New York
Gang Investigators Association
"The gangs of today will be the terrorists of tomorrow"

local and national news

  • Fri, May 09, 2014 7:54 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    Three men and a teenaged boy were arrested on gang assault and other charges shortly after a man who was mugged at Welker Street and Woodlawn Avenue told police they were among the seven or eight males who attacked and tried to rob him at about 9:15 p.m. Monday.

    Arrested by Fillmore-Ferry District police offices at East Ferry Street and Roehrer Avenue a short time later were Michael Midgett Jr., 20, of Woodlawn Avenue; Holiday Johnson, 18, of Brunswick Boulevard; James Black, 18, of Butler Avenue, and a 15-year-old boy.

    The victim reportedly suffered from a bloody lip, and severe swelling, bruising and pain around his right eye.

    All four suspects were charged with felony gang assault, attempted first-degree robbery, third-degree assault, menacing and harassment.

    Police reported recovering a handgun allegedly used in the incident. The victim told officers that the handgun was shoved in his face before he was repeatedly punched and kicked to the ground and his attackers went through his pockets looking for money.

  • Fri, May 09, 2014 7:54 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)
    It's been a little more than a year since Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance held a news conference to announce a multi-gang takedown in East Harlem. All but a couple of 63 people busted have been sentenced to multiple years behind bars and now the DA touts a drop in crime. Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.What families want to see is kids playing safely."If you keep to yourself, you'll do okay. Go out here looking for trouble, it will find you,” said Indira Branford.Branford has lived in East Harlem's Johnson houses for 23 years. Like others, she's noticed it's safer recently."It's less cliques of people hanging around outside with its safer coming home definitely,” said Branford.Across the street at Taft Houses, inside the People's Barber Shop."It was crazy when we first got here,” said barber Chris Johnson.Workers watch what goes on outside."Everything is good now,” said Johnson.A couple blocks down at Lehman Houses it's much the same story and the Manhattan District Attorney says that's because the people in the photos above are off the street and in prison.He says they are members of three gangs, more than 60 in total, who will spend between two and 25 years locked up for crimes ranging from attempted murder to conspiracy."I was concerned about violence between gang members that we saw spiking in various neighbor s around gang activity and I’m also concerned about gun activity,” said District Attorney Cy Vance.Vance says the gang roundup in April 2013 netted more than a dozen guns, and built cases by using data to point police at specific offenders. According to Vance, there has been a 76 percent reduction in overall shootings in East Harlem since the bust.“What we're doing I believe is working,” said Vance.Vance calls it intelligence driven prosecution. It's similar to COMSTAT started under Police Commissioner Bill Bratton in the 90's.“It's been around of over a decade but in terms of other agencies like prosecutor’s office it's relatively new it really is,” said criminal justice expert Maki Haberfeld.Haberfeld says Vance's method is a good way of working with limited resources, but cautions sometimes criminals notice the change and move.“Some people just engage in the life of crime no matter what,” said Haberfeld.
  • Tue, May 06, 2014 1:15 PM | NYGIA (Administrator)
    A member of the Bloods street gang, who began using the street name "Gotti" after being exonerated at state trials for attempted murder and murder was sentenced Monday in federal court to 15 years and 10 months on racketeering charges, officials said.

    The racketeering charges stemmed from crimes Carl Perryman committed to enhance his position in the gang, said Eastern District federal prosecutors James Miskiewicz and Grace Cucchissi. Perryman, of Rockville Centre, pleaded guilty in August to assault with a dangerous weapon, the shooting of a person he suspected of being an informant, and the shooting of a person he suspected of being a member of the rival Crips gang. Both victims survived their wounds, court papers said.

    The suspected member of the rival Crips was identified as Kelly Baldwin, who was shot after he did what was described as a "Crips dance" to taunt members of the Bloods in March 2011 by the Old Mill Court housing complex in Rockville Centre, according to court papers.

    The suspected informant was identified in court papers as John Bush, who was shot by Perryman on July 2009, also near the Old Mill Court complex, according to the papers.

    Perryman's attorney, Matthew Brissenden, of Garden City, said his client apologized to both victims before he was sentenced Monday in Central Islip by U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt. Prosecutors Miskiewicz and Cucchissi declined to comment.

    Perryman was acquitted in Nassau County Court in 2010 for the Bush shooting, court papers said. In a separate case, he was acquitted in 2009 in Nassau County Court of murdering a man identified as David Baez.

