- Associated Press - Thursday, February 11, 2016

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The leader of one of New Jersey’s most violent street gangs ordered murders of people thought to have cooperated with law enforcement and ran an operation that engaged in racketeering, extortion, robbery and drug trafficking, a federal indictment unsealed Thursday alleged.

The U.S. attorney’s office announced the arrest of 39-year-old Corey Hamlet, of Belleville, and three other men.

Authorities said Hamlet is the longtime leader of the New Jersey Grape Street Crips, a local set of a gang founded in Los Angeles. They said Hamlet ran the gang even while incarcerated in state and federal prisons, and said he was linked to several murders and attempted murders.

In one example, the indictment alleges, a murder ordered by Hamlet produced a car chase in Newark in which a car passenger and innocent bystander were shot and killed.

It wasn’t immediately known if Hamlet had a lawyer who could comment on the charges.

The arrests announced Thursday were part of a long-running investigation by the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration. Last May, 50 alleged Grape Street Crips members were charged with drug trafficking, assault and witness intimidation, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

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