Gang Member Admits Racketeering Charge

NEWARK, N.J. – A member of the Rollin’ 60s Neighborhood Crips gang today admitted his role in a racketeering conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Elijah Williams, aka “Lil Smith,” 24, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to a superseding indictment that charged him with Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) conspiracy.

“The defendant in this case today admitted to his role in a criminal enterprise involved in violent crime and drug trafficking. Williams murdered and injured rival gang members and left a trail of blood. He now faces spending the rest of his life behind bars. This result was achieved through the hard work of many law enforcement partners, and we will continue this cooperative effort as we battle the scourge of drugs and violence on our streets.”

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger

“The guilty plea from a member of the Rollin’ 60s Neighborhood Crips gang is a result of the collaborative effort DEA New Jersey has with our law enforcement partners effectively targeting those organizations and individuals poisoning and destroying our communities,” Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Ortiz of the DEA New Jersey Field Division said. “Removing these individuals and their illicit narcotics saves lives and prevents deaths.”

“This investigation is an example of ATF’s dedication to working with our state, local and federal partners in identifying, targeting, and investigating violent criminals who prey upon our citizens and lessen the quality of life of our communities,” Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Bryan Miller said. “We will continue to work with our partners to impact the violence of gangs, drug-related activity, and criminal organizations. Our neighborhoods deserve to exist without fear and intimidation inflicted by these violent offenders.”

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

From 2015 through Sept. 22, 2022, Williams was a member of the Rollin’ 60s Neighborhood Crips, a criminal enterprise responsible for acts of violence and the distribution of controlled substances in the District of New Jersey and elsewhere. On Sept. 25, 2018, in Newark, Williams attempted to murder rival gang members and associates by shooting at four individuals, one of whom was paralyzed. On March 20, 2019, in Irvington, New Jersey, Williams fatally shot another person, in retaliation for the murder of a member and associate of the Rollin’ 60s.

The defendant faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 4, 2024.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Ortiz; special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Jenifer L. Piovesan; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Bryan Miller; investigators of the U.S. Marshals Service, under the direction of Marshal Juan Mattos; the Irvington Police Department, under the direction of Police Division Director Tracy Bowers; the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II; the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Fritz Fragé; the Bloomfield Police Department, under the direction of Director of Public Safety Samuel A. DeMaio; the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura; the East Orange Police Department, under the direction of Chief Phyllis L. Bindi; the Elizabeth Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Earl J. Graves; the Edison Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Tom Bryan; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor William A. Daniel; the Spotswood Police Department, under the direction of Chief Philip Corbisiero; and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Fugitive and Missing Person Task Force, which includes members of the FBI, with the investigations leading to the charges in the Rollin 60’s Neighborhood Crips investigation.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francesca Liquori of the Special Prosecutions Division.

williams.sindictment.pdf

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