June 28, 2018
Three Convicted in Incident with Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Detectives
Newark — Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that an Essex County jury has convicted three individuals who were involved in an incident with Essex County Prosecutor’s Office detectives during which a gun was recovered.
Following a trial before the Honorable Arthur Batista, Judge of the Superior Court, Khalif Williams, 29, of Newark was found guilty of unlawful possession of a weapon and obstructing the administration of law. Afrika Islam, 22, and Bria Bush, 19, both of Newark were also found guilty of obstructing the administration of law. A fourth defendant, Rana James, 21, of Newark, who was also indicted, remains a fugitive.
According to Assistant Prosecutor Donna Cameron, who tried the case, the charges arose from an incident that occurred on Dec. 6, 2016. Two detectives assigned to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force pulled over a car for a motor vehicle violation in the area of West End Avenue and Plymouth Avenue in Newark. As they approached the vehicle to inform the driver of the violation, one of the officers observed and alerted his partner of a gun in the car.
As a result of the detectives being outnumbered, two individuals were able to flee but were captured shortly thereafter. While fleeing the scene, Williams was observed discarding the gun in a neighboring backyard. The gun was recovered and all four individuals were placed under arrest.
“Detectives Rahsaan Johnson and Phillip Reed exercised great restraint in this very tense and dangerous situation ” according to Assistant Prosecutor Cameron, “I thank the jury for their service and just verdict against these defendants.”
An Essex County jury convicted three of the defendants. James remains at large.