NEW BRUNSWICK — Two members of the Sex, Money, Murder sect of the Bloods street gang have been imprisoned for initiating a 16-year-old boy into the gang and using him to help commit an armed robbery at a fast-food restaurant and attempt to rob another restaurant in South Plainfield, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced today.
Danique Simpson, 18, of South Plainfield has been sentenced to seven and a half years in a New Jersey state prison, and a co-defendant, James Richardson, 20, of Prospect Park, has been sentenced to serve 14 years in prison for their roles in the crimes.
The sentences were imposed in New Brunswick on Dec. 19, 2011, by Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz, who said the defendants must serve 85 percent of their prison terms before they can be eligible for parole. He also reduced their prison terms by nearly two years for the time they have spent in custody since their arrests.
The terms were imposed after the defendants pleaded guilty on Nov. 1, 2011. The guilty pleas were entered under an agreement reached with Middlesex County Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Kuberiet.
Following an intensive investigation by Detective Garrett Cassio and Detective Christopher Colucci, both of the South Plainfield Police Department, Simpson, Richardson and a third gang member, Ryan Crouch, 21, of South Plainfield, were charged with attempting to rob a Wendy’s restaurant on Oak Tree Avenue in South Plainfield on May 8, 2010, and robbing $118 from a Burger King restaurant on Park Avenue in South Plainfield on May 9, 2010.
During the investigation, South Plainfield police learned that the defendants initiated the 16-year-old boy into their gang during a ceremony that involved severely beating him for about 15 minutes in Piscataway on May 7, 2011.
They subsequently used the boy to rob both fast-food restaurants.
The boy, whose identity is being withheld because of his age, pleaded guilty to juvenile offenses in Family Court in New Brunswick, in January 2011, and is currently serving a seven-year term in a juvenile facility.
Simpson also was a juvenile at the time of the offenses, but was waived up to Superior Court for trial as an adult. He subsequently pleaded guilty.
Crouch, who is facing eight years in prison for his role in the crimes, is scheduled to be sentenced on March 5, 2012.
Kaplan praised the South Plainfield Police Department and its detectives for their work on the case.
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