BY JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
Five alleged members of a large-scale narcotics enterprise including a Montclair resident were charged last week for their roles in several murders, firearms offenses and conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs, said U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.
Michael Healy, 38, of Montclair, New Jersey, the alleged leader of the enterprise; and Leevander Wade, 39; Ali Hill, 26; Thomas Zimmerman, 23; and Tyquan Daniels, 23; all of East Orange, were charged in a 12-count superseding indictment with violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), murder, drug conspiracy and related charges.
“Today’s indictment charges Michael Healy and his fellow gang members with committing murders and other acts of violence on the streets of New Jersey to further their drug trafficking enterprise,” Carpenito said. “The indictment alleges that they murdered a witness against them – and an innocent person they mistook for that witness – and anyone else they believed posed a threat to their illegal business.”
Healy and Wade are charged with three murders, including the murder of a federal informant. Zimmerman and Daniels are charged in two of the murders, including the federal informant, and Hill is charged in the murder of the federal informant only. All three of the murder counts charged in the superseding indictment are eligible for the federal death penalty upon conviction.
“According to the indictment, these defendants were part of a murderous drug trafficking organization delivering drugs across the nation from west coast to east,” FBI-Newark Special Agent-in-Charge Gregory W. Ehrie said.
In February 2018, having found out that one of his conspirators, identified in the indictment as “A.S.,” was cooperating with law enforcement by providing information against the Healy drug trafficking enterprise (DTE), Healy ordered members of the Bloods in East Orange to kill “A.S.” On Feb. 3, 2018, in Bloomfield, New Jersey, Zimmerman and Daniels allegedly shot and killed Victim-1, an innocent bystander they mistook for “A.S.” Realizing they killed the wrong person, members of the Healy drug trafficking enterprise then shot and killed “A.S” on March 12, 2018, in Bloomfield, according to documents.
On April 6, 2018, believing that another member of the enterprise – identified in the indictment as “J.C.” – might also be cooperating with law enforcement, Healy allegedly shot and killed “J.C.” in Newark, according to documents.
Healy operated in and around Newark beginning in approximately 2012.
While incarcerated in the Maryland state corrections system between 2003 and 2012, Healy became a member of the Tree Top PIRU set of the Bloods street gang. After his release from prison in April 2012, Healy formed and led the Healy DTE, a large and sophisticated drug distribution organization that obtained, transported and distributed large amounts of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and marijuana. Healy used his leadership status in the Tree Top PIRU Bloods to assist him with obtaining suppliers, recruiting and controlling enterprise members, and otherwise conducting the Healy drug trafficking enterprise’s operations, according to documents.
The Healy drug trafficking enterprise transported multi-kilogram quantities of controlled substances from California to New Jersey by various means, including private aircraft, vehicles with hidden secret compartments and the U.S. Postal Service. The Healy drug trafficking enterprise then processed and repackaged the controlled substances at various “stash houses” in New Jersey. It then distributed some of the controlled substances in New Jersey, including through Bloods gang members in East Orange. Given his leadership status in the Bloods, his reputation for violence and his supply of controlled substances, Healy exercised control over two local Bloods gang sets in East Orange: the Mob PIRUs and the Brick City Brims. The Healy DTE also transported some of the controlled substances from New Jersey to Maryland for further distribution, according to documents.
Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie; and the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose, with the investigation leading to the indictment. He also thanked the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office; the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, East Orange Police Department; Montclair Police Department, and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Intelligence and Investigative Division.
The charges in the superseding indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are each presumed to be innocent unless and until convicted.