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Atlantic City man charged for involvement in prison 'hit squad'

Atlantic City man charged for involvement in prison 'hit squad'

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An incarcerated Atlantic City man was handed additional charges for his role in a “hit squad” of other inmates spanning multiple prisons, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced Thursday.

Kevin Washington, 32, was among eight people charged with first-degree criminality and second-degree conspiracy, Grewal said in a statement.

The criminality charged carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

An investigation from the state Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division revealed that 33-year-old Frank Blake, of Hillside, was an alleged leader of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation street gang.

As the leader, he used phone calls and letters to plan assaults on inmates in Northern State Prison in Newark and New Jersey State Prison in Trenton.

Of the nine people listed in the attorney general’s release, Blake was the only one not already incarcerated.

Between December 2020 and February 2021, Blake allegedly planned an assault on a Northern State Prison inmate with five Latin King members, including Washington, Grewal said.

That plan was thwarted when the DOC placed the target in protective custody.

The state also learned that Blake and 27-year-old inmate Alexander Chludzinski, of Phillipsburg, discussed going to the homes of DOC-SID investigators to assault them.

“Gang violence is always a danger in our state prisons, but we charge that these defendants and their so-called ‘hit squad’ posed a special threat to the safety and security of inmates and correctional police officers,” Grewal said in a statement. “I commend the DOC Special Investigations Division and OPIA for their outstanding work to neutralize this threat and bring these alleged gang members to justice.”

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