New Jersey Men Admit to Drug Distribution Charges

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NEWARK, N.J. – Two New Jersey men admitted to drug distribution charges in connection conspiring to distribute cocaine base and distributing fentanyl and cocaine base, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.

Tyrell Wilson, aka “Hell Rell,” 36, of Rahway, New Jersey, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base and one count of possession with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base.

Marvin Lagrier, aka “Black Jesus,” 39, of Newark, pleaded guilty before Judge Arleo on Aug. 12, 2021, to a superseding information charging him with one count of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl. Lagrier was a Newark Housing Authority employee at the time of his arrest.

In September 2019, Lagrier and Wilson were charged in a federal criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute heroin and cocaine base. Wilson was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Lagrier was indicted on these charges in October 2019.

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

On Sept. 19, 2019, law enforcement officers approached an apartment in Essex County, New Jersey, to execute a court-authorized search warrant. Wilson and Lagrier exited the apartment and attempted to flee the area but were apprehended and placed under arrest. Upon searching the apartment, as well as Wilson’s vehicle and a backpack that Wilson discarded while fleeing, law enforcement officers recovered a large amount of cocaine base, heroin, and fentanyl as well as many items of drug paraphernalia for packaging narcotics. Law enforcement officers also recovered a firearm and several rounds of ammunition as well as several cellular phones. They also recovered several brown Newark Housing Authority uniforms bearing the name tag, “Marvin,” which matched the uniform that Lagrier wore at the time of his arrest. 

The cocaine base conspiracy count to which Wilson pleaded guilty carries a statutory mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, and a maximum fine of $10 million. The fentanyl possession count to which Lagrier pleaded guilty carries a statutory mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $5 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 16, 2021 for Lagrier and for Jan. 13, 2021, for Wilson.

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Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark, and members of the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara, with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas.

This case is part of the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI), which 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, the Orange Police Department and the Irvington Police Department.

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The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey Agnew and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kendall Randolph of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gang Unit in Newark.

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