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  • Sat, October 11, 2014 9:47 PM | COREY

    Posted: Oct 11, 2014 3:02 PM EDT
    Updated: Oct 11, 2014 3:03 PM EDT


    NEW YORK (AP) - Nineteen people have been charged with selling crack cocaine in the lobbies, hallways, elevators and even playgrounds of an East Harlem public housing complex.

    Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and Police Commissioner William Bratton announced the arrests Friday. The DA's office says most of the defendants have been arraigned on drug-sale charges and pleaded not guilty. A few are awaiting arraignment.

    Their ages range from 18 to 38. Prosecutors say all lived or had family in the East River Houses development and many were affiliated with a local gang called "East Army."

    Vance notes that his office has brought 15 gang takedown cases in the past five years.

    Police statistics showed that as of early May, gang arrests citywide were up more than 28 percent from two years ago.

    Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Thu, September 04, 2014 12:11 PM | Trevor (Administrator)

    Rochester, N.Y. - A Rochester police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty Wednesday night.

    It happened around 9:25 p.m. in the area of Hudson Avenue and Warsaw Street.

    Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli said the officer was pursuing a suspect when the two began exchanging gunfire and the officer was hit.

    He was rushed into surgery at Rochester General Hospital, where he later died.

    The suspect was also shot and wounded. He was taken to the hospital and underwent surgery.

    An innocent bystander was also shot. The bystander is being treated for a non-life-threatening injury.

    Ciminelli said there are no additional suspects.

    The investigation will continue.

    Police did not release the name of the officer, the suspect or the other victim.

    More information is expected to be released Thursday.

    RPD officer killed in line of duty

  • Fri, July 25, 2014 12:09 PM | Craig

    Fourteen Bloods Street Gang Members Charged in a Federal Felony Complaint with Engaging in a Drug Trafficking Conspiracy in Binghamton
    Federal Search Warrants Executed at Nine Locations in the Binghamton, New York Area
    U.S. Attorney’s Office
    March 26, 2014

    Northern District of New York
    (315) 448-0672
    BINGHAMTON, NYundefinedUnited States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian announced that 14 members and associates of the Bloods street gang known as the “MacBallers” were charged today by way of a felony criminal complaint in federal court in Binghamton, New York, with engaging in a drug trafficking conspiracy, pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846. Federal, state, and local law enforcement teams executed arrest warrants in the greater Binghamton, New York area, as well as in New York City. Defendants will make their appearances later today before a federal magistrate judge in federal court. Additionally, law enforcement also executed federal search warrants at nine locations in the Binghamton, New York area including at the nightclub called 17 East, located at 348 Clinton Street, Binghamton, New York, which was utilized and frequented by members of the MacBallers gang.

    The investigation leading to today’s arrests and charges was conducted by members of a task force comprised of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Binghamton, New York; FBI Albany Field Office and FBI New York Field Office; Broome County District Attorney’s Office; Binghamton Police Department; New York State Police; Broome County Sheriff’s Office; Johnson City Police Department; Endicott Police Department; and the U.S. Marshals Service.

    The federal felony complaint charges that starting in September 2009 and continuing up to the present, members and associates of the MacBallers set of the Bloods street gang operated in Binghamton, New York and were responsible for distributing large quantities of controlled substances including cocaine base (crack cocaine), powder cocaine, heroin, and marijuana in the greater Binghamton area. The complaint also charges that MacBaller members utilized rental vehicles and rental apartments to facilitate their drug trafficking conspiracy in order to cook, package, store, and transport controlled substances; utilized prepaid cellular telephones to contact drug customers and gang associates, both affiliated and unaffiliated to the MacBallers, in order to distribute controlled substances; engaged in gang meetings at various locations in the Binghamton area; and utilized firearms including handguns to commit assaults and shootings and to threaten others in furtherance of the MacBallers’ drug trafficking conspiracy.

