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Essex County Sheriff’s Office


August 21, 2018

Contact: Sheriff Armando Fontoura (973) 621-4105

 Newark – A reputed member of the Crips street gang was arrested last night and multiple weapons charges were filed against him.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that detectives from his department’s Bureau of Narcotics teamed with officers from the Newark Police Division’s Special Enforcement Bureau to conduct quality of life patrols in the city’s 4th police precinct in response to recent shootings and open-air drug trafficking in the area of South 17th Street and 14th Avenue.

“As the task force drove past a townhouse, located at 450 South 17th Street, at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, an individual, later identified as Isaiah Ketchens, 25, walked away from a large crowd of people who had gathered there.” Sheriff Fontoura said.  “Ketchens walked right in front of our unmarked cruisers, forcing them to come to a stop.  As he strolled across the street, our officers could clearly see the handle of a gun protruding from his pants pocket.”

Ketchens opened and entered a parked 2008 Honda Pilot but one of the detectives prevented him from closing the door and starting the car.

“With the entire task force now having descended upon the vehicle, an intense struggle to take full control of Ketchens ensued,” Fontoura noted.  “During the skirmish with the suspect, our officers discovered that he was carrying a second weapon in a fanny pack that was worn across his chest.”

Ketchens was forcibly removed from the vehicle and handcuffed.

“The two weapons, a .40 caliber, Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun, loaded with hollow point ammunition, and a .25 caliber, Phoenix Arms semi-automatic handgun, were seized,” the sheriff noted.

Ketchens was charged with two counts of the unlawful possession of a weapon and one count each of possession of prohibited devices (hollow point bullets) and resisting arrest by violence.

Ketchens was also found to be the subject of an open warrant issued by the Durham County (NC) Sheriff’s Office for probation violation and a warrant issued by the Newark municipal court for contempt.

The suspect was lodged at the Essex County jail where he awaits a bail hearing on Monday’s charges.