    Two witnesses to the Baez killing, who initially tied him to that crime, recanted and testified for Perryman, according to the court papers. Those witnesses were subsequently convicted of perjury and sentenced to jail, the papers said. A third witness did not appear for trial because she had been intimidated by Perryman, the papers said.

  • Sat, May 03, 2014 7:57 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)
    TROY - A person is stabbed not long after authorities announce new efforts to combat growing crime in the city.

    The Thursday stabbing happened just down the road from last weekend's shooting that injured five people.

    Not only that, it happened an hour after police and the mayor tried to send a message that this type of violence will not be tolerated.

    Fourth Street here was the scene of the shooting over the weekend -- it was also the backdrop for city officials and police this morning -- calling for an end to the violence.

    “These actions will not be tolerated and we will do everything in our power to end this apparent pattern of violence,” said Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia.

    About an hour after Rosamilia said those words, police received a call for a stabbing on River Street. The victim, a 25 year-old male, went to St. Mary’s Hospital.

    “That victim right now is being less than cooperative. They were treated there and then transferred to Albany Med with pretty serious injuries,” said Troy Police Captain Daniel DeWolf.

    Police say there's no suspect yet. However, it's that kind of violence they feel has been on the rise. Just over the weekend, five people were shot on Fourth Street when a gunman opened fire into a crowd in front of Gino's Pizza. Investigators say two of the victims were targeted in a feud between rival gangs in Albany and Troy, but the other three were innocent bystanders.

    “When you have the shooting of innocent bystanders, there are some precautions that have to be taken,” said Troy Police Chief John Tedesco.

    As part of the precautions, Tedesco and the Rosamilia say more police officers will be patrolling the streets -- especially the area of Fourth Street which is always filled with people on the weekends between midnight and 4 a.m. That's when the bars close. Police are also planning on being more aggressive in their search for those criminals.

    “If you come here and you engage in the activities like last week, you're not simply going to walk away,” warned Tedesco.

  • Sat, May 03, 2014 7:55 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)
    TROY, N.Y. – The Troy Police Department announced a grant aimed at stopping gun violence in the area on Thursday.

    Chief John Tedisco says the department will receive $300,000 from the state for a new project called GIVE, standing for Gun Initiative Violence Eradication. The chief hopes it will help stop what he calls gang violence between a gang in Albany and a gang in Troy.

    The Troy Police Department believes that a weekend shooting that injured five people, three innocent bystanders and two that were targeted, is gang related. The department says it will be removing officers from specialized units and move them out on the streets in a plan to step up foot and traffic patrols. Police say they have been working closely with Albany Police on the gang related incidents.

    "There will be money for overtime details. Intelligence measures. Investigators. So that's certainly going to support the efforts that we're putting forth here,” said the chief. "We think we can suppress a lot of what's going on. You know certainly we think the other night if the shooters had seen a number of cops here this would not have taken place and that's what we're looking to do. Right now we're in a prevention mode."

    Troy Mayor Lou Rosamillia was also at the announcement as well, and he said that the pattern of violence must stop.
  • Fri, May 02, 2014 7:38 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)
    Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) - There are more than 300 of them in New York - 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 last 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 - understanding their activities, allegiances and feuds which they glean through traditional street policing and trolling of social media sites, cell phone photos and even 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 member 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 R. 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.

    "The evidence was very powerful," said Robert Anesi, who represented a 19-year-old who pleaded guilty to attempted murder and conspiracy charges in the case last week. "They had such access to social media and they knew who the players were."

    NYPD statistics show gang arrests are up citywide nearly 14 percent from 2013 - and more than 28 percent from two years ago. Shooting incidents citywide are about the same as they were last year, with 282 recorded so far, and are down by nearly 23 percent from two years ago.

    Still, crew-related violence persists despite record dips in overall crime in New York City over the last 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's 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 diffuse connections and alliances.

    "That has really complicated this universe," Catalina said. "We went from a traditional gang problem to a crew problem and now we're morphing back into somewhat of a traditional gang problem."

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

  • Fri, May 02, 2014 7:38 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    The last thing a gang member wants to be is a snitch.

    Snitches undefined or rats, squealers or canaries undefined supply damning information to police about fellow criminals that can send them to prison for life.

    Hence, gang members are big proponents of the anti-snitching efforts that have been thwarting police investigations for years in the Capital Region.