    The federal felony complaint also charges as follows as to each defendant:

    DEREK CARR, a/k/a “Jinx,” 29 years old, is affiliated to the Bloods street gang and believed to a member of the MacBallers. DEREK CARR is a close, personal associate of SAQUAN JOHNSON and supplied SAQUAN JOHNSON with controlled substances including crack cocaine and heroin. DEREK CARR communicated with SAQUAN JOHNSON regarding the cooking, packaging, acquisition, and distribution of controlled substances including crack cocaine and heroin.
    COURTNEY DOUGLAS, a/k/a “Poppy,” 32 years old, is a member of the MacBallers who received supplies of crack cocaine and heroin from SAQUAN JOHNSON, as well as crack cocaine from CHAD EDWARDS, JUAN PENA, and REGINALD SIMMONS, JR. and then distributed those controlled substances to drug customers. COURTNEY DOUGLAS communicated with other members of the MacBallers’ drug trafficking conspiracy, including SAQUAN JOHNSON, CHAD EDWARDS, and JUAN PENA regarding the acquisition, distribution, and resale of controlled substances including crack cocaine and heroin.
    LAMONT CLEMONS, a/k/a “Stime,” 39 years old, is believed to be a family relative (cousin) of CALVIN JOHNSON who transported supplies of controlled substances and distributed controlled substances on behalf of CALVIN JOHNSON. LAMONT CLEMONS also supplied SAQUAN JOHNSON with controlled substances including crack cocaine, heroin, powder cocaine, and marijuana. LAMONT CLEMONS communicated with SAQUAN JOHNSON regarding the acquisition, storage, transportation, distribution, and resale of controlled substances, including crack cocaine, powder cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.
    CHAD EDWARDS, a/k/a “Chaddy O,” 31 years old, is a high-ranking member of the MacBallers who was responsible for distributing large quantities of crack cocaine in Binghamton, New York. CHAD EDWARDS worked closely with JUAN PENA AND REGINALD SIMMONS, JR. to distribute controlled substances and shared the same cellular telephones with these individuals. CHAD EDWARDS communicated with other members of the MacBallers’ drug trafficking conspiracy, including SAQUAN JOHNSON, JUAN PENA, REGINALD SIMMONS, JR., SHARELL HOLTON, and COURTNEY DOUGLAS regarding the acquisition, packaging, and distribution of controlled substances.
    SHARELL HOLTON, a/k/a “Rell,” 35 years old, is a known controlled substances distributor in Binghamton, New York who is believed to have been supplied by members of the MacBallers’ drug trafficking conspiracy including JOHN MELVILLE, CHAD EDWARDS, JUAN PENA, and REGINALD SIMMONS, JR. She allowed members of the MacBallers’ drug trafficking conspiracy, including JOHN MELVILLE and BRIAN WEST, to utilize her residence in Endicott, New York and distribute controlled substances from her residence. SHARELL HOLTON communicated with other known members of the MacBallers’ drug trafficking conspiracy including SAQUAN JOHNSON, CHAD EDWARDS, and JUAN PENA regarding the acquisition, storage, and distribution of controlled substances as well as the collection of drug proceeds.
    LESLIE HUGHES, a/k/a “Les,” 41 years old, is a Bloods Street Gang member and a known controlled substances distributor in Binghamton, New York who supplied SAQUAN JOHNSON with controlled substances including crack cocaine. LESLIE HUGHES worked for CALVIN JOHNSON and supplied SAQUAN JOHNSON with controlled substances to include crack cocaine. LESLIE HUGHES communicated with SAQUAN JOHNSON regarding the acquisition, cooking/mixing, packaging, and distribution of controlled substances, including crack cocaine, and the collection of drug proceeds.
    CALVIN JOHNSON, a/k/a “Cal,” 38 years old, is a known controlled substances distributor in Binghamton, New York who operated the nightclub 17 East, which was utilized and frequented by members of the MacBallers’ drug trafficking conspiracy. He also supplied SAQUAN JOHNSON, LAMONT CLEMONS, LESLIE HUGHES, and others with controlled substances including crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and marijuana. CALVIN JOHNSON communicated with SAQUAN JOHNSON regarding the acquisition, distribution, and storage of controlled substances including crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and marijuana, as well as the acquisition of a handgun/firearm.
