Public Notices and Press Releases

Major Drug Ring Busted in Essex County: Five Alleged 'Sex, Money, Murder' Gang Members Charged

In a significant crackdown on local drug trafficking, five members of the 'Sex, Money, Murder' gang face serious charges, including conspiracy to distribute narcotics and firearms offenses.

Five individuals, alleged members of the notorious 'Sex, Money, Murder' gang, have been charged with running a drug trafficking operation in Essex County, distributing fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine. This announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger.

On November 1, 2023, a complaint was initially filed against the accused, which was followed by a superseding complaint on November 9, 2023. This latter complaint added gun offenses to the charges, based on firearms found during the arrests of the defendants.

The charged individuals are Fuquan Williams, 33; Dwight Dixon, 52; Nafee Patterson, 41; Jabriel Mason, 20; and Daqwuan Barkley, 29, all from Essex County. They face charges of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine. Williams and Dixon are currently detained pending trial, while Mason, Patterson, and Barkley have been released on bail.

Patterson faces additional charges, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and intent to distribute fentanyl and cocaine. Williams is also charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Court documents and statements reveal that this group operated an open-air narcotics market at Kent and Brenner Streets in Newark. They are associated with the 'Sex, Money, Murder' subset of the Bloods street gang. The arrest led to the recovery of loaded firearms and additional narcotics.

The charges result from the collaborative efforts of various law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and several local police departments. This operation was part of the Newark Violent Crime Initiative (VCI), a joint venture combating violent crime in and around Newark, established in 2017.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Samantha C. Fasanello and Jason Goldberg of the Criminal Division in Newark represent the government in this case.

It is important to note that the charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case underscores the ongoing battle against drug trafficking and gang-related violence in Essex County. The collaborative efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies reflect a strong commitment to ensuring community safety and tackling the complex challenges posed by organized crime groups like the 'Sex, Money, Murder' gang.

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