NEWARK, N.J. – A Passaic County, New Jersey, man today admitted his role in a scheme to distribute heroin and fentanyl in Paterson, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Isaiah Hargrove, 20, of Paterson, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti to an information charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and 40 grams or more of fentanyl and knowingly and intentionally distributing fentanyl.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Hargrove and his conspirators are members and associates of the 230 Boys street gang, which operates primarily around Rosa Parks Boulevard and Godwin Avenue in Paterson. Through investigative techniques, including numerous controlled purchases of narcotics, consensually recorded telephone calls and text messages, physical surveillance, and the analysis of telephone call detail records, law enforcement determined that from at least September 2018 through Oct. 1, 2019, the defendant and his conspirators conspired to distribute narcotics, including heroin and fentanyl.
The count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a fine of $5 million. The count of distribution of fentanyl carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 21, 2020.
This case is being conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents and task force officers with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark; officers of the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; officers of the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora; detectives of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Camelia Valdes; and the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office and the Belleville and Livingston police departments for their assistance with the case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francesca Liquori, of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit.