AVENEL—Several dozen convicted criminals—including nine at East Jersey State Prison, located in the Avenel section of Woodbridge Township near the border with Rahway—are facing new charges for bad behavior behind bars.
Attorney General Anne Milgram announced that 35 inmates were indicted for possession of cell phones in state prisons.
Milgram said 25 of those charged are members or associates of criminal street gangs, including various sets of the Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, and Netas.
Among those charged at the local penal facility were: Tawann McGuire, 30, who is serving 16 years for weapons possession; Manuel Hernandez, 34, serving 24 years for murder; Al-Malik Amir, 38, serving five years for robbery; Levay Moore, 29, serving 20 years for manslaughter; Duan Howard, 26, serving 10 years for robbery; Joshua Gaudette, 31, who was sentenced in April to 20 years for armed robbery.
Other East Jersey prisoners were: Quawee Mitchell, 22, serving seven years for conspiracy to commit homicide; Joseph Lopez, 38, serving 20 years for drugs, robbery and murder; and Tyrone Dennis, who is serving 15 years for robbery.
Dennis, 29, was also charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, a fourth-degree crime.
The defendants, who are now serving prison sentences ranging from five years to life with 30 years of parole ineligibility, were incarcerated for crimes that include murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, armed robbery and drug and weapons offenses.
Officials said 391 cell phones were confiscated between August 2008 and June 2009 in enforcement actions triggered by a report from the State Commission of Investigation that said gangs virtually control the inside of state prisons, recruiting new members, trading in contraband and communicating with others outside.
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