Two Newark Men Charged with Narcotics Distribution and Firearms Charges

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A syringe with ampoules, white powder, a five-dollar bill with bullets and a gun lying on a black glass background. Dangerous bad habits, addiction to drugs and gambling. Crime because of drugs.

NEWARK, N.J. – Two Newark men made their initial appearances today on gang-related narcotics distribution and firearms charges, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig announced.

Ronnie Holley, 32, and Shadee Holley, 31, both of Newark, are each charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and cocaine base and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Ronnie Holley is also charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. They appeared by videoconference this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jessica S. Allen and were detained.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

A set of the national Bloods Street gang known as Sex Money Murders (SMM) operates in and around Newark, New Jersey. Since 2007, members of SMM have engaged in violent disputes with other gangs, trafficked narcotics, and committed various firearms offenses. Law enforcement officials learned that Ronnie and Shadee Holley, who are brothers, were high-ranking members of SMM and operated a sophisticated narcotics distribution operation around Martin Luther King Boulevard and Spruce Street. Law enforcement officials learned that Ronnie Holley used multiple houses and multiple vehicles to store narcotics, narcotics proceeds, and firearms.

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A confidential source conducted eight controlled purchases of fentanyl and crack-cocaine from Ronnie and Shadee Holley over the past few months. Those purchases totaled approximately 40 grams of suspected fentanyl, and approximately 25 grams of suspected crack-cocaine. 

The count of narcotics conspiracy is punishable by a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. The count of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence is punishable by a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison, which must run consecutively to any term of imprisonment imposed on any other charges. The count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is punishable by a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

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Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura; 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 the charges.

This case is part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Violent Crime Initiative (VCI). The 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 purpose of combatting violent crime in and around 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 is composed of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the ATF, the DEA, 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, 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.

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The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney George L. Brandley of the OCEDTF Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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