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Township Man Faces Numerous Charges After ‘Three-Month Crime Spree’

A 25-year-old Franklin Park man faces multiple charges – including six for attempted murder – following his alleged participation in what police said was a “three-month crime spree” that resulted in one death.

Anthony “Smoke” Pinson was among seven members of what authorities called a “major gang” that committed robberies and murder in Middlesex and Camden counties, according to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

Other alleged gang members live in New Brunswick, Piscataway, South Plainfield, Camden and Newark, according to the release.

The crime spree began in September and lasted through the end of November, according to the release. Pinson and the other gang members were arrested between Nov. 29 and Dec. 1, according to the release.

The gang was not identified. MCPO spokeswoman Andrea Boulton said the office “would not be releasing” the gang’s name.

Pinson remained lodged in the Middlesex County Jail, North Brunswick, as of Dec. 13.

Pinson was arrested at 10:06 p.m. Nov. 29 when a car in which he was a passenger was stopped in New Brunswick, according to the release. Officers had an arrest warrant for Pinson.

On Nov. 29, Pinson was charged with possession of a handgun, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, certain person, and possession of a community gun.

Authorities said the spree began with a shooting at 10:20 p.m. Sept. 7 on Throop Avenue in New Brunswick. For that incident, Pinson was charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and being a certain person not to have a weapon.

At 4:34 a.m. Sept. 10, a French Street, New Brunswick gas station was robbed, resulting in charges of robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and being a certain person not to have a weapon being lodged against Pinson, the release said.

An attempted carjacking took place in South Brunswick at 2:40 a.m. Sept. 16, resulting in Pinson being charged with conspiracy to commit carjacking, possession of an assault firearm, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and possession of a community firearm.

A “community firearm,” Boulton said in an email, is a gun that is “transferred among, between or within any association of two or more persons who, while possessing that firearm, engage in criminal activity or use it unlawfully against the person or property of another.”

Pinson was charged with three counts of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, possession of a handgun, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, possession of a community gun, and being a certain person not to have a weapon in connection with a Sept. 19 shooting were shot on Throop Avenue, according to the release.

The three victims, two 20-years-old and one 19-years-old, all survived their wounds.

At about 2:33 a.m. Oct. 15, seven shots were fired on Delevan Street in New Brunswick, but no one was injured, according to the release. For that incident, Pinson was charged with conspiracy to commit attempted murder and possession of a community gun.

Two hours later, a gas station attendant at a South Brunswick gas station was shot during a robbery. Pinson was charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, receiving stolen property, possession of a community gun, and being a certain person not to have a weapon, according to the release.

The victim recovered from his injuries.

On Nov. 28, a 30-year-old man was shot and killed in Camden, for which Pinson was charged with attempted murder, according to the release.

Also arrested on various charges resulting from the crime wave were Paul Sexton, 21, of New Brunswick; Danique Simpson, 24, of South Plainfield; Ashley Stewart, 24, of Piscataway; Shaheed Wroten, 22, of New Brunswick; Antoine Williams, 30, of Newark, and Darnell Konteh, 25, of Camden.

The other six gang members face charges including murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, attempted carjacking, armed robbery, aggravated assault, receiving stolen property, possession of weapon, possession of a community gun, and being a certain person not to have a weapon, according to the release.

“I thank and commend the many dedicated law enforcement officers and special agents whose efforts led to the arrests,” Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in the release. “When addressing violent gang activity, results like these are only possible with multi-agency coordination, and the sharing of resources.   This investigation’s conclusion has resulted in a safer community.”

In addition to the MCPO, agencies participating in the investigation included the New Brunswick Police Department, and the South Brunswick Police Department, authorities with assistance from members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), New Jersey State Parole, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, the Camden County Police Department, and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, according to the release.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Brandt Gregus of the New Brunswick Police Department at (732) 745-5200 or Detective Gregory Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4054.

 

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