For Immediate Release
Passaic County Man Admits Distributing Fentanyl
NEWARK, N.J. – A Passaic County, New Jersey, man today admitted distributing fentanyl, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Tawan Grier, a/k/a “TJ,” 22, of Paterson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti to an information charging him with knowingly and intentionally distributing fentanyl.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Grier is an associate of the 230 Boys street gang, which operates primarily around Rosa Parks Boulevard and Godwin Avenue in Paterson. Through numerous controlled purchases of narcotics, consensually recorded telephone calls and text messages, physical surveillance, and the analysis of telephone call detail records, law enforcement officers determined that from September 2018 through Oct. 1, 2019, Grier and other members and associates of the 230 Boys distributed narcotics, including heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine base.
The count of distributing fentanyl carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of at least $1 million. Sentencing is scheduled for July 14.
This case is being 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.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents and task force officers with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark; officers of the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; officers of the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora; detectives of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Camelia Valdes; and the Passaic County Sheriff's Office, under the direction of Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik, with the investigation leading to the charges. She also thanked the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bergen County Sheriff's Office and the Belleville and Livingston police departments for their assistance with the case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francesca Liquori, of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit.