Three Men Convicted of Leading Drug Distribution Ring in Essex County Faces Life in Prison

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that Levell Burnett, 41, of Newark, Kenneth Daniels, 32, of Newark, and Barry Berry, 37, of Newark, were convicted by an Essex County jury of being Leaders of a Narcotics Trafficking Network during several months in 2015, following a trial before the Honorable John Zunic, Judge of the Superior Court.

Officials say all three were also convicted of related narcotics offenses, and Daniels and Berry were convicted for weapons offenses related to illegally possessed handguns and a shotgun.

According to Assistant Prosecutor Adam B. Wells, who tried the case with Assistant Prosecutor Brian Riehl, these men conspired to lead a heroin trafficking ring in Newark and Orange, during 2015, in an effort to continue the operations of a drug ring that Daniels was at the center of, and to raise bail money for Daniels who was arrested by the New Jersey State Police in an unrelated matter.

“These men perpetuated a cycle of crime, despair by employing young men to sell narcotics for them throughout Essex County, and using violence to maintain discipline within their organization. These men contributed to the poisoning of our community with heroin for their collective gain. We thank the jury for their service in protecting the community from these defiant criminals,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Wells.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 21 before Judge Zunic.

According to authorities, Burnett has nine prior indictable convictions, Berry has six prior indictable convictions, and Daniels has seven prior indictable convictions. All three defendants face life imprisonment.

Photo Caption: (From left to right) Burnett, Daniels, Berry