Acting AG Bruck Announces Indictment of 15 Alleged Members and Associates of Gang-Related Drug Network Linked to Gun Violence in Paterson, N.J.

Ongoing partnership between AG’s Office and Paterson Police Department to reduce gun violence leads to racketeering charges against alleged Crips members targeted in shootings by rival gangs

For Immediate Release: August 11, 2021

Office of The Attorney General
– Andrew J. Bruck, Acting Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
Lyndsay V. Ruotolo, Director

For Further Information:

Media Inquiries-
Peter Aseltine
609-292-4791
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609-984-5828

TRENTON – Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck announced that a state grand jury today indicted 15 alleged members and associates of a drug ring run by a local set of the Crips who allegedly fueled gun violence involving rival gangs in the section of Paterson where they operated.

The indictment returned today charges 15 members and associates of the “42-50” set of the Crips with first-degree racketeering for allegedly trafficking heroin and crack cocaine in open air drug markets in the area of Godwin Avenue and Auburn Street in Paterson. Two defendants—Marvin Goodwin, 30, who allegedly ran the drug set, and Terike Gass, 41, who allegedly managed the drug set with him—are also charged with first-degree promoting organized street crime. In addition, all defendants are charged with second-degree conspiracy to distribute narcotics, and most face other drug charges.

The Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau and the Paterson Police Department Narcotics Unit arrested Goodwin, Gass, and 10 other alleged members and associates of the 42-50 set in October 2020 as gun violence between rival gangs escalated in that section of the city. Goodwin suffered non-fatal injuries in a drive-by shooting on Aug. 6, 2020 near Hamilton Avenue and Auburn Street, and another 42-50 member was struck and wounded by gunfire in a shooting at Godwin Avenue and Auburn Street on Oct. 14, 2020, the day before arrests began.

Heroin seized by detectives and sold by the drug ring was packaged in wax folds stamped with the same brand names that were linked to eight fatal and 14 nonfatal overdoses in New Jersey.

“The people of Paterson deserve to live in safety, without the fear of gun violence or the dangers associated with open-air drug markets,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “We’re focused on dismantling the criminal organizations that fuel violence in our communities, and indictments like this one play an important role in our broader public safety agenda. By pairing criminal prosecutions with innovative, community-based violence prevention programs, we can improve lives and expand prosperity in Paterson and across the state.”

“In addition to fueling gun violence in the section of Paterson where they operated, this local set of the Crips street gang allegedly sold heroin bearing the same brand stamps that were linked to eight fatal overdoses,” said Director Lyndsay V. Ruotolo of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Working with the Paterson Police Department, we have locked up the alleged leaders of this dangerous drug set and charged a total of 15 defendants with first-degree racketeering, which carries a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years, 85 percent of which must be served without parole.”

“I want to thank Attorney General Grewal and his office for supporting the Paterson Police Department in our battle against illegal drugs, guns and violence,” said Paterson Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale. “This battle is ongoing, but our strong partnerships with the Attorney General’s Office, Division of Criminal Justice, and State Police will help ensure that criminal organizations are investigated, disrupted and ultimately dismantled. The coordination between us has unleashed the power of the many to bring successful investigations aimed at reducing violence and arresting the individuals responsible for creating a wave of illegal drug distribution in our city.”

During the investigation, investigators seized over 21,000 single-dose wax folds of heroin—some of which also contained fentanyl—and more than a kilo of crack cocaine. The gang is believed to have been distributing approximately 50,000 doses of heroin and a kilo of crack cocaine per week.

