Nine Defendants Indicted for Drug and Firearms Conspiracies
NEWARK, N.J. – Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division Susan A. Gibson and U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Philip R. Sellinger announced nine people were arraigned today on illegal drug and firearms charges contained in a 17-count indictment.
Gilbert Bermudez, aka “Troub,” 29; Brian Elijah Mitchell, aka “Slash,” 32; Jaahan Mitchell, 32; Keith Rogers, aka “Dog,” aka “Z,” 45; Isaiah Bullock, 26; Jennifer Rivera, 41; and Shamika Richardson, 25, all of Newark; Mark Washington, 58, of Irvington, New Jersey; and Torell Brown, 46, of Orangeburg, South Carolina were indicted on various drug and weapons charges last month.
On May 14, 2021, in the vicinity of the Pennington Court housing complex in Newark, Bermudez, Brian Mitchell, and Jaahan Mitchell were involved in a shooting. On May 20, 2021, the firearm that Bermudez used in that shooting was recovered from his Essex County residence, loaded with seven rounds of 9mm ammunition.
From April 2021 through May 18, 2021, Brown, a convicted felon, conspired to unlawfully sell firearms. He trafficked six firearms and a large quantity of ammunition from South Carolina to New Jersey, with the intent to sell these weapons to at least one New Jersey resident. On May 18, 2021, Washington attempted to thwart law enforcement from recovering certain of these firearms. From March 2021 through May 18, 2021, Brown also conspired with Brian Mitchell and Rogers to traffic firearms and ammunition into New Jersey from at least one other state and to use those firearms and ammunition in connection with at least one other felony offense.
From October 2020 through July 23, 2021, Rogers, Bullock, Rivera, and Richardson conspired to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, 100 grams or more of heroin, and a quantity of cocaine base. Rogers and Bullock, both convicted felons, possessed firearms. The four defendants maintained two Pennington Court residences for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing, storing, distributing, and using a controlled substance, and possessed with the intent to distribute controlled substances.
Each firearms trafficking conspiracy carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The counts of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The drug conspiracy count, and the count of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, each carry a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5 million. Each count of maintaining a drug-involved premises carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime each carry a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of life imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents and task force officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark; and special agents and task force officers with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews, with the investigations leading to the charges. He also thanked the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Director Brian O’Hara, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura, and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II, for their significant assistance with these cases.