|TRENTON - Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that three men were sentenced to prison today for participating in weapons offenses on behalf of the Gangster Killer Bloods street gang. They were charged as a result of the multi-agency investigation Operation Capital City, in which numerous defendants, including the gang’s leader, were convicted in connection with violence that erupted in Trenton in 2005 among rival Bloods sets, as well as the Crips.
These three men were sentenced today by Superior Court Judge Robert C. Billmeier in Trenton:
- Jabari Cross, 33, of Trenton, was sentenced to 10 years in state prison, including four years of parole ineligibility. Cross pleaded guilty on Feb. 14 to second-degree charges of conspiracy to commit weapons offenses and conspiracy to distribute narcotics. The state’s evidence indicated that Cross conspired with other members of the Gangster Killer Bloods to distribute narcotics and to unlawfully possess, transport and use guns. The sentence will run consecutively to a federal prison sentence Cross is currently serving.
- Curtis Morgan, 40, of Trenton, was sentenced to five years in state prison. He pleaded guilty on Feb. 14 to second-degree conspiracy to commit weapons offenses. The state’s evidence indicated that Morgan conspired with members of the Gangster Killer Bloods to unlawfully possess, transport and use guns. His sentence will run consecutively to a federal prison sentence he is currently serving.
- Anthony Howlett, 29, of Trenton, was sentenced to five years in state prison. Howlett pleaded guilty to second-degree racketeering on Feb. 1. Howlett admitted that in 2005, he assisted a racketeering enterprise comprised of members of a criminal street gang, through a pattern of racketeering activity. The pattern of racketeering activity included the unlawful possession and transfer of guns.
“We have made it a top priority to remove illegal guns from the streets of New Jersey and lock up those involved in gun crimes,” said Attorney General Chiesa. “These defendants handled guns for one of Trenton’s most violent gangs and therefore bear significant responsibility for the wave of violence unleashed by the gang in 2005.”
“We have seen with increasing frequency the phenomenon of 'community guns' – hidden caches of weapons which enable gang members access to guns when necessary to commit an act of violence, but also to avoid being directly linked to possession of the guns and charged with weapons offenses,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “In this case, we have aggressively used the racketeering laws to charge and convict these defendants of serious firearms offenses, just as we previously convicted their co-defendants of various acts of violence, including homicides.”
Deputy Attorney General Daniel I. Bornstein prosecuted the defendants and handled the sentencing hearings for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.
The three defendants were charged in a July 14, 2010 state grand jury indictment stemming from “Operation Capital City,” an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Trenton Police Department and New Jersey State Police. They were indicted with other gang members in connection with crimes that occurred in 2005, when violence erupted between the Gangster Killer Bloods and two rival Bloods sets, the Nine Trey Gangsters and Sex Money Murder, leaving three people dead, including 22-year-old Sharee Voorhees, an innocent bystander who was caught in gunfire while out on her porch. In addition, there was violence against the rival Crips gang. All 16 defendants in the case have pleaded guilty.
The leader of the Gangster Killer Bloods in Trenton, Bernard Green, 30, a.k.a. “Petey Black,” pleaded guilty on March 26 before Judge Billmeier to first-degree charges of aggravated manslaughter and racketeering. In pleading guilty, he admitted that he directed the criminal activities of the Gangster Killer Bloods and ordered the shooting that resulted in the death of Voorhees. The state will recommend that Green be sentenced to 26 years in state prison, including 22 years of parole ineligibility under the No Early Release Act, for the charge of aggravated manslaughter related to Voorhees, and a consecutive sentence of 10 years in prison on the racketeering charge. Judge Billmeier scheduled Green to be sentenced on May 31.