The state grand jury indictment is posted online at:
https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases21/Goodwin-et-al-Indictment.pdf

The indictment charges the following defendants with first-degree racketeering, second-degree conspiracy to distribute narcotics, and other offenses:

  1. Marvin Goodwin, 30, of Paterson, N.J.
  2. Terike Gass, 41, of Paterson, N.J.
  3. Arikia Goodwin, 33, of Paterson, N.J.
  4. Andre Anderson, 37, of Paterson, N.J.
  5. Jerome Blair, 39, of Paterson, N.J.
  6. Shomahree Brown, 37, of East Orange, N.J.
  7. Javon Cook, 29, of Paterson, N.J.
  8. Steven Godbolt, 48, Paterson, N.J.
  9. William Herrington, 40, of Paterson, N.J.
  10. Brian Johnson, 38, of Paterson, N.J.
  11. Kenneth McKinney, 22, of Paterson, N.J.
  12. Eric Pena, 29, of Paterson, N.J.
  13. Jakheem Rutter, 21, of Paterson, N.J.
  14. Andre White, 44, of Paterson, N.J.
  15. Christopher Younger, 20, Paterson, N.J.

When search warrants were executed in Paterson, investigators uncovered a heroin mill inside a building in the first block of North York Street where the gang cut and packaged heroin for sale, as well as a crack cocaine mill inside an apartment in the 300 block of Summer Street and a heroin and cocaine mill inside a residence in the first block of 12th Avenue. Five defendants face charges of first-degree maintaining or operating a narcotics production facility: Herrington in connection with the North York Street location; Gass, Anderson, and Johnson in connection with the Summer Street location; and Gass and Arikia Goodwin in connection with the 12th Avenue location.

Marvin Goodwin, Arikia Goodwin, Gass, Anderson, and White were ordered detained in jail pending trial. The other defendants were released subject to monitoring conditions.

Deputy Attorney General Anna E. Gildea presented the indictment to the grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Cynthia Vazquez, Bureau Chief Lauren Scarpa Yfantis, and DCJ Deputy Director Annmarie Taggart. Detective Russell Kingsland, who was lead detective, and other detectives in the DCJ Gangs & Organized Crime North Unit investigated under the supervision of Lt. PJ Sole, former Deputy Chief of Detectives Brian Bruton, and Chief of Detectives Weldon Powell.

The investigation was conducted in partnership with the Paterson Police Department Narcotics Unit, under the leadership of Captain Bert Ribiero, Chief Ibrahim Baycora, and Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale.

The New Jersey State Police Intelligence Section assisted in the investigation.

Promoting organized street crime carries a sentence of 15 to 30 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000.  The other first-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000, with an enhanced fine of up to $750,000 for the narcotics production facility charge.  First-degree racketeering carries a period of parole ineligibility equal to 85 percent of the sentence imposed.

Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.  Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.  For third-degree drug distribution charges, the fine is up to $75,000.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

This investigation is another step towards reducing gun violence in New Jersey, one of Acting Attorney General Bruck’s key priority areas. In addition to long-term enforcement actions, the Attorney General’s Office and local, state, and federal law enforcement partners are holding a series of gun buyback programs around the state, as well as performing targeted sweeps of fugitives with outstanding arrest warrants for violent offenses, as part of a comprehensive strategy to combat gun violence.


Defense Attorneys

For Marvin Goodwin: Kevin Roe, Esq., Hackensack, N.J.
For Gass: Mark A. Bailey, Esq., Newark, N.J.
For Arikia Goodwin: Matthew Cavaliere, Esq., Wayne, N.J.
For Anderson: Assistant Deputy Public Defender Alexandra Roche
For Blair: Gina DeVito, Esq., Montclair, N.J.
For Brown: Gregory Aprile, Esq., Wayne, N.J.
For Cook: Richard J. Baldi, Esq., Paterson, N.J.
For Godbolt: Marni Statmore, Esq., Bloomfield, N.J.
For Herrington: Undetermined.
For Johnson: Jeffrey Simms, Esq., Passaic, N.J.
For McKinney: Leigh Gilsenan Saltiel, Esq., Ridgewood, N.J.
For Pena: Daniel Levy, Esq., Newark, N.J.
For Rutter: Robert Galluccio, Esq., Paterson, N.J.
For White: Patrick Jennings, Esq., Hackensack, N.J.
For Younger: Uri J. Roer, Esq., Hackensack, N.J.

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