    SAQUAN JOHNSON, a/k/a “Banga,” a/k/a “Sa,” 23 years old, is a member of the MacBallers gang and is known as an enforcer/shooter who was responsible for the distribution of large amounts of crack cocaine, powder cocaine, heroin, and marijuana to other members of the MacBallers’ drug trafficking conspiracy including GERALD NORFLEET and COURTNEY DOUGLAS. SAQUAN JOHNSON was supplied with controlled substances from CALVIN JOHNSON, LAMONT CLEMONS, DEREK CARR, CHAD EDWARDS, JUAN PENA, REGINALD SIMMONS, JR., and DAYNELL ROWLAND. SAQUAN JOHNSON also communicated with other members of the MacBallers’ drug trafficking conspiracy including DEREK CARR, COURTNEY DOUGLAS, LAMONT CLEMONS, CHAD EDWARDS, SHARELL HOLTON, LESLIE HUGHES, CALVIN JOHNSON, GERALD NORFLEET, JUAN PENA, DAYNELL ROWLAND, and REGINALD SIMMONS, JR. regarding the acquisition, distribution, transportation, and cooking/mixing of controlled substances including crack cocaine, powder cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, as well as robberies, assaults, and firearms violations.
    JOHN MELVILLE, a/k/a “Flip,” a/k/a “Fat Boy,” 29 years old, is a high ranking member of the MacBallers gang. JOHN MELVILLE was known to traffic large quantities of controlled substances including crack cocaine and powder cocaine into Binghamton, New York, in order to distribute controlled substances and supply additional members of the MacBallers’ drug trafficking conspiracy including SHARELL HOLTON, CHAD EDWARDS, JUAN PENA, and REGINALD SIMMONS, JR.
    GERALD NORFLEET, a/k/a “G,” 55 years old, purchased controlled substances from SAQUAN JOHNSON and distributed controlled substances including crack cocaine. Additionally, he collected drug proceeds derived from controlled substance sales on behalf of SAQUAN JOHNSON AND LAMONT CLEMONS. GERALD NORFLEET also provided transportation for SAQUAN JOHNSON in order to facilitate drug transactions in furtherance of the MacBallers’ drug trafficking conspiracy. GERALD NORFLEET communicated with SAQUAN JOHNSON regarding the acquisition, packaging, and distribution of controlled substances, and the collection of drug proceeds derived from the sales of controlled substance including crack cocaine.
    JUAN PENA, a/k/a “John John,” 30 years old, is a high ranking member of the MacBallers who was responsible for distributing large quantities of crack cocaine. At one time, JUAN PENA also paid CALVIN JOHNSON an amount of United States currency to control and operate various illegal gambling games at CALVIN JOHNSON’S nightclub 17 East. JUAN PENA also communicated with other members of the MacBallers’ drug trafficking conspiracy including SAQUAN JOHNSON, CHAD EDWARDS, REGINALD SIMMONS, JR., SHARELL HOLTON, COURTNEY DOUGLAS, and others regarding the acquisition and distribution of controlled substances.
    DAYNELL ROWLAND, a/k/a “Daylo,” 31 years old, is a suspected member of the MacBallers who resides in Syracuse, New York, and was responsible for supplying SAQUAN JOHNSON and others with large amounts of controlled substances including marijuana and heroin. DAYNELL ROWLAND introduced SAQUAN JOHNSON to his (DAYNELL ROWLAND’S) heroin supplier residing in the New York City area so SAQUAN JOHNSON could obtain large quantities of heroin directly from this individual. DAYNELL ROWLAND also expressed a desire for SAQUAN JOHNSON to become his main heroin distributor in Binghamton, New York. DAYNELL ROWLAND communicated with SAQUAN JOHNSON regarding the acquisition, cooking, packaging, and distribution of controlled substances and the collection of drug proceeds derived from the sales of controlled substances.
    REGINALD SIMMONS, JR., a/k/a “Reg,” a/k/a “Moe,” 30 years old, is a member of the MacBallers who was responsible for distributing large quantities of crack cocaine. REGINALD SIMMONS, JR. worked with JUAN PENA AND CHAD EDWARDS to distribute controlled substances and shared the same cellular telephones with them for the purpose of distribution of controlled substances. REGINALD SIMMONS, JR. also communicated with other additional members of the MacBallers’ drug trafficking conspiracy including SAQUAN JOHNSON, JUAN PENA, CHAD EDWARDS, SHARELL HOLTON, and COURTNEY DOUGLAS regarding the demand, acquisition, packaging, and distribution of controlled substances.
    BRIAN WEST, a/k/a “West,” 27 years old, is a member of the MacBallers who was responsible for distributing large quantities of crack cocaine. BRIAN WEST trafficked controlled substances into the Binghamton, New York area with JOHN MELVILLE and who supplied other members of the MacBallers’ drug trafficking conspiracy including SHARELL HOLTON, CHAD EDWARDS, JUAN PENA, and REGINALD SIMMONS, JR. BRIAN WEST also utilized SHARELL HOLTON’S residence to distribute controlled substances.
    If convicted, each defendant faces an imprisonment term of at least 10 years and up to life.

