquitted of the murder charge following a 2013 state jury trial in Essex County.
On June 19, 2010, during a family cookout on Garside Street in Newark, Stafford – a long-time member of the Grape Street Crips – confronted an individual about a drug debt. Stafford and several other gang-members left the cookout to retrieve firearms and later returned. They fired more than a dozen shots at the person whom Stafford originally confronted. A woman who was not involved in the dispute was standing on a nearby porch, and was shot and killed. Two other people were wounded and survived.
Stafford sold heroin and cocaine at the James Baxter Terrace housing complex from 2003 until it was demolished in 2009. After Baxter Terrace was torn down, Stafford continued to distribute heroin and cocaine at the Wynona Lipman public housing complex. In 2014, Stafford and a conspirator sold to DEA confidential informants nearly $20,000 worth of heroin in separate transactions.
Stafford was charged – along with 13 other defendants –with RICO conspiracy, murder in aid racketeering, conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and possession with intent to distribute one kilogram of more of heroin. All 14 defendants have now been convicted.
Another 66 members and associates of the Grape Street Crips who were arrested in a coordinated takedown in May 2015 were separately charged with drug-trafficking, physical assaults and witness intimidation, and all have been convicted.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gibson, special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark and special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. He also thanked the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II, police officers and detectives of the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose, and the Essex County Sherriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura, for their assistance with the investigation.
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