The self-proclaimed leader of the Midtown Mafia street gang operating in the city was arrested during a raid here this week, police announced on Thursday.
Jaquan Nichols, 21, was taken into custody at his residence on Griffith Street Wednesday afternoon, police said, still in his long underwear and screaming "you'll never take me alive!"
Police said quantities of cocaine, marijuana, drug distribution paraphernalia, $3,416 cash and a loaded assault weapon were seized in the bust.
Detectives searched a second location attributed to Nichols and recovered an additional $7,405 in cash on Thursday, authorities noted.
Nichols is an alleged member of one of the city's identified gangs, mostly comprised of young men and teenagers, that is apparently affiliated to the larger Bloods organization.
"The arrest of Nichols will have a significant impact in the reduction of violent crime and drug distribution in the City of Salem," said county Chief of Detectives Ralph Padilla.
Nichols faces 13 drug and weapons-related offenses, including possession of an assault firearm and high capacity magazine as well as possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute within 500 feet of a publicly-owned building.
He was also charged under a new criminal statute made effective in 2008 called gang criminality, which relates to an individual involved in a criminal street gang committing a firearms crime. It is a first-degree offense, according to Padilla.
Nichols is the first person to ever be charged with this offense in Salem County, police said.
Thanks to Randall Clark
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