Two New Jersey men admit roles in separate cases of illicit activity in the Garden State
One man from Essex County was working with a few USPS employees to steal credit cards and checks while another man was peddling Heroin and Cocaine throughout the area, and now both are on their way to prison.
The unrelated cases were handled by separate members of the U.S. Attorney's Office.
When it comes to the USPS fraud case, 30-year-old Adeeb Salih of East Orange admitted and pleaded guilty in court to partaking in a scheme where along with two members of the USPS, he concocted a scheme to steal credit cards and checks from the mail and get paid for it amounting to have enough to make hundreds of thousands of purchases, according to Attorney for the United States Vikas Khanna.
Adeeb Salih was later arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud after getting checks including ones stamped by the U.S. Treasury along with credit cards from 25-year-old Yaseen Salih, and 26-year-old Jahad Salter, who Attorney Khanna said: "had recruited USPS employees, including Khadijah Banks Oneal, 31, and Ashley Taylor, 28, to steal the credit cards and checks from the mail in exchange for compensation."
There was a round of fraud that then occurred when Salih and Salih along with Salter pretended to be the accountholders of the stolen credit cards, according to Attorney Khanna, and they then called "the banks that issued the cards and used personal identifying information belonging to the accountholders to obtain or change information about the stolen credit cards."
After the stolen credit cards were used to make hefty purchases, Adeeb Salih had been accused of then using the stolen checks "to be deposited into bank accounts that he controlled and withdrew proceeds from those checks from the accounts in the form of cash. This resulted in attempted losses of over $250,000."
Yaseen Salih, Salter, Banks-Oneal, and Taylor already pleaded guilty to their roles.
Attorney Khanna said that "the charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud carries a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million," and that sentencing for Adeeb Salih is scheduled for January 10, 2023.
Attorney Khanna said that credit for the investigation goes to "postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Newark, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Damon Wood, Philadelphia Division; and special agents of the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Area Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modafferi, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the U.S. Marshals Service, District of New Jersey; the U.S. Secret Service, New York Field Office; the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Mid-Atlantic Field Division; the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, Newark Field Office; the Livingston, New Jersey Police Department; the Newark Police Department; the Essex County Sheriff’s Office; the New Providence, New Jersey, Police Department; and the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, Police Department, for their assistance."
The government, in this case, is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara F. Merin of the Special Prosecutions Division in Newark and the Defense counsel is Charles Alvarez Esq., Bloomfield, New Jersey.
Elsewhere in Essex County, Raquan Rawls, aka “Bandz,” 24, of Newark, admitted and pleaded guilty to distributing and possessing with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine base, according to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.
Rawls had been charged with two counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine base, (Count Eight), and distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin (Count Nine) after it was learned he was dealing drugs in Stephen Crane Village between February 2019 and February 2020.
Attorney Sellinger said that during that time period, "law enforcement officers investigated individuals that controlled an open-air drug market that operated within Stephen Crane Village."
There were two instances that stood out to Sellinger, both a month apart, as on November 21, 2019, "Rawls and others sold heroin and cocaine base to an individual while under surveillance by law enforcement."
Then, on December 13, 2019, "Rawls sold heroin to an individual while under surveillance by law enforcement."
As a result of the guilty plea, Rawls faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison each, and a maximum fine of $1 million when he is sentenced on January 23, 2023.
In this case, U.S. Attorney Sellinger said that credit for the investigation goes to "special agents and task force officers with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews; the Belleville Police Department, under the direction of Chief Mark Minichini; special agents and task force officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark; the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Fritz G. Fragé; the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II; and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura, with the investigation leading to today’s plea. He also thanked the U.S. Marshals Service, the Nutley Police Department, the Bloomfield Police Department, the West Orange Police Department, the Verona Police Department, the Orange Police Department, and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office."
The government, in this case, is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey Agnew of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Trenton, while the Defense counsel is Frank Arleo Esq., West Orange, New Jersey.