Shareef Nash is second man arrested in Ras Baraka campaign bus arson

Shareef Nash, of South Orange, is charged with first-degree arson for hire and conspiracy to commit arson. (4/10/14)

NEWARK - Police have made a second arrest in connection with the arson of Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka's campaign bus.

Shareef Nash, of South Orange, is charged with first-degree arson for hire and conspiracy to commit arson. The bus was vandalized and burned on Feb. 16, while it was parked outside Baraka campaign headquarters.
     
Nash was a member of Shavar Jeffries' campaign. Jeffries is Baraka's only opponent in the race.

Last Friday, police arrested Michael Benkowski in the case, who is also charged with arson.

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Police say Benkowksi allegedly used a van that was registered to Nash to commit the crime.

The Jeffries camp released a statement saying, "Last Wednesday, on April 2, immediately upon learning that a warrant was issued for Michael Benkowski and that Shareef Nash might be implicated, Shavar Jeffries took decisive action, asked for and accepted the resignation of Shareef Nash."

Ras Baraka also issued a statement in response to the arrest that says, "The charging of Shareef Nash brings responsibility for the arson closer and closer to the highest levels of the Shavar Jeffries campaign. I urge our law enforcement authorities to continue their investigation in order to determine who is ultimately responsible."

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