Morris Prosecutor wraps up probe that points to Bloods gang in Morristown

Morris County Acting Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp on Wednesday announced the culmination of an eight-month investigation that alleges members of the Bloods street gang from Morristown, Dover and Victory Gardens are connected with drug- and violent offenses in the county.

prosecutor logoEight of 21 defendants are gang members or associates, according to the prosecutor.

Below is his summary; bold type has been added to Morristown references.

Alleged Morristown ties to the Bloods also were reported by authorities in 2012, when 24 people were arrested stemming from an investigation of a double-shooting in Morristown in 2011.

Here is the latest statement:

 VIOLENT BLOODS STREET GANG SETS TARGETED

IN 8-MONTH MULTI-AGENCY INITIATIVE IN MORRIS COUNTY

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp today announced the culmination of a 8-month initiative spearheaded by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, in conjunction with various local, county and state law enforcement partner agencies, which targeted various sets of the violent Bloods criminal street gang operating in Morris County.

The initiative concluded with the charging of 21 defendants, 8 of which being documented Bloods gang members or associates.

On various dates in the Fall of 2013, a number of violent incidents occurred in Morris County. In Dover, an armed robbery / aggravated assault and an unrelated shooting (no injuries) occurred, while a large fight occurred in Jefferson Township in which several victims were stabbed. Investigations into these incidents were initiated by the respective police departments, as well as the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

As the result of those investigations, information was developed that various documented members and associates of the outlaw Bloods criminal street gang predominantly from the municipalities of Dover, Morristown and Victory Gardens were believed to be connected to all of these incidents.

Prior information had also been developed that various “sets” or groups of the larger Bloods gang were believed to be involved in the wide-scale distribution of illegal drugs, as well as acts of violence.

In response to these violent acts and the illicit distribution of drugs, the Special Enforcement Unit Narcotics Task Force of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office spearheaded an enforcement initiative, in conjunction with various local, county and state law enforcement agencies as well as other units in the Prosecutor’s Office, in which the various gang members and associates of the various Bloods criminal street gang sets were targeted for identification, investigation and ultimate prosecution.

Over the span of the last 8 months, the enforcement initiative employed various investigative techniques to solidify viable prosecutions against the defendants.

These techniques included undercover drug purchases, the use of cooperating witnesses, search warrant executions, physical surveillance, and the cultivation of criminal information and confidential informants through traditional police work.

The initiative’s efforts resulted in the arrests of 20 defendants with 1 additional subject still being sought for arrest.

Of the 21 total defendants, 6 were identified as documented Blood gang members from 4 distinct Bloods sets (specifically, Sex, Money, Murder set; Insane Mob Gang set; Piru set; and Bevin 793 set); 2 were documented as Bloods gang associates; and 17 of the defendants had past violent criminal arrests.

One of the defendants charged, Derrick Reid, was charged with slashing a female victim in Parsippany in the Spring of 2014 and was arrested shortly thereafter at the execution of a search warrant in Morristown where a documented Bloods street gang member was also arrested and from where illegal drugs were sold.

In addition, the initiative resulted in the seizures of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, Oxycodone pills and MDMA or Ecstasy, with a total street value of approximately $20,000.00.

 The impact of this initiative is enhanced as it builds on the success of a series of previously reported arrests by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and their law enforcement partners that also targeted the Bloods street gang.

During the course of that operation, in March of 2014, Jhana Wilfong, known on the street as “Nanni” and “Splash”, was arrested with 2 other individuals and charged with a host of drug-related violations for a cocaine distribution he oversaw in the Morristown area.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp praised the inter-agency cooperation that occurred during this initiative and which evidenced itself in the arrests of numerous violent gang members.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp thanked the members of the Special Enforcement, Major Crimes, Fugitive, Intelligence and Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Units of the Prosecutor’s Office, as well as the New Jersey State Police, the Criminal Investigation and Canine Sections of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, and the Morristown, Jefferson, Dover, Parsippany, Wharton, and Roxbury Police Departments for their collective participation in this initiative.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp stated, “I have made the investigation and prosecution of violent offenders, especially criminal gang members who have an increased propensity towards violence, a top priority of my administration. With the outstanding cooperation of our law enforcement partners, we will continue to strive together to safeguard our neighborhoods from the horrific effects of violence and drugs.”

The defendants arrested to date include the following:

  1. Derrick Reid, 24, of Morristown, NJ:
  • Criminal Restraint, Possession of a Weapon, Aggravated Assault Causing Bodily Injury, Threats to Kill & Assault
  1. Robert Brown aka Knuckles, 26, of Victory Gardens, NJ:

  • 3rd degree drug possession/distribution charges

  1. Ernest Hill aka Pistol Pone, 29, of Victory Gardens, NJ:

  • Hindering Prosecution & D.P. drug possession charges

  1. Maurice Nobles aka Point, 27, of Victory Gardens, NJ:

  • Contempt of Court

  1. Christopher White, 27, Victory Gardens, NJ:

  • 3rd degree drug possession/distribution charges

  1. Jermel Pledger aka Murder Mel, 26, Victory Gardens, NJ:

    • 2nd & 3rd degree drug possession/distribution charges

  1. Tishan Smith aka Flame, 28, of Morristown, NJ:

    • 2nd & 3rd degree drug possession/distribution charges

  1. Windolyn Mobley, 40, of Morristown, NJ:
    • 2nd & 3rd degree drug possession/distribution charges

  1. Gary Tillet, 52, of Dover, NJ:

    • 2nd & 3rd degree drug possession/distribution charges

  1. Keith Jenkins, 45, of Morristown, NJ:

    • 2nd & 3rd degree drug possession/distribution charges

  1. Kristen O’Keefe, 32, of Dover, NJ:

    • 2nd & 3rd degree drug possession/distribution charges

  1. Derriek Daniels 2nd, 34, Dover, NJ:

    • 2nd & 3rd degree drug possession/distribution charges

  1. Sabine Monrinville, 28, of Dover, NJ:

    • 2nd & 3rd degree drug possession/distribution charges

  1. Quason Shabazz, 49, of Dover, NJ:

    • 3rd degree drug possession/distribution charges

  1. Cleavon Craighead, 27, of Victory Gardens, NJ:

    • 2nd & 3rd degree drug possession/distribution charges

  1. Lamar Harris, 26, of Morristown, NJ:

    • 3rd degree drug possession/distribution charges

  1. Kevin Harrington, 33, of Dover, NJ:

    • D.P. drug possession charges

  1. Sheri Capabianco, 21, of Madison, NJ:

    • 3rd degree drug possession/distribution charges

  1. John Foster, 47, of Wharton, NJ:

    • 3rd degree drug possession/distribution charges

  1. Tracy Scafidi, 31, of Jackson, NJ:
    • 3rd degree drug possession/distribution charges

The arrest of 1 additional fugitive defendant already charged but not yet apprehended is expected.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation.  Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.



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