TO: ALL NEWS MEDIA
FROM: PROSECUTOR GURBIR S. GREWAL
DATE: FEBRUARY 2, 2017
Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. GREWAL announced today the arrests of TAHREF FOLKES (DOB: 01/14/91) and BRIANA D. SAMPLER (DOB: 05/08/93) both of 36 Oakland Street, Englewood, New Jersey. The arrests are the result of a continuing joint investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Sheriff’s Office and Englewood Police Department named "Operation Safe City". The operation, initiated approximately six months ago, focused on the rise of gun violence in the city of Englewood, New Jersey this past year, and was a collaborative law enforcement initiative undertaken by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Robert ANZILOTTI, the Englewood Police Department under the direction of Chief Lawrence SUFFERN, and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office under the direction of Sheriff Michael SAUDINO.
Based on intelligence gathered by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office’s Intelligence Unit as well as other sources, law enforcement officers focused their efforts on resolving open shooting cases, as well as targeting violent criminal activity and narcotics offenses in and around Englewood, in an effort to prevent future shooting incidents.
Between the dates of April 2015 and January 2017, there were reportedly thirty- one shootings within the city of Englewood. As a result of the initial investigation in October 2016, law enforcement arrested twenty-one individuals for various offenses, including three defendants who were charged with attempted murder and firearm possession. In total, 10 search warrants were also executed in October 2016; those warrants resulted in the recovery of 7 illegally possessed firearms and a quantity of marijuana and cocaine, as well as the recovery of United States currency.
As the investigation continued, TAHREF FOLKES was identified as a person of interest in several of the shootings. As a result, a search warrant was executed on FOLKE’S residence located at 36 Oakland Street, Englewood, New Jersey on February 2, 2017. As a result of the search, detectives were able to locate and seize two loaded firearms, one of which included an AR-15 style assault rifle, along with numerous rounds of ammunition and high capacity magazines. The investigation of FOLKES is ongoing and more charges are expected.
TAHREF FOLKES was charged with the following:
3 counts of Possession of large capacity ammunition/magazine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3J, a crime of the 4th degree;
1 count of Possession of an assault rifle in violation of N.J.S.A.2c:39-5f, a crime of the 2nd degree;
1 count of Possession of a handgun in violation of N.J.S.A.2c:39-5b, a crime of the 2nd degree;
2 counts of Possession of a weapon by a convicted felon in violation of N.J.S.A 2c:39-7b, a crime of the 2nd degree;
1 count of Escape in violation of N.J.S.A.2c:39-5a, a crime of the 2nd degree;
2 counts of Endangering the welfare of a child, in violation of N.J.S.A.2c:24-4a, a crime of the 3rd degree;
1 count of Resisting Arrest, in violation of N.J.S.A.2c:29-2a, a crime of the 4th degree.
The search also resulted in the seizure of CDS and drug paraphernalia which yielded criminal charges against BRIANA SAMPLER for distribution of CDS and narcotics paraphernalia.
BRIANA SAMPLER was charged with:
1 count of Possession of CDS, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2c:35-5a, a crime of the 4th degree;
1 count of Distribution of CDS within a school zone, in violation of N.J.S.A.2c:35-7a, a crime of the 3rd degree;
1 count of Endangering the welfare of a child, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2c:24-4a, a crime of the 2nd degree;
1 count of Possession of drug paraphernalia, in violation of 2c:36-3, a crime of the 4th degree.
Prosecutor Grewal states that the charges against the defendants are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and would also like to thank the Englewood Police Department, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, the Paramus Police Department, and the Tenafly Police Department for their assistance with this initiative.