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Leader of Newark’s South Side Cartel gets 45 years in prison for murder and racketeering

By Gangsters Inc. Editors

The leader and founder of one of Newark’s most violent street gangs was sentenced on Tuesday to 45 years in prison. 33-year-old Farad Roland (photo above) admitted his role in five murders, an armed carjacking, an armed robbery of a drug dealer, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and drug conspiracy as part of a racketeering conspiracy involving the South Side Cartel.

The South Side Cartel was a sub-set of the Bloods street gang that operated primarily on Hawthorne Avenue in Newark. Originally a neighborhood-based gang whose main activities were selling drugs and committing violent acts to aid the drug trafficking business, many of the gang’s members were officially brought into the Bloods gang in 2002 and 2003.

  • READ: The South Side Cartel: Karma catches up to what was once known as Newark’s most violent street gang

They operated out of apartments located at 496-500 Hawthorne Avenue, which were dubbed “the Twin Towers.” Local law enforcement made repeated narcotics and gun arrests at this location. Many of the South Side Cartel members had tattoos showing the Twin Towers and the logo “SSC,” which represented the gang’s initials.

Between 2003 and 2010, the South Side Cartel was generally known among law enforcement and the FBI as the most violent street gang in Newark, committing numerous murders, shootings, robberies and other violent acts in furtherance of the enterprise. At its peak, the group had about 20 members or associates, many of whom have since been killed in gang-related murders or who are serving prison sentences for gang-related crimes.

Roland’s two co-defendants, Malik Lowery and Mark Williams, previously pleaded guilty in federal court. Lowery was sentenced in August 2016 to more than 26 years in federal prison. Williams is scheduled to be sentenced September 13, 2018.

Roland’s admission of guilt includes acknowledgement of his participation in a host of racketeering acts to further the South Side Cartel’s goals, including:

  • The February 20, 2005, murder of a Newark resident who was shot during a robbery attempt that Roland ordered one of his gang associates to carry out;
  • The February 23, 2005, murder of the 19-year-old gang associate who committed the February 20, 2005 robbery-murder, to prevent him from cooperating with law enforcement and implicating Roland;
  • The October 20, 2007, murder of a fellow South Side Cartel member who had fallen into disfavor with the gang;
  • The retaliation murders of two people on March 27, 2008, outside the Oasis Bar located on Lyons Avenue in Newark.

Roland also admitted committing an armed carjacking; an assault with a dangerous weapon in the 2008 shooting of a fellow gang member with whom Roland had a dispute; an assault with a dangerous weapon in the 2009 shooting of a rival gang member; the armed robbery of a drug dealer in East Orange, New Jersey; and conspiracy to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin and 280 grams of crack cocaine.

“Farad Roland chose to kill for the South Side Cartel of the Newark Bloods and now he can serve time for the gang,” Newark FBI Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie said. “This conduct will not be tolerated and today’s sentence should send a message that the FBI, together with our law enforcement partners, will pursue and prosecute members of violent street gangs who seek to inflict violence and fear in our communities.”

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