Two Newark city employees who the city administration of Mayor Ras J. Baraka hired to work at the Rotunda Recreation and Wellness Center have admitted their roles as members of the G-Shine set of the Bloods street gang in a large drug trafficking conspiracy based in Essex County.
Rahim Jackson pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute heroin by videoconference today before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti, after Arthur Hardy pleaded guilty on Dec. 9, 2021, to an information charging him with conspiracy to distribute heroin and possession of heroin.
According to U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig, documents filed in this case and statements made in court, the G-Shine set of the Bloods street gang operate at the Broadway Townhomes in Newark, in a residential neighborhood a short distance from two elementary schools and a high school.
The organization’s leaders obtained their supply of narcotics, including heroin and fentanyl, from Jackson and Hardy, who delivered the narcotics either personally or through drug runners.
The investigation revealed that, on numerous occasions, large narcotics deliveries took place in or around the Rotunda Recreation and Wellness Center on Clifton Avenue, a municipal facility where Jackson was employed and where Hardy was the director.
These individuals also used the Rotunda Recreation and Wellness Center to stash narcotics and narcotics proceeds.
Two months after he was released from prison in 2017, Jackson was hired by the city administration of Mayor Ras J. Baraka to work part-time at the Rotunda Recreation Center, one of Newark’s municipal recreation centers.
Children routinely came to the center to play chess and basketball or just associate with some friends while a group of 12 alleged members, associates and suppliers of the violent street gang used the popular Newark youth facility as a base for running a drug pipeline to peddle heroin, fentanyl and crack-cocaine.
The count to which Jackson pleaded guilty is punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.
The counts to which Hardy pleaded guilty are punishable by a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 40 years in prison. Jackson’s sentencing is scheduled for April 18, 2022, and Hardy’s sentencing is scheduled for April 14, 2022.
Honig credited special agents of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark; and the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas.
She also thanked the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II, the Rockaway Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Martin McParland, and special agents from the ATF, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews in Newark.