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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information:
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September 7, 2007  

Division of Criminal Justice
609-292-4791

Office of The Attorney General
- Anne Milgram, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Gregory A. Paw, Director

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23 Indicted as Members of Sex Money Murder Gang, Including 2 Trenton Leaders;
5 Men Indicted in 2 Long Branch Murders

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> Indictment No. 1 - pdf (884k) I html
> Indictment No. 2 - pdf (709k) I html
> Indictment No. 3 - pdf (105k) I html
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TRENTON – Attorney General Anne Milgram and Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw announced that a state grand jury has returned three indictments charging 23 alleged members of the violent Sex Money Murder set of the Bloods street gang. Eighteen defendants were charged with first-degree racketeering, including two leaders in Trenton and the leader in Ocean and Monmouth counties. Five men were indicted on murder charges in two fatal shootings in Long Branch last year.

The racketeering charges resulted from a joint investigation by the New Jersey State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice. The murder charges stem from investigations by the Long Branch Police Department, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice.

According to Director Paw, the first indictment was voted Aug. 24 but sealed by the court until today. It charges 14 Trenton defendants with first-degree racketeering, which carries a potential sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison. The 27-count indictment also charges the two leaders of the set in Mercer County, Antonio Merritt, 27, and Bobby Williams, 22, with leading a narcotics trafficking network. If convicted, they will face 25 years to life in prison on that charge alone.

A second indictment, obtained today by the Division of Criminal Justice, charges three men with murder in the gang-related shooting death of Michael Montgomery, 27, on Nov. 21, 2006 in Long Branch. They are Valdo Thompson Jr., 21, of Jackson, who is the alleged leader of the gang in Ocean and Monmouth counties, Carl Holdren, 19, of Lakewood, and Quemere McClendon, 21, of Long Branch. They will face 30 years to life in prison if convicted. They also were charged with attempted murder in the shooting of Keith Logan, 26, who was gunned down with Montgomery but survived. The indictment charges McClendon, Paul Lewis, 19, of Long Branch, and Darnell Stovall, 20, of Lakewood, with murder and felony murder in the fatal shooting Dec. 14, 2006 of Keith Mason, 28, during a robbery attempt at his Long Branch home.

“The deadly violence and drug trafficking of this set of the Bloods stretched from North Jersey to South Jersey, and from Trenton to the Shore,” said Attorney General Milgram. “Gang violence today is like a cancer in our state. We will move aggressively to rout it out wherever we find it. This case is an excellent example of how we will work together with county prosecutors to rid the state of gang violence.”

“This is an excellent example of an intelligence-driven investigation aimed at dismantling this violent gang from the leaders down to their gun-toting soldiers,” said Director Paw. “By teaming prosecutors with investigators from the outset, we will maximize the returns we get from our prosecutions.”

“The indictments handed down today deal a significant blow to this criminal enterprise that preyed upon residents in several New Jersey counties,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “The prosecution of these perpetrators will ensure that they are no longer a negative influence on the quality of life in the affected areas.”

Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis A. Valentin stated “The City of Long Branch had two gang related murders in less than one month during 2006. Clearly, this demonstrates that gang violence must be recognized as the serious threat that it is in Monmouth County and the State of New Jersey. By these indictments and through other cooperative efforts, law enforcement agencies are forming meaningful partnerships to attack the very real dangers posed by gang activity.”

Supervising Deputy Attorney General Debra A. Conrad and Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Richard E. Incremona presented the cases to the grand jury. Supervising Deputy Attorney General John-Robin Quelch, Chief of the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, is also assisting in these cases.

The investigation by the State Police and Division of Criminal Justice began in February 2006 and involved assistance from the Trenton Police Department and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, along with numerous other federal, county and local agencies. The investigation revealed a hierarchical command structure in Mercer County through which Merritt and Williams allegedly directed subordinates in the distribution of cocaine and heroin. The gang used violence, including assaults and murders, to enforce internal discipline and protect its territory and members from rival gangs. On March 31, 2006, a 7-year-old girl was badly wounded when she was caught in the crossfire during a shootout between Sex Money Murder and the rival Gangster Killer Bloods set at the Roger Gardens housing complex in Trenton. The shooting caused a public outcry about the impact the gang war in Trenton was having on innocent victims.

