For Immediate Release
Six People Charged for Roles in Newark Drug Trafficking Organization
NEWARK, N.J. – Federal and local law enforcement authorities have charged six people for their alleged roles in a drug trafficking organization that distributed heroin in Newark, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
Andre Mims, 42, Herbert Cheeks, 52, and Anthony Woods, 54, all of Newark; Gregory Mims, 43, of East Orange, New Jersey; and James Thomas, 51, of Bronx, New York; are each charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin. Andre Mims and Cheeks are also charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Freddie Mims, 35, of Irvington, is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin.
Gregory and Freddie Mims are scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in Newark federal court. Andre Mims is in state custody and will appear in Newark federal court on Sept. 25, 2018. The other defendants – Cheeks, Woods and Thomas – remain at large.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Andre Mims and Cheeks are allegedly the leaders of a drug trafficking organization that sold heroin in and around Newark, including to customers from all over New Jersey. The organization also supplied drugs to customers and other distributors elsewhere. Law enforcement officials used physical and video surveillance, undercover officers, dozens of controlled narcotics purchases, record checks, narcotics and weapons seizures, and telephone wiretaps in their investigation.
The drug trafficking organization – known for its particular “stamps” of heroin, including “mastercard,” “ciroc” and “E.T.” – controlled several stash locations in Newark, Irvington and East Orange.
The count of drug trafficking conspiracy carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison, and a $5 million fine. The drug possession count carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The felony gun possession counts carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II, and special agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Valerie A. Nickerson, New Jersey Division, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, the Newark Police Department, and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office for their assistance with the investigation.
This drug trafficking organization was the focus of the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) in Newark. The Newark VCI was formed in August 2017 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the City of Newark’s Department of Public Safety for the sole purpose of combatting violent crime in and around the Newark. As part of this partnership, federal, state, county, and city agencies collaborate and pool resources to prosecute violent offenders who endanger the safety of the community. The VCI includes the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the DEA, the ATF, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals, the Newark Department of Public Safety, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, N.J. State Parole Board, the Union County Jail, N.J. State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center/Real Time Crime Center, N.J. Department of Corrections, the East Orange Police Department, and the Irvington Police Department.
The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Naazneen Khan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Violent Crimes Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary E. Toscano, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division in Newark.