    All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.

  • Sun, July 20, 2014 8:16 AM | Trevor (Administrator)

    Three alleged gang members have been charged in the death of Tyrone Arthur, a 38-year-old Yonkers man who was fatally shot while attending a candlelight vigil for a friend.

    Da'Quan Johnson, aka "Bloody" or "Buddha," James Johnson, aka "Jimmy," and Kenneth Moore, aka "Doogie," were all named as suspects in the indictment unsealed Thursday in federal court, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

    Da'Quan Johnson, 23, and James Johnson, 22, both of Yonkers, and 24-year-old Moore, of Mount Vernon, are members of the GMF gang, a street-level gang operating near the Schlobohm Housing Project in Yonkers, Bharara said.

    On the evening of Dec. 27, gunshots were fired by a rival gang near the area of Palisade Avenue and Elm Street in Yonkers, territory authorities said the GMF gang claims as their own.

    Da'Quan Johnson and Moore are accused of traveling with other gang members to Highland Avenue and Jackson Street, ground held by their rivals, and firing into a crowd gathered at a candlelight vigil for a motorcyclist killed in an earlier bike accident. At 10:17 p.m. Arthur was shot in the chest. He died later that night at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.

    Da'Quan Johnson, who was arrested Thursday in Yonkers, and Moore, who was arrested in Georgia and presented in Atlanta federal court, have each been charged with conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death.

    James Johnson, who also was arrested Thursday in Yonkers, is accused of hiding the murder weapon after the shooting. He was charged with being an accessory after the fact to the murder.

  • Sun, July 20, 2014 8:15 AM | Trevor (Administrator)

    Derrick Yancey became the 39th member or associate of the 10th Street Gang to be convicted Wednesday.

    Yancey, 27, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to taking part in racketeering conspiracy.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi said Yancey admitted driving fellow 10th Street Gang members on Sept. 15, 2008 to shoot rival 7th Street Gang members standing outside on Busti Avenue. He said Yancey was behind the wheel when his fellow gang members shot and killed Omar Fraticello-Lugo and injured two others.

    Yancey’s plea is the result of an investigation by the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Buffalo Police and New York State Police.

  • Sun, July 20, 2014 8:11 AM | Trevor (Administrator)

    Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A training session was held Tuesday to aid social workers in identifying gang-related material.

    This session was deemed necessary by officials, who told Action News they believe gang presence is high in Broome County

    Keeping kids safe was a topic of discussion during the training.

    "What the social workers might look out for, and the advice they can give parents, as far as if they think their kid is becoming involved in a gang," said Captain of Broome County Correctional Facility Kevin Moore.

    Another topic was how to keep workers safe, through preparation and identification.

    "How you identify gang members, through colors, through clothing, tattoos, graffiti," said Staff Development Specialist at Child Protective Services Roger Weston.

    According to last year's annual report from the Broome County Sheriff's Office, the jail housed inmates with various gang affiliations including the Bloods, Crips and Latin Kings.

    These gangs are found in various areas of the community, where social workers operate on a daily basis.

    "We want to make sure they have the best training possible, in terms of what they might be encountering and how to keep themselves safe," said Director of Child Protective Services Julia Hepworth.

    In order to continue to keep themselves safe, officials told Action News that better understanding is necessary.

    "There are all these tidbits and facts and things that you hear about,” added Weston. “But he [Captain Moore] gave a better scope to the problem, and to the complexity of gangs."

    There have been 1,056 inmates confirmed as gang members in the past 14 years.

    Law enforcement said they hope trainings will continue to educate those who may find themselves in danger.

  • Sun, July 20, 2014 8:08 AM | Trevor (Administrator)
    NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

    A 13-year-old girl whom police called a “known gang associate” was shot and wounded in Brooklyn late Tuesday, police said.

    The girl was with a group of people on St. Mark's Ave. near Saratoga Ave. in Brownsville when an opposing crew approached them about 11:45 p.m., police said. After a brief dispute, an unknown gunman opened fire, hitting the girl in the forearm, police said.

    She was rushed to Kings County Hospital in stable condition.

    Police were investigating the shooting and combing over two bikes left at the crime, scene but made no immediate arrests.



