DEA Aids in Arrest of One of New Jersey's Most-Wanted
Murder suspect also charged with multiple federal drug charges
NOV 3-- (Washington, D.C.)-T he Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) helped Deputy U.S. Marshals arrest reputed gang member and suspected murderer, Rakeem Baskerville after a manhunt ended outside of Baltimore on Tuesday. Baskerville is the key suspect in the murder of a prosecution witness on March 1, 2004 in Newark, N.J., and has been on the U.S. Marshals 15 most-wanted list since August.
In addition to murder charges, a federal grand jury also indicted Baskerville, and other members of the “ET-Hak gang” on drug conspiracy charges including the distribution of cocaine and heroin. The indictment alleges that Baskerville laundered illegal drug proceeds through the purchase of luxury automobiles and jewelry, and that the gang threatened, intimidated, and arranged to murder people whom they believed were cooperating with law enforcement.
“Anytime a manhunt ends with an arrest and no violence, it is a good day,” said Michael Pasterchick, Jr., DEA Special Agent in Charge in New Jersey Division. “I’m proud of all of our agents and task force officers who played a key role in charging and apprehending this murder suspect and drug trafficker so he can be brought to justice.”
Acting Director John Clark of the U.S. Marshals added, “U.S. Marshals have a long tradition of helping local police get fugitives like Rakeem Baskerville off the street and in front of a judge. It’s our experience that when such individuals are on the run, they can become an even greater menace to society.” New Jersey Marshal James Plousis said Baskerville has a violent criminal history, including five felony convictions for aggravated assaults, robberies, firearms and drugs. “I have not seen a fugitive who was potentially more dangerous to the citizens of New Jersey than this gang member, he said.
Agencies assisting in the capturing of Baskerville were U.S. Marshals from the Districts of New Jersey and Maryland, officers from Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Newark Police Department, Baltimore Police Department, and agents from the FBI and DEA.