The investigation initially focused on gang operations in Mercer County, but expanded into other counties including Essex, Passaic, Monmouth, Middlesex and Ocean. In June, authorities arrested the three alleged members of Sex Money Murder’s state leadership committee in North Jersey, among other defendants, as a result of a related investigation by the State Police, Division of Criminal Justice, State Parole Board, Passaic County Sheriff’s Department, Paterson Police and Newark Police.

The first indictment charges each of the 14 Trenton racketeering defendants with one or more additional charges ranging from drug offenses to attempted murder. That indictment includes several first-degree drug charges. A 15th defendant, not named in the racketeering count, was charged with possession of heroin and a gun. Quassim Hallet, 26, of Trenton, an alleged member of the gang, was charged in the indictment with attempted murder for allegedly firing a gun at a car driven by Merritt, the alleged ringleader, on Nov. 25, 2006, during an internal gang dispute. The gunfire shattered the driver and passenger side windows of the car. Hallet faces 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted of the attempted murder charge.

A third indictment, returned by the state grand jury today, charges one Monmouth County man with possession and distribution of cocaine, and a second county man with possession of cocaine.

The indictments are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The Trenton indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Maria Marinari Sypek in Mercer County. The other indictments were handed up to Superior Court Judge Linda R. Feinberg in Mercer County, who assigned those cases to Superior Court in Monmouth County.

Assisting the State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice were the U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Asbury Park Police Department, Dover Township Police Department, Ewing Police Department, Freehold Borough Police Department, Jackson Township Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Long Branch Police Department and Trenton Police Department.


First Indictment

>> View Indictment (884k pdf) plug-in

  • Defendants (Name, DOB - all Trenton residents) -
    • Antonio Merritt, Jan. 8, 1980
    • Felicita Gee, Sept. 29, 1974
    • Antwon Yeager, April 16, 1983
    • Bobby Williams, Oct. 4, 1984
    • Khalfini Richardson, July 8, 1972
    • Michael Davis, Jan. 19, 1980
    • Bobby Davis Jr., June 20, 1982
    • Antoine Taylor, Oct. 2, 1960
    • Oliver Harris, Dec. 7, 1981
    • James Edens, March 24, 1979
    • Shawn Davis, July 12, 1975
    • Bayshawn Nelson, August 7, 1984
    • Capital Wellons, August 27, 1985
    • Quassim Hallet, April 5, 1981
    • Mycal Boone, Feb. 14, 1987

  • Charges (with potential penalties and defendants named in count) -
    • Count 1 - Racketeering, 1st degree, 10-20 years/$200,000 (all defendants except Boone)
    • Count 2 - Leader of Narcotics Trafficking Network, 1st degree, 25 years- Life/$750,000 (Merritt)
    • Count 3 - Leader of Narcotics Trafficking Network, 1st degree, 25 years- Life/$750,000 (Williams)
    • Count 4 - Attempted Murder, 1st degree, 10-20 years/$200,000 (Hallet)
    • Count 5 - Possession of Weapons for Unlawful Purpose, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Hallet)
    • Count 6 - Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Williams, Nelson, Richardson, Shawn Davis & Bobby Davis Jr.)
    • Count 7 - Distribution of Cocaine, 1st degree, 10-20 years/$200,000 (Williams)
    • Count 8 - Distribution of Cocaine, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Williams and Bobby Davis Jr.)
    • Count 9 - Distribution of Cocaine within 1000 Feet of School, 3rd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Williams and Bobby Davis Jr.)
    • Count 10 - Distribution of Cocaine within 500 Feet of Certain Public Property, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Williams)
    • Count 11 - Employing a Juvenile in a Drug Distribution Scheme, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$500,000 (Williams)
    • Count 12 - Distribution of Cocaine, 1st degree, 10-20 years/$500,000 (Williams and Shawn Davis )
    • Count 13 - Distribution of Cocaine, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Williams and Nelson)
    • Count 14 - Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, 1st degree, 10-20 years/$500,000 (Wellons and Williams)
    • Count 15 - Possession of Weapons (Mac 10) During Commission of Certain Crimes, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Wellons)
    • Count 16 - Sale of a Simulated Document, 3rd degree, 3-5 years/$15,000 (Merritt and Williams)
    • Count 17 - Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Merritt, Gee and Harris)
    • Count 18 - Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute, 1st degree, 10-20 years/$500,000 (Merritt, Gee and Harris)
    • Count 19 - Distribution of Heroin, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Merritt)
    • Count 20 - Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Michael Davis)
    • Count 21 - Distribution of Cocaine, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$75,000 ( Michael Davis )
    • Count 22 - Distribution of Cocaine within 500 feet of Certain Public Property, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Michael Davis)
    • Count 23 - Distribution of Cocaine, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Edens)
    • Count 24 - Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Taylor)
    • Count 25 - Obstructing Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function 4th degree, 18 months/$10,000 (Taylor)
    • Count 26 - Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Yeager and Boone)
    • Count 27 - Possession of Weapons (handgun) During Commission of Certain Crimes, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Yeager and Boone)

