SOUTH BRUNSWICK — At least four of the seven reputed gangsters charged in a bloody series of crimes through Middlesex and Camden counties this fall were ex-cons who had been released from prison — some of them just months before the crime spree.

The crimes involved an attempted carjacking in September in Monmouth Junction and an October gas station robbery that left an attendant critically injured after being shot.

In addition to several shootings, a stabbing and robberies in New Brunswick, authorities also linked the gang to the fatal shooting of a 30-year-old Lawnside man in Camden on Nov. 28.

“The random nature and level of violence this gang of suspects committed is extremely rare for our community,” township Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said Wednesday in announcing the charges.

Anthony “Smoke” Pinson, 25, of the Franklin Park section of Franklin, and Paul “Munch” Sexton, 21, of New Brunswick, were each charged in seven of the eight crimes linked to the gang.

Pinson had been released from state prison in March after serving five years on robbery, burglary, theft, weapons and conspiracy charges.

Pinson was charged with attempted murder and conspiracy in a Sept. 7 shooting on Throop Street in New Brunswick. Sexton was charged with conspiracy.

The pair is charged with robbery and conspiracy in the Sept. 10 robbery of a gas station on French Street in New Brunswick. Also charged with robbery and conspiracy are Danique “Biz” Simpson, 24, of South Plainfield, and Ashley Stewart, 24, of Piscataway.

Simpson had been released from state prison in October 2016 after serving less than five years on two robbery and one gang recruiting charges.

Shaheed “Gleese” Wroten, 22, of New Brunswick, is charged with Pinson and Sexton in the Sept. 16 attempted carjacking on Beachwood Court in the Monmouth Junction section.

Pinson and Antoine “Wax” Williams, 30, of Newark, are charged with three counts of attempted murder after three people were shot Sept. 19 on Throop Avenue in New Brunswick. Sexton also was charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

Williams had served less than five years in state prison on reckless manslaughter and weapons charges. He was released August 2016.

Pinson and Sexton are charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the Oct. 15 shooting on Delavan Street in New Brunswick in which nobody was injured. Wroten is charged with attempted murder.

Two hours after that shooting, on Route 27 in South Brunswick, a BP gas station attendant was shot. Pinson is charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Wroten is charged with armed robbery and conspiracy. Sexton, Simpson and Stewart are charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and receiving stolen property.

Darnell “Badass” Konteh, 25, of Camden, and Wroten are charged in the Oct. 26 stabbing on George Street in New Brunswick with armed robbery, conspiracy and aggravated assault.

Konteh also is charged in the Nov. 28 shooting death of Stanford Brown on Atlantic Avenue in Camden. Pinson is charged with attempted murder.

Konteh had been released from prison in April after serving three years on two heroin-dealing charges.

Pinson, Sexton and Konteh were arrested Nov. 29 after New Brunswick police pulled over Pinson’s car with an arrest warrant in hand. Police say they found illegal weapons in the vehicle and Sexton was charged with drug possession.

Most of the suspects face a long list of weapons offenses in connection to the other crimes, including possession of a so-called community gun, which is a firearm used by a gang in a crime.

New Jersey 101.5 did not know Wednesday whether any of those charged had attorneys who could speak on their behalf.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email

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