Syracuse, NY - The last of 14 Bricktown gang members charged in connection with several murders, drug trafficking operations and robberies in Syracuse admitted to their crimes today in federal court.
Saquan Evans, 23, admitted to shooting four rival gang members on Nov. 7, 2010, and killing a 20-month-old baby while attempting to kill a rival on Nov. 28 of the same year.
Evans was convicted in 2012 in Onondaga County Court for the drive-by shooting of baby Rashaad Walker and is currently serving a state prison sentence for the murder.
Read more about the Rashaad Walker Jr. killing.
Evans also admitted to being involved in a shooting around 1300 South State St. on Nov. 7, 2006. Part of his plea involved admitting to possessing gang paraphernalia including a detailed gang roster, writings, drawings, photos, rap lyrics and clothing, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
Ernest Hester, 24, admitted to shooting at three people in the 500 block of West Colvin Street on April 2, 2005; possessing ten bags of crack cocaine after being shot in the 100 block of Beard Avenue on Oct. 19, 2006; and actively participating in the stabbing of four people inside a Denny's restaurant on Erie Blvd. East on Jan. 30, 2011.
Both defendants also conceded to possessing guns.
An additional plea requirement involved Evans and Hester admitting in U.S. District Court to Bricktown gang activities such as:
- Maintaining specific geographic territory within Syracuse in which only gang members could sell crack cocaine, cocaine and marijuana
- Protecting the exclusive crack distribution territory with violence if necessary
- Obtaining drug suppliers from New York City and elsewhere
- Projecting a violent attitude and responding to violence with violence in order to preserve their stature in the gang
- Occasionally using hand signs, wearing blue colored bandanas and having tattoos that signify gang membership
- Using criteria such as willingness to use violence, ability to sell drugs and familial connections to determine membership
- Routinely carrying and using firearms in connection with gang activity
The Bricktown Gang territory was defined in the indictment as extending from Burt Street on the north to East Colvin Street on the south, and from South State Street on the west to Interstate 81 on the east.
This prosecution resulted from a long-term investigation conducted by the Syracuse Gang Violence Task Force, which is comprised of agents and detectives from the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (Syracuse Office), the Syracuse Police Department, the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department, the New York State Police, and the U.S. Marshals Service. The Onondaga County District Attorney's Office also assisted.
Evans and Hester are scheduled to be sentenced in December. Each faces up to life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to five years of supervised release following any period of incarceration.