Three Franklin Men Among Eight Charged By Feds With Heroin Trafficking

Three township men are among eight people charged March 11 by federal authorities with operating a heroin trafficking organization in Essex and Middlesex counties and the township.

Daniel “Spree” Newsom, 35, and David Miller, 38, were arrested March 11 and charged with one count each of conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.

The third township resident, Tamir Styles, 37, remains at large, according to a release on the charges from the US Attorney’s office.

According to the complaint filed by U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, the three township men live near the Parkside section of the township and would receive raw heroin from Clarence Webb, 40, of Newark. The organization they allegedly ran was called “Parkside DTO,” according to the complaint.

The heroin would then be kept at “stash houses” and other temporary locations for storage, packaging and distribution, according to the release.

The heroin would then be sold in the Parkside area and at various locations along Hamilton Street, according to the complaint.

The defendants “attempted to avoid detection by using code to disguise the nature of their discussions and used prepaid cellular phones for short periods of time,” according to the release.

The charges are a result of a five-month joint investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force, according to the release.

The investigation “relied upon intercepted communications, physical surveillance, controlled heroin purchases, information from confidential sources and other investigative techniques,” according to the release. “Law enforcement officers uncovered the operational structure and inner workings of the drug trafficking organization, which enriched a local street gang, the ‘Bounty Hunter Bloods’.”

Also charged were:Bruce Williams, 37, of Newark; Juan Peralta, 40, of Newark; Anthony McBride, 5, of New Brunswick and Myisha Wilson, 36, of Newark. Williams and McBride are at-large, while the remainder were arrested, according to the release.

The complaint was filed by Steven E. Carroll, a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency and lays out the alleged drug transactions. The transactions in which the Franklin residents are alleged to have participated are as follows (a “brick” of heroin is general comprised of 50 glassine packages. A brick typically contains 1 gram of heroin):

  • Nov. 14-18, 2014: Newsom spoke with Anthony McBride, 57, of New Brunswick about buying multiple “bricks” of heroin. The sales were held at McBride’s New Brunswick home and the Family Dollar store on Hamilton Street.
  • Nov. 27, 2014: Webb drove to Newsom’s township home and allegedly sold him 10 grams of loose heroin. Newsom then allegedly sold some of that heroic to McBride.
  • Dec. 2, 2014: Newsom, speaking to a uncharged co-conspirator, refused to meet the person at a Portugese barbecue restaurant on Hamilton Street. “I won’t sell my product there, though. We ain’t got no business right there, man,” he is alleged to have said, according to the complaint.
  • Jan. 22-24, 2015: Webb allegedly sold a quantity of heroin to Miller in Franklin, after which Webb was assaulted on Somerset Street and ended up in the hospital for a few days. During his convalescence, Webb and an uncharged co-sonspirator allegedly talked about low-grade heroin that was sold to Miller, according to the complaint.
  • Jan. 25, 2015: Webb allegedly brokered the sale of 110 grams of heroin to Miller, according to the complaint. The sale was allegedly conducted at Webb’s Newark home.
  • Feb. 2, 2015: Webb allegedly brokered the sale of 40 grams of raw heroin, selling 20 grams to Newsom and 20 grams to Miller in Parkside, according to the complaint.
  • Feb. 16-19, 2015: Webb allegedly brokered the sale of 50 grams of heroin from Peralta to Newsom and Styles in Newark, according to the complaint.
  • March 1, 2015: Webb allegedly brokered the sale of 28 grams of raw heroin, 20 grams of which he allegedly sold to Newsom in Parkside, according to the complaint.
  • On March 6, 2015, Webb was allegedly delivering 20 grams of raw heroin to Newsom in Parkside when he was stopped in New Brunswick for a traffic violation. Webb allegedly there the heroin out of his car window, according to the complaint, and later returned to look for it.

The full complaint can be read here. (Warning: Strong language).

The investigation took place from October 2014 through March 2015, according to the release.

The conspiracy count carries a potential prison sentence of 5 to 40 years and a possible $5 million fine, according to the release.

According to the release, Fishman credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; detectives of the N.J. State Police; officers of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and officers of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office with the joint investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the North Brunswick, New Brunswick and Franklin Township police departments for their roles in the investigation.

Township police Chief Lawrence Roberts said he was “proud” of his department’s officers who participated in the operation.

“I am proud of the men and women of the Franklin Township Police Department who worked with our partners on the federal, state, county and local level to bring this large scale operation to a conclusion,” he said in a statement. “This cooperative investigation will help improve the quality of life for the residents and business owners in the Hamilton Street area.”

Concerned about crime – mainly drug deals – in the Hamilton Street Business District, members of the Hamilton Street Advisory Committee have asked for increased police presence in the area. The Township Council has committed to hiring an additional two officers this year, who will be assigned to the district.

This is a developing story. Check back often for updates.


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