NEWARK, N.J. – A member of the New Jersey Grape Street Crips was sentenced today to 100 months in prison for his role in an attempted murder charged as part of a RICO conspiracy, as well as narcotics trafficking, acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Sean Hills, a/k/a “Half A Brain,” a/k/a “Half,” a/k/a “Rydaman,” 29, of Newark, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to an indictment that charged him with Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) conspiracy and distribution of cocaine. Judge Arleo imposed the sentence by videoconference today.
Since 2015, more than 80 members of the New Jersey Grape Street Crips have been convicted federally in connection with multiple murders, attempted murders, shootings, drug trafficking, firearms charges, and witness intimidation as part of a coordinated investigation by the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and local law enforcement partners.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Hills is a long-time member of the New Jersey Grape Street Crips who has the gang’s senior hierarchy tattooed on his face. On Dec. 15, 2012, Hills repeatedly shot Victim-1 near the area of South 14th Street and 14th Avenue, an area that Hills and other gang members were trying to take over as part of their drug-trafficking territory. As part of the sentencing, the Court also considered a shooting Hills committed on Feb. 1, 2013, when he shot Victim-2 numerous times. Both victims survived the attacks. Hills was additionally sentenced for separate instances of possession with intent to distribute of cocaine. In addition to the prison term, Judge Arleo sentenced Hills to three years of supervised release.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, and special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. She also thanked the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II, police officers and detectives of the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose, and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Armando B. Fontoura, for assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Osmar J. Benvenuto of the Criminal Division and Jamel Semper, Chief of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit in Newark.