East Orange, Clifton Men Sentenced for Their Roles in Newark Drug Ring

Two crack-cocaine wholesalers for the New Jersey set of the Grape Street Crips were each sentenced today to 18 years in prison for their roles in racketeering and drug trafficking conspiracies operating in Newark, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Hakeem Vanderhall, a/k/a “Keem,” a/k/a “Sugar Bear,” 33, of East Orange, and Eric Concepcion, a/k/a “Eddie Arroyo,” a/k/a “E-Wax,” a/k/a “Wax,” 30, of Clifton, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to Count 1 and Count 18 of a sixth superseding indictment charging them with racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute crack-cocaine. Judge Arleo imposed the sentences today in Newark federal court.

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

The New Jersey Grape Street Crips controlled drug trafficking and other criminal activities in various areas of Newark. Vanderhall, Concepcion and other members of the gang, including Jamar Hamilton, a/k/a “Gunner,” Tyquan Clark a/k/a “Tah,” and Rashan Washington, a/k/a “Shoota,” used and shared a dedicated cell phone to accept orders for, and distribute, thousands of clips of crack-cocaine to other distributors, including other gang members.

To protect their gang and drug territory, the New Jersey Grape Street Crips operating in the area of 6th Avenue and North 5th Street in Newark used “community guns” that were easily accessible to gang members. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement agents seized numerous firearms, including a .410 caliber assault rifle, a.45 caliber Thompson semi-automatic carbine, a 7.62 caliber assault rifle, and numerous semi-automatic handguns.

In addition to the prison terms, Judge Arleo sentenced both Vanderhall and Concepcion to five years of supervised release.