68 Count Indictment Returned Against 22 Individuals, Prosecutor Says

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has released the following information:

A Hudson County grand jury has returned a 68 count indictment against 22 individuals: 21 Jersey City residents and one Newark resident.

Seventeen suspected members of a criminal street gang were charged with conspiring to commit violations of narcotics and firearms statues, as well as robbery. Ten of those individuals were additionally charged with Gang Criminality which elevates the underlying crime by one degree.

Other individuals listed in the indictment were charged with various other crimes including hindering apprehension, receiving stolen property, endangering the welfare of a child and employing a juvenile to commit a criminal offense.

Thirteen of the 22 individuals charged were arrested between April 5, 2016 and April 7, 2016 after a six-month joint operation involving the Jersey City Police Department Street Crimes Unit, Major Case Squad, Cease Fire Unit and Criminal Warrants Squad.

“This six month operation was a joint venture between the Jersey City Police Department, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office,” said Jersey City Capt. Michael Gajewski. “Its primary focus was the investigation and arrest of actors connected with one of the city’s most violent gangs. These arrests and indictments are a testament to how team work between multiple law enforcement agencies can achieve a positive result for the citizens of Jersey City.”

A list of the indicted individuals is as follows:
Jamie Franklin, age 20, of Jersey City;
Frederick Barnett, age 19, of Jersey City;
Shameeka Barnett, age 37, of Jersey City;
Duane Buckhana, age 37, of Newark;
Rafael Gomez, age 19, of Jersey City;
Laquan Clark, age 31, of Jersey City;
Stefon Alexandre, age 20, of Jersey City;
Gerald Hagood, age 21, of Jersey City;
Kenny Harrigan, age 19, of Jersey City;
Daquan Edwards, age 19, of Jersey City;
William Conyers, age 20, of Jersey City;
Frederick Thomas, age 20, of Jersey City;
Samuel Washington, age 27, of Jersey City;
Brianna Williams, age 20, of Jersey City;
Elmer Villegas Gomez, age 20, of Jersey City;
Ronnie Baisden, age 36, of Jersey City;
Robert Caballero, age 42, of Jersey City;
Paul Jocelyn, age 50, of Jersey City;
Sharif Scott, age 27, of Jersey City;
Steven Burno, age 22, of Jersey City;
Tymell White, age 22, of Jersey City; and
Omar Gordon, age 23, of Jersey City.

The majority of the defendants are expected to be arraigned today, August 23, 2016, in Superior Court.

The above charges are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).

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