UPDATE: A New Jersey drug dealer who once served state prison time is headed to a federal penitentiary for a plea-bargained 19 years without parole.
Jakir “Jak” Taylor, 32, was a key figure in an alliance of two violent rival gangs who once dominated the heroin trade on Trenton’s north and west side neighborhoods, authorities said.
He’s also the last of 26 defendants swept up in a joint law enforcement operation that smashed that operation.
Taylor and conspirator Jerome Roberts collected heroin bricks by the hundreds from David “Papi” Antonio that were sold in individual bags, authorities said.
This included a “motherlode” supply of more than three pounds of the drug, they said.
Taylor, who admitted being routinely armed, had promised to “flood the street” with heroin, a complaint on file in U.S. District Court in Trenton says.
Gang members also sold powder cocaine, crack cocaine, Xanax, Percocet, oxycodone and hydrocodone, the complaint says.
Wiretaps captured various members talking about their business in calls and texts, one of which they said included a photo of three handguns with the message “War ready,” it says.
Coordinated strikes in the fall of 2018 included the seizure of several pounds of heroin in a raid on a residence and the discovery of five guns – including a semi-automatic rifle – in a traffic stop.
Three dozen defendants in all were arrested and charged.
Three of them went to trial and lost. The remaining 33, including Taylor, took pleas rather than risk a similar outcome.
The convicts must serve just about all of their terms because there’s no parole in the federal prison system.
Taylor previously served nearly two years in state prison on gun and drug convictions before being released in 2017.
He originally made a name for himself, albeit infamously, when he tried to walk into the Mercer County Courthouse in Trenton with more than 100 bags of heroin and $462 cash in his pockets.
In addition to his 228-month term, Taylor was sentenced to five years of supervised release by Chief U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton for his plea to conspiring to acquire and sell a kilo or more of heroin and possessing a firearm to do so.
U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger credited special agents of the Newark FBI Field Office’s Trenton Resident Agency, special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Trenton Satellite Office, police from Trenton, Ewing, Princeton and Burlington County and detectives of the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office with the investigation leading to Taylor’s plea and sentencing, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Brendan Day and Alexander Ramey of his Criminal Division in Trenton.
Sellinger also thanked New Jersey State Police, Mercer County prosecutor’s detectives and the state Parole Board for their assistance.