A drug network run by a set of the Crips street gang that unloaded 50,000 packets of heroin in the streets of Paterson per week has been busted with the arrest of 12 people, seizure of 21,000 wax folds of heroin, and confiscation of $110,000 cash, according to New Jersey attorney general Gurbir S. Grewal.
Authorities arrested Marvin Goodwin, 29; Terike Gass, 40; Eric Pena, 28; Javon Cook, 28; Christopher Younger, 19; Steven Godbolt, 48; Kenneth McKinney, 21; Andre Anderson, 36; Anthony Hinton, 54; Andre White, 43; Brian Johnson, 37, all of Paterson; and Shohamaree Brown, 36, of East Orange, on numerous drug charges.
Goodwin and Gass were the alleged leaders of the gang called “42-50.” Goodwin ran the set and was the main drug supplier. Gass is his closest associate and helped him manage the drug set.
Goodwin and Gass were also charged with promoting organized street crime, racketeering, and conspiracy. They could face decades behind bars if convicted.
Pena, Cook, Younger, Godbolt, and McKinney were also charged with racketeering.
Law enforcement agencies began arresting the alleged members of the street gang on October 15.
Gang members were dealing heroin and crack cocaine in open air drug markets on Godwin Avenue and Auburn Street. The gang gets its name “42-50” from the address of the Auburn Street building where its members operate.
Authorities said the gang ran a heroin mill from the first block of North York Street. Gang members cut and packaged heroin for sale. It also ran a crack cocaine mill from an apartment in the 300 block of Summer Street.
Gass and three other men were arrested inside the cocaine mill on Summer Street. Gang members began throwing crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia out of the apartment’s windows when detectives arrived to conduct a raid.
Police seized 21,000 single-dose wax folds, some containing deadly fentanyl, and more than a kilo of crack cocaine. Heroin sold by the gang had stamps like “Pop Smoke,” “Killer Bees,” and “Frosted Flakes.” Some of the stamps have been linked to 8 fatal and 14 nonfatal overdoses in New Jersey.
“Paterson is a regional distribution center for heroin and fentanyl, and this Crips set was running its open-air drug markets in an area torn by gang-related gun violence,” Grewal said.
The gang has weapons and has been involved in rivalries with other gangs. Goodwin was wounded in a drive-by shooting on August 6 on Hamilton and Auburn Street. Another gang member was wounded in a shooting last week on Godwin Avenue and Auburn Street, authorities said.
“As a result of this operation, we charged the two alleged top members of this gang with first-degree promoting organized street crime, which carries a sentence of up to 30 years in state prison,” Veronica Allende, director of the Division of Criminal Justice, said. “We charged those men and nine other defendants with various other first-degree charges carrying a sentence of up to 20 years.”
Grewal said the bust was conducted in collaboration with the Paterson police.
“This battle is ongoing, but our strong partnerships with the Attorney General’s Office, Division of Criminal Justice, and State Police will help ensure that criminal organizations are investigated, disrupted and ultimately dismantled,” Paterson public safety director Jerry Speziale said.
Detectives conducted under cover purchases of bricks of heroin from the gang as part of the investigation. Police bought 10 bricks of heroin, each containing 50 packets. 108 bricks and 200 grams of crack cocaine were seized in September, amounting to 5,900 packets. On October 15, authorities seized 15,300 packets of heroin packaged in bricks. Authorities also seized 800 grams of crack cocaine and $110,000 in cash.
“In the midst of the COVID pandemic, there is still an opioid crisis and we are still doing all that we can to help those suffering from addiction,” Grewal said. “Meanwhile, drug dealers are continuing their corrosive commerce, despite the pandemic, bringing death and destruction to our communities. We are determined to bring these ruthless profiteers to justice.”
Anderson has been ordered detained at the Passaic County Jail. Goodwin, Gass, White, Hinton, and Pena are pending detention hearings. Others have been released subject to monitoring.