Gangs are in every state and New Jersey is not exempt from gang activity. Although gangs and its members are often accused of engaging in various types of criminal activities, it can be difficult to pinpoint the person who committed the crime. Federal prosecutors have recently named a New Jersey man as the focus of their racketeering investigation.
One of the 15 defendants named in the federal prosecutor’s filings was notoriously known as a New Jersey gang leader. The gang leader originally moved from California to New Jersey in the early 1990s and suffered a term in prison in 1993 after being convicted of aggravated manslaughter.
While the man was serving his prison sentence, he established a group that federal officials later say became a large gang. The gang leader and 14 other defendants were charged with racketeering in January of 2011. The charge of racketeering refers to an organized crime enterprise that conducts illegal business.
During the trial, the supposed gang leader tried to express his remorse to the judge regarding his past conduct. In the judge’s opinion, the gang member’s statements did not outweigh the severity of the accusations or the length of his criminal past. It was reported that he had been involved in a gang lifestyle for about 20 years.
After the trial concluded, the gang leader was convicted and sentenced to prison for 188 months or about 15 years in prison. The defense attorney argued that the prison time the gang leader served while the trial was pending should be credited towards his sentence. This argument was denied by the judge, who stated he sought the maximum sentence under the federal sentencing guidelines.
Source: The Sacramento Bee, “NJ gang leader gets 188 months for racketeering,” David Porter, May 29, 2012