DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES TAKEDOWN OF 14 MEMBERS OF VIOLENT STREET GANG

DA: Part of Comprehensive Initiative to Break-Up Gangs Terrorizing Neighborhoods With Shooting and Drug Dealing Most Serious Offenders Face Life in Prison

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced indictments of 14 members of a violent criminal street gang on charges including charges of conspiracy to commit narcotics and weapons offenses, and in the case of certain individual defendants, charges of attempted murder, attempted assault, firearms possession, and narcotics sale. Five of the defendants are charged with Conspiracy in the First Degree, a class A-1 felony. With the others, each defendant is also charged with Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony. [1] The defendants are expected to be arraigned today in New York County Supreme Court, Part 93, before the Honorable Edward J. McLaughlin.

“This type of violent street gang terrorizes the hardworking residents of our City who ask for no more than a safe place to raise their families,” said District Attorney Vance. “These defendants are young, they’re armed and they have made our streets unsafe for too long. Through our intelligence-driven prosecution model, we were able to build a case that focused on both individual acts of gang violence, as well as on the broader criminal conspiracy, including narcotics sales and illegal firearms possession, which were the trademark of these gang members. Together with the New York City Police Department, we will use every tool at our disposal to bring down these organized criminal groups.”

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: “While overall crime is currently down 12 percent in Patrol Borough Manhattan North, one crime there is one too many - and when it happens - it is frequently linked to drug and gang activity. That’s why today’s indictments are so important to law-abiding residents, and reflect well on the good work of prosecutors and police alike.”

The defendants were members of two of Manhattan’s violent criminal street gangs, “2 Mafia Family” (2MF or 2DEEP), and “Goons on Deck” (G.O.D), according to the indictment filed by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Members of these two gangs joined together as the “137th Street Crew” to operate a profitable crack cocaine operation on West 137th Street between Lenox and Seventh Avenues.

The 137th Street Crew, armed with semi-automatic handguns, is charged with conducting its illicit narcotics trafficking business in the shadow of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, within feet of the Mother AME Zion Baptist Church, and directly across Lenox Avenue from a pediatric clinic run by Harlem Hospital Center. Gang- and narcotics-related violence regularly spilled into the surrounding residential, cultural and commercial neighborhood, from West 135th Street to West 140th Street, which includes the Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy, the Harlem YMCA, and the Thurgood Marshall Academy public charter high school.

According to the indictment, in addition to the possession and sale of crack cocaine, the defendants conspired to possess semiautomatic handguns, revolvers and ammunition to maintain their dominance of the geographic area in Central Harlem, which was controlled by the 137th Street Crew, and to discourage incursions by rival street gangs. The defendants exploited the underground market for illegal handguns, and over the course of the last two-and-a-half years possessed 9-millimeter semiautomatic handguns with high-capacity magazines, 380-caliber semiautomatic handguns, 25-caliber semiautomatic handguns, and 32- and 38-caliber revolvers. The 137th Street Crew members and their associates used violence, including shootings, beatings and robberies, to protect their narcotics trafficking business, to enhance their own status within the gang, and enhance the gang’s street credibility with rival street gangs. According to documents filed in court, violence was also used by the gang against its own members and associates to discourage them from providing information about the gang to law enforcement authorities, and to retaliate against members, associates, and adversaries for having provided information about the gang to law enforcement.

The defendants are also charged with recruiting adolescents under 16 years old to hold and transport their firearms, including several which belonged to the group as a whole. Adolescents under the age of 16 were also recruited into gang activity, including shootings, gang assaults and robberies, and were used to transport and sell crack cocaine. The defendants also recruited female associates to transport loaded firearms, to reduce the likelihood of the firearms being detected by law enforcement. Some proceeds from the crack cocaine sales were used to support incarcerated gang members through payments to their commissary accounts.

According to the indictment, gang members - including incarcerated members - continually provided each other with intelligence about police activity and enforcement efforts in and around West 137th Street. They shared news of the activities of the 137th Street Crew, the arrests of its members and associates, acts of retributional violence against members and associates of rival street gangs, and acts of violence committed by members of rival street gangs against members and associates of the 137th Street Crew, including shootings, robberies, assaults and homicides.

District Attorney Vance is prosecuting this case, with Assistant District Attorneys Christopher Prevost and Christopher Ryan, Chief of the District Attorney’s Office’s Violence Criminal Enterprises Unit. In addition, DANY Deputy Chief Investigator Richard Bellucci, Supervisory Rackets Investigator Mark Stewart, Senior Rackets Investigator Reginald Barometre, and VCE Investigative Analysts Ellen Sise, Jonathan Taber, and Charles Bennett have assisted on this case.

District Attorney Vance thanked the NYPD, particularly members of Manhattan North Narcotics: Inspector Kenneth Cully, Deputy Inspectors Kevin Catalina and James Klein, Capt. Kevin Radday, Lt. Anthony Ronda, Sgts. Matthew Reid and Martin Toczek, and Det. Angus MacKenzie.


Defendant Information:

JAQUAN LAYNE, a/k/a “Jay Cash,” a/k/a “Jay,” D.O.B. 8/7/1990
New York, NY
Charges:

Conspiracy in the First Degree, a class A-I felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C violent felony, 2 counts
Conspiracy in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JONATHAN HERNANDEZ, D.O.B. 1/18/1992
New York, NY
Charges:

Conspiracy in the First Degree, a class A-I felony, 1 count
Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, a class B violent felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Attempted Assault in the First Degree, a class C violent felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JEFFREY BROWN, D.O.B. 9/22/1991
New York, NY
Charges:

Conspiracy in the First Degree, a class A-I felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

DASHAWN DAVIS, a/k/a “Rock,” D.O.B. 10/14/1990
New York, NY
Charges:

Conspiracy in the First Degree, a class A-I felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

TYRONE GIBBS, a/k/a “Tata,” D.O.B. 5/12/1992
New York, NY
Charges:

Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C violent felony, 1 count
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

PIERCE GROSS, D.O.B. 11/3/1992
New York, NY
Charges:

Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JAHLYL LAYNE, a/k/a “Lyl,” D.O.B. 1/18/1993
New York, NY
Charges:

Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

MALIK LAYNE, a/k/a “Zab,” D.O.B. 3/24/1992
New York, NY
Charges:

Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

HABIYB MOHAMMED, D.O.B. 11/21/1979
New York, NY
Charges:

Conspiracy in the First Degree, a class A-I felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

AFRIKA OWES, D.O.B. 1/7/1994
New York, NY
Charges:

Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C violent felony, 2 counts
Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JAREL ROBINSON, a/k/a “Rel,” D.O.B. 7/24/1993
New York, NY
Charges:

Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JAZEKE SAMUELS, a/k/a “Zeke,” D.O.B. 6/25/1993
New York, NY
Charges:

Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

BRANDON SANTIAGO, a/k/a “Monk,” D.O.B. 11/14/1993
New York, NY
Charges:

Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

LOUIS WILLIAMS, a/k/a “Lou Money,” D.O.B. 2/13/1994
New York, NY
Charges:

Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

A class A-1 felony is punishable by up to life in prison, a class B violent felony is punishable by up to 25 years in prison, a class C violent felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, a class D felony is punishable by up to 7 years in prison, and a class E felony is punishable by up to 4 years in prison.

[1] The charges contained in the indictments are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Comments

Popular Posts