    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/girl-13-shot-forearm-brooklyn-article-1.1868619#ixzz380fu311R
  • Thu, June 19, 2014 9:14 PM | Craig

    By Freeman staff
    POSTED: 06/19/14
    KINGSTON >> Death threats, witness accounts and surveillance video amount to sufficient evidence to support the conviction of a conspirator in the gangland killing of Charles “C.J.” King Jr. in 2010, a state appeals court ruled Thursday, according to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office.

    Jermaine “Maino” Nicholas, 26, who was convicted of felony conspiracy on Oct. 11, 2011, after a jury trial, appealed the conviction, claiming “hearsay statements of his co-conspirators, which included numerous jail calls, should not have been admitted into evidence at the trial because the prosecution could not sustain a conspiracy case without those hearsay statements,” DA Holley Carnright said.

    Nicholas was one of seven people tied to the 2010 shooting death of King in Midtown Kingston.

    In its decision, the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, Third Department, unanimously affirmed the conviction, refuting Nicholas’ claims regarding hearsay statements and his contention that “police lacked probable cause to arrest him without a warrant in his home,” Carnright said.

    The decision noted that prior to Nicholas’ arrest, Amanda “Blazer Bitch” Miller had given statements to police indicating Nicholas called her phone to alert the gang members to King’s whereabouts and that a tenant in Nicholas’ apartment consented to the police entry to find Nicholas the morning after the killing.

    King, 21, was gunned down in February 2010 on Cedar Street in Kingston in an execution-style hit that authorities said was planned from inside the Ulster County Jail by Jarrin “Phat Boy” Rankin because King was a prosecution witness in a case against Rankin.

    Rankin, a member of the Sex, Money, Murder gang, a subset of the Bloods, had been charged with shooting Crips gang member Curtis “Black” Williams in the face in November 2009 on Henry Street in Midtown Kingston undefined a shooting that King witnessed.

    In the weeks following Rankin’s arrest, Rondy “Ski” Russ attempted to locate King, who had testified in grand jury proceedings against Rankin and was expected to testify against him at trial. In mid-January 2010, Russ threatened King’s father, compelling him to disclose C.J. King’s whereabouts, authorities have said.

    Russ subsequently was jailed for a probation violation, and authorities said Trevor “Little T” Mattis, Rankin’s half-brother, took over the gang’s efforts to track down King.

    On Feb. 9, 2010, Mattis fatally shot King in the back of the head after Nicholas summoned Mattis and Gary “G-Money” Griffin to a deli on Cedar Street where King was seen.

    Mattis and Griffin both were convicted of first-degree murder and are in prison for life, with no chance for parole.

    Nicholas is serving a 25-year prison sentence as a result of his convictions in this case and will be eligible for parole in 2031.


  • Fri, May 09, 2014 7:57 AM | Trevor (Administrator)

    Several reputed Bloods gang members accused of drug trafficking in Binghamton have been indicted on similar charges in the Bronx.

    After a two-year joint investigation prompted by shooting incidents, Bronx County prosecutors on April 9 charged 63 gang members and associates known as “MacBallas” in a 109-count indictment. Among them: John Melville, Chad Edwards, Juan Pena and Brian West, who had been arrested March 26 and charged by federal prosecutors in Binghamton with drug trafficking.

    The Bronx County indictment charges multiple counts of conspiracy to traffic in illegal narcotics, such as heroin, crack cocaine, powdered cocaine, and the prescription drugs Oxycodone and Percocet, prosecutors said. Gang members were involved in drug sales in the Bronx, Chelsea, East Harlem, Manhattan’s Lower East Side and Binghamton, prosecutors said.

    Bronx County prosecutors declined to comment on specific alleged criminal activity for defendants in their case. The criminal conspiracy dates to 2009.

    “Our indictment is separate, but it is related to the case by the U.S. Attorney,” said Melvin Hernandez, a spokesman for the Bronx County district attorney, in a statement. “Our investigation is continuing, and additional arrests are expected.”

    Court papers related to the federal case provided details of the defendants’ alleged roles in Binghamton-area drug trafficking.

    Edwards, 31, of Binghamton, was the suspected leader of the gang’s Binghamton group, and Melville, 29, of the Bronx, was a high-ranking gang member based in the Bronx who delivered the Binghamton group “high volume” quantities of drugs, court papers said.

    Pena, 30, of Binghamton, was a close friend and associate of Edwards and ranked second-in-command of the Binghamton group, and handled money-related issues, court papers said. His Binghamton residence was also a suspected storehouse for drugs.

