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November 2, 2005
1:30 PM (Eastern Standard Time)

District of New Jersey
Deputy U.S. Marshal Mike Schroeder (973) 390-7307, or
U.S. Marshals Public Affairs, (202) 307-9065


Newark, NJ -- Gang member Rakeem Baskerville’s flight from justice ended abruptly at 8:00 this morning in an Edgewood, Maryland apartment complex. Wanted on charges of murder and drug distribution in Newark, New Jersey, Baskerville was surprised when a team led by Deputy U.S. Marshals demanded entry into the apartment. Refused entry, the team rammed open the door and confronted Baskerville. He was quickly subdued and placed into custody. The arrest occurred in the 800 block of Fisherman Lane in Edgewood, northeast of Baltimore.

New Jersey authorities believe that Baskerville, a member of the notorious “ET-Hak gang, was involved in the murder of a prosecution witness last year. He was added to the U.S. Marshals 15 MOST WANTED list in August. Baskerville, 31, was captured by Deputy U.S. Marshals from the Districts of New Jersey and Maryland, bolstered by officers from the Baltimore Police Department, the Newark, NJ Police Department, the Prosecutors Office of Essex County, NJ, and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI.

The arrest occurred after a period of surveillance at the suspected location, and a perimeter around the complex was established. A female was located in the apartment and was questioned and released. Baskerville admitted his identity and was transported to U.S. District Court in Baltimore, where he will have an initial appearance before a federal magistrate today.

On March 1, 2004, a prosecution witness to a homicide was slain in a hail of bullets during a drive-by shooting in Newark. Newark police believe Baskerville pulled the trigger in the slaying. He faces charges for murder and firearms violations.

A federal grand jury in Newark also indicted Baskerville, and other gang members, on charges brought by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Those charges include a five-year drug conspiracy involving the distribution of kilogram quantities of cocaine and heroin, laundering the illegal proceeds through the purchase of luxury automobiles and jewelry, firearms violations, and allegations that members of the organization threatened, intimidated and arranged to murder persons whom they believed were cooperating with law enforcement.

“U.S. Marshals have a long tradition of helping local police get fugitives like Rakeem Baskerville off the street and in front of a judge,” said Acting Director John Clark of the U.S. Marshals. “It’s our experience that when such individuals are on the run, they can become an even greater menace to society.” New Jersey Marshal James Plousis said Baskerville has a violent criminal history, including five felony convictions for aggravated assault, robberies, firearms and drugs. “I have not seen a fugitive who was potentially more dangerous to the citizens of New Jersey than this gang member,” he said.

Baskerville’s wanted poster, and original wanted release, are on the U.S. Marshals website, www.usmarshals.gov .