NEWARK, N.J. - A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) narcotics investigation that began in 2007 concluded on July 10, 2009, when two Newark drug smugglers were ordered to serve 30 years in federal prison. Keith Stewart and Shedrick Crafton were also ordered to serve 10 years of supervised release following their prison terms.
These two career criminals were found guilty in March 2009 of smuggling more than five kilos of cocaine and 18 kilos of heroin with an estimated street value of more than $1.5 million. Both individuals were charged under 21 USC 846 (conspiracy to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin and more than five kilograms of cocaine) and 21 USC 841 (possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance).
"Heroin and cocaine smugglers destroy lives and ruin communities," said Peter T. Edge, special agent in charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in Newark. "The key to dismantling these drug smuggling operations is to follow the money trail; greed fuels this dangerous trade. ICE and our law enforcement partners are determined to bring down these criminal organizations that posed a serious threat to many communities."
On Feb. 13, 2008, ICE agents concluded an investigation dubbed Operation Brick City, targeting Stewart's Newark-based heroin and cocaine distribution and bulk cash smuggling organization. Stewart had been receiving heroin from Dominican suppliers based in Bronx, N.Y. These suppliers then sent drivers to pick up the proceeds from Stewart in New Jersey. ICE was assisted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and various state and local agencies.
Nine individuals were arrested and charged federally, while two individuals were arrested and charged by the Bergen County, N.J. prosecutor's office as part of this investigation. As a result of these two convictions, all 11 individuals arrested during the course of this investigation have either pled guilty or were convicted by a jury.