Operation hard hat cracks down on NJ gangs

NJ News
Apr 30th, 2010

Trenton, N.J. – Attorney General Paula T. Dow, Department of Corrections Commissioner Gary M. Lanigan, and New Jersey State Police Major Matthew Wilson today announced charges against eighteen members and associates of the violent Nine Trey Headbusters set of the Bloods street gang. The charges stemmed from an investigation launched by the New Jersey Department of Corrections in April of 2007 into the in-prison activities of Michael Anderson, 37. Anderson is incarcerated at the New Jersey State Prison after being convicted of death by auto and eluding.

In October 2007, the State Police Street Gang North Unit and the Division of Criminal Justice started working with the New Jersey Department of Corrections to look into the criminal activities of Michael Anderson and the Nine Trey Headbusters. The investigation was dubbed “Operation Hard Hat.”

Anderson has been identified as holding the status of “Godfather,” which is the highest ranking position in the gang. Anderson directed and supervised external gang activities from inside the New Jersey State Prison. The State Police Street Gang North Unit determined that Anderson controlled the distribution of narcotics, and dictated promotions and punishments of members who went against his rule. He also demanded that money be collected from members to keep his prison phone account active.

“We will continue to utilize intelligence-led policing methods, including the monitoring of inmates, to aggressively investigate and prosecute members of violent street gangs in New Jersey,” said Attorney General Dow. “We partnered with numerous law enforcement agencies in order to cast a wide net over these targets today.”

“Are the gang members among our inmate population a significant concern? Yes. Are they running the prisons? Absolutely not. This investigation is the latest example of how a variety of law enforcement agencies are able to work together to curb illegal gang activities and ultimately make New Jersey a safer place,” said Commissioner Lanigan. “We are particularly proud of the fine work of our Special Investigations Division, which gathered the information that launched this investigation.”

During the investigation into Anderson, several spin off investigations were initiated. In one case the detectives learned of a planned robbery. More intelligence enabled Troopers and Jersey City Police to prevent an armed robbery by 9-3 Headbuster members Darryl Gilbert, Terriek Hammonds, and Teisha Boundurant. They were stopped in a stolen motor vehicle and found to be in possession of a sawed-off, double barrel shotgun, and a black face-mask.

Also, further information was obtained regarding the Devon Thompson Homicide in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The gang members Syree Hakins, 37 and Davon Parker, 22 were indicted for the Homicide. The Attorney General’s Office will be prosecuting this homicide as part of “Operation Hardhat.”

In 2006 a State Police Street Gang investigation dubbed “Operation Nine Connect” significantly disrupted the operations of the Nine Trey set causing them to split into three smaller, more fractured sets: 793 set, 93rd Hillside Killer Beehive set, and the 9-3 Headbusters set.

“The members of the Nine Trey set of the Bloods are in relative disarray. Every time a new set rises to fill the power vacuum, it becomes the target for cooperative law enforcement efforts such as this operation.” said Major Matt Wilson, commanding officer of the Intelligence Section of the State Police.

“For the second time this month, we are using New Jersey’s new anti-gang laws to charge the leaders of a violent set of the Bloods with the crime of promoting organized street crime,” said Criminal Justice Director Taylor. “That first-degree charge carries a sentence of 15 to 30 years in state prison. We will use every legal tool we have in order to fight the street gangs that are bringing drugs, guns and violence into our communities.”

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