|TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a Trenton man pleaded guilty today to racketeering for unlawfully using and transferring guns. The defendant was one of 14 alleged gang members charged in connection with shootings that occurred in 2005 when violence erupted between members the Gangster Killer Bloods set of the Bloods street gang and rival gangs, including rival Bloods sets and the Crips.
Anthony Howlett, 28, of Trenton, pleaded guilty to second-degree racketeering in front of Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier in Mercer County. The charge was contained in a July 2010 state grand jury indictment. The indictment stemmed from “Operation Capital City,” an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the Trenton Police Department and the New Jersey State Police.
Judge Billmeier scheduled sentencing for April 3. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Howlett be sentenced to a term of seven to ten years in state prison.
“As you can see by the record-breaking gun buyback in Mercer County, people are sick and tired of the endless cycle of violence plaguing our streets,” Attorney General Chiesa said. “We will continue to make prosecuting those involved in gang activity a priority of my office.”
In pleading guilty, Howlett admitted that in 2005, he assisted a racketeering enterprise comprised of members of a set of a criminal street gang, through a pattern of racketeering activity. The pattern of racketeering activity included the unlawful possession and transfer of guns.
Also today, Ronald “Double R” Smith, 30, one of Howlett’s co-defendants in the July 2010 indictment was sentenced to five years in state prison today by Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier. The sentence is based on Smith’s Dec. 10, 2012 guilty plea to second-degree possession of heroin with intent to distribute. The sentence will run consecutive to a federal prison sentence he is already serving on an unrelated matter. In pleading guilty, Smith admitted that in 2005, he possessed over one-half ounce of heroin with the intent to distribute it.
Deputy Attorney General Daniel I. Bornstein prosecuted both cases for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau and represented the state at the guilty pleas and the sentencing.
Division of Criminal Justice Deputy Director Elie Honig noted that fourteen alleged Gangster Killer Bloods members were charged in the indictment with first-degree racketeering. Among the defendants charged was Bernard Green, 30, a.k.a Petey Black, a “five-star general” in the Gangster Killer Bloods or G-Shine set, who allegedly directed the gang’s activities, including drug trafficking and gun violence against other gangs. Green was charged along with various co-defendants with three counts of murder, seven counts of attempted murder, and five counts of conspiracy to commit murder. Green and 10 co-defendants were charged with conspiring to unlawfully possess, use and traffic in guns. Green was also charged with drug offenses and being a leader of organized crime. The charges against Green and most of the other defendants are pending, and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.