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Newark Man Sentenced to Five Years for Drug Distribution


An Essex County man was sentenced today to 60 months in prison for conspiring to distribute cocaine base and distributing fentanyl and cocaine base, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

According to U.S. Attorney Sellinger, Marvin Lagrier, aka “Black Jesus,” 40, of Newark, previously pleaded guilty to a superseding information charging him with possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl. Lagrier was a Newark Housing Authority employee at the time of his arrest.

A codefendant, Tyrell Wilson, aka “Hell Rell,” 37, of Rahway, previously pleaded guilty to an information charging him with conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base and possession with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base.

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

On September 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 arrested. 

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.

In addition to the prison term, Lagrier was sentenced to four years of supervised release.

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.