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AFRICAN-AMERICANS – AFRO-LINEAL ORGANIZED CRIME
NEWARK

The Essex County-based African-American organized crime network headed by Wayne B. "Akbar" Pray is believed to be one of the largest in New Jersey. Like the Roland "Pops" Bartlett organization from Philadelphia, the Akbar organization calls itself The Family, and consists of more than 300 active members. In addition to its drug distribution networks, the group has been active in real estate ventures, weapons dealing and contract murders.

In 1988, Pray and four of his subordinates were indicted under the federal drug kingpin statute. Pray has since been convicted. Federal officials estimated that his organization distributed 341 kilos of cocaine and 354 kilos of marijuana in less than two years, grossing more than $4.5 million annually. Pray allegedly traveled throughout the United States, making deals and arranging for transportation of narcotics. He also traveled to Colombia and the West Indies to purchase his supply of cocaine. On January 12, 1990, Pray was sentenced under the federal drug kingpin statute to life in prison without-parole. Although the vast majority of his drug distribution network remains intact in Essex County, no successor has yet surfaced.

Also in the Newark area are several smaller African-American groups such as the Ratchford Brothers, the Brown Family, and a group led by Roger "Little Akbar" Williams. The Ratchford brothers – Eddie, Willie and Marvin – control drug distribution in the Clinton Hill section of Newark, as well as out of the Stella Wright Homes development and the Hayes Homes project. The youngest brother, Eddie Ratchford, is believed to be the leader of their networks. All three brothers have extensive records for crimes such as homicide, kidnapping, weapons offenses and narcotics violations. Their operation is small by design and is believed to consist of no more than 15 persons.

The Ratchford Brothers have a working relationship with the Brown Family, three brothers who operated a small drug distribution network in the area of 17th Avenue in Newark. Bo Brown is presently incarcerated, Phil Brown was killed., and the third brother, Dennis "Moofi" Brown, is still operating in Newark. A third network, controlled by Roger Williams, is a group of between 20 and 25 members who distribute cocaine in the Prince Street area of Newark. Williams' group is also believed to have a territorial relationship with the Ratchford Brothers.

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