NJ’s Operation Blok Buster Takes Down Violent Atlantic City Gang
Twenty eight people are facing a variety of charges following “Operation Blok Buster,” a major take-down of members of the violent 800 Blok street gang who were involved in dealing heroin and cocaine and committing homicides in the Back Maryland Avenue section of Atlantic City.
Approximately 75 officers assigned to the Atlantic City Violent Crime Task Force fanned out Tuesday in tactical teams to arrest 18 targets. Six men were previously arrested, and the remaining four targets are being sought.
“They call themselves the 800 Blok gang, but they don’t confine their drug dealing and violence to one block or even one section of Atlantic City, instead, they are the driving force behind a majority of the gang-related shootings and homicides plaguing the city,” said State Attorney General Jeff Chiesa.
The charges are the result of an eight month investigation by the Atlantic City Violent Crime Task Force. Chiesa said the gang relies on gun violence and threats of violence to control its drug trafficking turf and to settle scores with other gangs.
“Through the Atlantic City Violent Crime Task Force, we are joining forces to carry out long-term, strategic investigations such as Operation Blok Buster, which have a real impact on public safety in Atlantic City,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice.
In the 20 months since it was formed, the task force has made more than 400 arrests and seized more than 50 guns, as well as large quantities of narcotics.
“This violent group of criminals terrorized the citizens of Atlantic City with their open air drug dealing activities and numerous acts of violence,” Colonel Rick Fuentes, the Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, says. “High-ranking members of this gang would not hesitate to murder anyone who stood in their way, so coordinated efforts such as Operation Blok Buster send a clear message throughout the State that all levels of law enforcement will work together to dismantle these criminal organizations and make New Jersey safer for our citizens.”