NEWARK, N.J. – Three members of allied Jersey City gangs were charged with the July 7, 2020, shooting of a 12-year old child, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
Marc Taylor, a/k/a “Bando,” 18, Jashawn Tate, a/k/a “Trilly,” 18, and Damari Blackwell, a/k/a “Juggy,” 18, all of Jersey City, are each charged by complaint with one count of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity and one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. They are scheduled to make their initial appearances July 16, 2020, by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Taylor, Tate, and Blackwell are associated with three violent street gangs, which have operated pursuant to an alliance since at least September 2019. These gangs historically were associated with specific neighborhoods in Jersey City: the Marion Gardens Housing Complex, Rutgers Avenue, and the Curries Woods Housing Projects. Since the inception of this alliance, members and associates of Marion, Rutgers, and Curries Woods have operated as a cohesive unit, particularly with respect to their retaliatory acts of violence against rival gangs.
On July 7, 2020, Taylor, Tate, and Blackwell drove to rival gang territory and approached a group of individuals. Taylor fired numerous rounds with a .45 caliber handgun through the front passenger seat window of a vehicle while Blackwell simultaneously attempted to fire a Tec-9 assault pistol through the sunroof. A 12-year-old was shot in the leg. Following this assault, Tate attempted to evade law enforcement by fleeing Jersey City in a stolen car and crashed, which resulted in the apprehension of the three defendants. This targeted assault in rival gang territory appears to be a retaliation for a previous shooting.
On the count of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity, Taylor, Tate, and Blackwell each face up to 20 years in prison. For their respective charges for discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, Taylor, Tate, and Blackwell each face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 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.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited the Jersey City Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director James Shea; the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Esther Suarez; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson, Newark Field Division; and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Joe Denahan in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges and arrests.
This investigation was conducted as part of the Jersey City Violent Crime Initiative (VCI). The VCI was formed in 2018 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Jersey City Police Department, for the sole purpose of combatting violent crime in and around Jersey City. As part of this partnership, federal, state, county, and city agencies collaborate to strategize and prioritize the prosecution of 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 Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New Jersey Division, the U.S. Marshals, the Jersey City Police Department, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, New Jersey State Parole, the Hudson County Jail, and the New Jersey State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center/Real Time Crime Center.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Desiree Grace Latzer of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit in Newark.