    In addition to drug trafficking, the 63 accused gang members charged in the Bronx are charged with conspiring to commit two murders, four attempted murders, a kidnapping, several assaults, home invasion robberies and burglaries, as well as criminal possession of firearms on numerous occasions, prosecutors said. Those incidents allegedly took place in the Bronx and New York City area.

    According to authorities, the Bloods gang started on the streets of Los Angeles during the 1970s and have since spread to include separate sets around the country.

    In Binghamton, the gang’s activities came under the notice of law enforcement in March 2012. Federal prosecutors said the Binghamton gang used firearms including handguns to commit assaults, shootings and to threaten others as part of the drug trafficking conspiracy.

    While police documented multiple drug transactions involving the Binghamton-area defendants during the investigation, federal prosecutors charge drug possession in generalized amounts: at least 280 grams of crack cocaine, 5 or more grams of cocaine, 100 grams of heroin, and 100 kilograms of marijuana.

    The Binghamton investigation ended March 26, with 14 arrests and arraignments in federal court.

    In April, Binghamton city officials also shuttered 17 East, a nightclub on Clinton Street that investigators said was a center for the gang’s criminal activities.

    The Bronx County charges are punishable by up to 25 years in state prison.

    If convicted of the federal charges, the defendants could be sentenced to a minimum of 10 years and a maximum term of life behind bars.

  • Fri, May 09, 2014 7:56 AM | Trevor (Administrator)

    NEW YORK (AP) undefined There are more than 300 of them in New York undefined violent crews of dozens of 12- to 20-year-olds with names such as Very Crispy Gangsters, True Money Gang and Cash Bama Bullies.

    Police say these groups, clustered around a particular block or housing project, are responsible for about 40 percent of the city's shootings, with most of that violence stemming from the smallest of disses on the street, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

    "It's like belonging to an evil fraternity," said Inspector Kevin Catalina, commander of the New York Police Department's gang division. "A lot of it is driven by nothing: a dispute over a girl or a wrong look or a perceived slight."

    The trend of smaller, younger crews has also been seen in Chicago and Northeast cities over the past few years as police have cracked down on bigger, more traditional gangs, experts said. While the Bloods, Crips and Latin Kings still exist, operating such money-making schemes as drug-dealing, their members are usually older and understand the timeworn mantra of organized crime: Violence is bad for business.

    Not so for the crews, whose recklessness prompted former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly in 2012 to launch an initiative to confront the crews dubbed Operation Crew Cut.

    Investigators now focus on gathering intelligence about specific crews undefined understanding their activities, allegiances and feuds, which they glean through traditional street policing and trolling social media sites, cellphone photos and recorded jailhouse calls.

    Police have also stepped up arrests of the most active crew members. In Manhattan, prosecutors set up an internal email alert system that notifies them when crew members are arrested, even on minor charges, and provides beyond-the-rap-sheet details for bail arguments. The prosecutor might mention that the person was a suspect in another crime or had made threats on Facebook, for instance.

    In a recent case in Harlem, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. says a 2009 killing kindled years of vendetta attacks, including three killings and 30 shootings. Sixty-three people were rounded up, and at least 62 entered guilty pleas, including crew members so young that one told another to "mob up" after school.

    Crew-related violence persists despite record dips in overall crime in New York City over the past few years. The most notable recent case came in March when investigators say a 14-year-old member of the Stack Money Goons shot a .357 revolver at a rival member of the Twan Family on a crowded bus in Brooklyn. The bullet instead killed an immigrant father who was working two jobs to support his family.

    "When you ask young adults, 'Why? Why did you shoot that young man?' probably 80 percent of the time the answer is: He disrespected me," said Kai Smith, an ex-con-turned-businessman who runs a gang diversion program in city high schools.

    Smith works with students who have been arrested at least once, forcing them to define what disrespect means through exercises and role-playing.

    Jamal Williams, 18, a high school junior, says he has been affiliated with crews and gangs since he was 9, though he's trying to turn his life around. "A crew to me is a family," he said. "They are going to be there for me like my parents was never there for me."

    As more crew members are locked up, investigators are noticing a trend of crew members shifting affiliations behind bars, emerging as a sort of hybrid gang-crew combination with diffused connections and alliances.

    "That has really complicated this universe," Catalina said.

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