FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Raymond Worrall
PHONE: (201) 795-6400 Ext. 6737
DATE: Thursday, December 29, 2016
MAN CHARGED WITH WITNESS TAMPERING FACES UP TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON ON NEW CHARGES
Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has released the following information:
On December 29, 2016, Jersey City resident Laquan Clark, age 31, was arrested and charged with two counts of witness tampering in violation of N.J.S. 2C:28-5. The charges of witness tampering involved multiple posts that were made to a Facebook account in his name between Dec. 27 and Dec. 28.
Several of the Facebook posts contained videos of witness interviews conducted during a previous police investigation into a criminal street gang of which Clark is an alleged member. In April 2016, at the conclusion of the police investigation, Clark and 21 other co-defendants were arrested and he is currently under indictment for numerous offenses including Gang Criminality, Aggravated Assault, Robbery, Narcotics and Weapons related offenses. He was released on bail in this case and was being monitored with an ankle monitoring bracelet before his arrest today for witness tampering.
An investigation of the public areas of Clark’s Facebook account indicated that in the comment section attached to the postings by Clark there were threats against the lives of the persons depicted in the videos.
“Clearly this type of criminal behavior is meant to intimidate and harass any potential witnesses from co-operating with law enforcement,” said Prosecutor Suarez. “We take any interference with the criminal justice system very seriously and will prosecute this individual to the fullest extent of the law.”
Witness tampering is a first degree crime and if convicted, Clark will face up to 20 years in prison on these charges. Bail for these charges has been set at $150,000 cash only.
Prosecutor Suarez credited the Jersey City Police Department’s Major Case and Street Crimes Units for the investigation, as well as the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Gang Task Force.
The Prosecutor also thanked members of the community who immediately expressed concern about the Facebook postings and their implications to the criminal justice system in Jersey City.
The above charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. R.P.C.3.6(b)(6).