For Immediate Release
Essex County Man Admits Drug Conspiracy and Distribution of Crack in Stephen Crane Village
NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man today admitted distributing and conspiring with others to distribute more than 28 grams of cocaine base, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Nasir Williams, 24, of Newark, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Court Judge John Michael Vazquez to an information charging him with one count each of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine case and distribution of 28 grams or more of cocaine base.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Stephen Crane Village is a public housing complex in Newark, on the border with Belleville, New Jersey. From at least February 2019 through February 2020, law enforcement officers investigated individuals that controlled an open-air drug market that operated there.
Through numerous controlled purchases of narcotics, consensually recorded telephone calls and text messages, physical surveillance, and the analysis of telephone records, law enforcement officers determined that numerous individuals, including Williams, conspired to distribute and did actually distribute narcotics, including heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and cocaine base, in and around Stephen Crane Village. On Jan. 15, 2020, in Stephen Crane Village, Nasir Williams sold approximately 31 grams of cocaine base to an individual while under surveillance by law enforcement.
The conspiracy and distribution charges to which Williams pleaded guilty both carry a statutory mandatory minimum term of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $5 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 21, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents and task force officers with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Craig B. Kailimai; the Belleville Police Department, under the direction of Chief Mark Minichini; special agents and task force officers of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark; the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara; the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II; and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the U.S. Marshals Service, the Nutley Police Department, the Bloomfield Police Department, the West Orange Police Department, the Verona Police Department, the Orange Police Department and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance with this case.
This investigation was part of the Newark Violent Crime Initiative (VCI), where the U.S. Attorney’s Office has partnered with state, federal, county, and local law enforcement to investigate crime in Newark and the surrounding cities. This case is also conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tracey Agnew and Cassye Cole of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Newark.