    Top


Second Indictment

>> View Indictment (709k pdf) plug-in

  • Defendants
    • Valdo Thompson Jr., Jackson, DOB: 10/2/85
    • Carl Holdren, Lakewood, DOB: 7/19/88
    • Zackery Butts, Freehold, DOB: 2/24/85
    • Quemere McClendon, Long Branch, DOB: 6/20/86
    • Paul Lewis, Long Branch, DOB: 7/5/88
    • Darnell Stovall, Lakewood, DOB: 6/23/87

  • Charges (with potential penalties and defendants named in count) -
    • Count 1 - Racketeering, 1st degree, 10-20 years/$200,000 (Thompson, Holdren, Butts, McClendon)
    • Count 2 - Conspiracy to Commit Murder, 1st degree, 10-20 years/$200,000 (Thompson, Holdren and McClendon)
    • Count 3 - Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Thompson, Holdren and McClendon)
    • Count 4 - Attempted Murder, 1st degree, 10-20 years/$200,000 (Thompson, Holdren and McClendon)
    • Count 5 - Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Thompson, Holdren and McClendon)
    • Count 6 - Murder, 1st degree, 30 years- Life (Thompson, Holdren and McClendon)
    • Count 7 - Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Holdren)
    • Count 8 - Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Holdren)
    • Count 9 - Robbery, 1st degree, 10-20 years/$200,000 (Holdren)
    • Count 10 - Conspiracy, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (McClendon, Lewis and Stovall)
    • Count 11 - Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose2nd degree, 5-10 years/ $150,000 (McClendon, Lewis and Stovall)
    • Count 12 - Burglary, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (McClendon, Lewis and Stovall)
    • Count 13 - Robbery, 1st degree, 10-20 years/$150,000 (McClendon, Lewis and Stovall)
    • Count 14 - Felony Murder, 1st degree, 10-20 years/$150,000 (McClendon, Lewis and Stovall)
    • Count 15 - Murder, 1st degree, 30 years- Life (McClendon, Lewis and Stovall)
    • Count 16 - Endangering the Welfare of a Child, 3rd degree, 3-5 years/ $15,000 (McClendon, Lewis and Stovall)
    • Count 17 - Witness Tampering, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (McClendon and Lewis)
    • Count 18 - Distribution of Cocaine, 3rd degree, 3-5 years/$75,000 (Thompson)
    • Count 19 - Conspiracy to Commit Murder, 1st degree, 10-20 years/$150,000 (Thompson, Holdren and Butts)
    • Count 20 - Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Thompson, Holdren and Butts)
    • Count 21 - Attempted Murder, 1st degree, 10-20 years/$200,000 (Thompson, Holdren and Butts)
    • Count 22 - Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, 3rd degree, 3-5 years/$75,000 (Thompson)
    • Count 23 - Prohibited Weapons (Sawed-Off Shotgun), 3rd degree, 3-5 years/$15,000 (Thompson)
    • Count 24 - Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$75,000 (McClendon)

    Top


Third Indictment

>> View Indictment (105k pdf) plug-in

  • Defendants
    • Wesley Kelly, Asbury Park, DOB: 10/10/79
    • Michael Gunther, Howell, 3/10/77

  • Charges (with potential penalties and defendants named in count):
    • Count 1 - Possession of Cocaine, 3rd degree, 3-5 years/$75,000 (Kelly)
    • Count 2 - Distribution of Cocaine, 2nd degree, 5-10 years/$150,000 (Kelly)
    • Count 3 - Possession of Cocaine, 3rd degree, 3-5 years/$75,000 (Gunther)

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