    But that does not stop them from providing damning information by literally singing for law enforcement.

    In one of the ironies of the criminal justice system, many of the same individuals who claim to detest snitching have no problem rapping on the Internet and, in the process, giving police more information than any snitch might have provided.

    They discuss specific beefs, plans, name types of guns and, most of all, show their faces for any cop to see.

    The latest example surfaced on Friday when Jovell White-Span, 22, of Rensselaer, was charged as one of two alleged shooters in the 2013 slaying of Edward Maxim, who was not a gang member, in Albany.

    People with knowledge of the case say White-Span and co-defendant Jahmeek "Meeker" Croley of Albany, both reputed members of the Yard Boys street gang in Albany, were recruited to kill Maxim in a prearranged hit.

    Long before White-Span faced murder and conspiracy charges that carry 25 years to life in prison, the aspiring rapper created a Facebook page on which he called himself "Shooter on Deck" undefined and flashed a giant gun alongside other men flashing large guns.

    So before his first day in court, he has already identified himself as a "shooter."

    On March 25, White-Span went on Facebook to compliment the direction and editing skills of a video made in Troy he referred to as "SendinShots."

    It so happened that on YouTube, a rap video called "Sending Shots" depicted scenes from around Troy, where several rappers made various boasts and spoke of blasting guns. One of the rappers mentions his "gunners" and makes a reference to violently riding into Second Street and Lexington Avenue, where Albany "uptown" gangs are based. It appeared to be connected to ongoing violence between gangs in Albany and Troy that police in both cities acknowledge has led to an increase in shootings.

    A common theme in the back-and-forth has been that victims of the shootings have been unwilling to cooperate with police.

    But on "Sending Shots," the rappers showed their faces and went into great effort to call themselves "YGz," an apparent reference to the "Young Gunnerz" gang in Troy.

    On Feb. 4, 2013, Takim Smith, 21, known as "Tubu," of Albany, who was not involved in any gang, was lured to a Corliss Park apartment in Troy under the pretense of sex with two women and robbed and killed. The apartment where Smith was killed was considered a hangout for the Young Gunnerz.

    Even without him being involved in crime, his death led to the Troy-Albany gang violence, police say. But they also said social media undefined such as the rap videos undefined has fueled violence.

    Another video made by young rappers in Albany mocks several members of the "Gunnerz."

    Both videos are packed with hand gestures about guns.

    The trend is not entirely new. Federal prosecutions of gangs in the Capital Region have revealed rap videos that help identify various gang members and associates.

    In 2008, when police arrested three defendants in the slaying of University at Albany student Richard Bailey, two of them had rap songs posted online.

    Both later cooperated with prosecutors.

  • Fri, May 02, 2014 7:37 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    A Bronx gang leader was found guilty Tuesday of the cold-blooded killing of a 16-year-old boy, authorities said.

    Prosecutors said Trinitarios thug Carlos (White Boy) Urena was the triggerman in the 2005 murder of Ka’Shawn Phillips. The teen, who was shot in the head in Yonkers, just over the Bronx border, was also stabbed 20 times.

    “Urena walked up with a 9-mm. gun and shot Ka’Shawn Phillips right in the head,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Micah Smith said in Urena’s seven-week jury trial.

    Urena, 27, faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison, authorities said. He was convicted of various charges, including murder in aid of racketeering, racketeering and drug conspiracy. No sentencing date was immediately set.

    Ka’Shawn Phillips (pictured) was shot in the head by Carlos (White Boy) Urena and stabbed 20 times in 2005.U.S. Attorney's Office for the SKa’Shawn Phillips (pictured) was shot in the head by Carlos (White Boy) Urena and stabbed 20 times in 2005.
    U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (pictured) and his office have convicted more than 1,000 of about 1,300 people charged in 52 large-scale drug and gang takedowns since late 2009.Lombard Mariela, Freelance NYDNU.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (pictured) and his office have convicted more than 1,000 of about 1,300 people charged in 52 large-scale drug and gang takedowns since late 2009.
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      U.S. Attorney's Office for the S

      Limet Vasquez, an associate, was found guilty of racketeering, murder conspiracy and other counts.

      He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum of five years.

      The convictions are the latest obtained by the feds in a steady stream of gang takedowns.

      Last month, a Daily News review that highlighted the Phillips murder showed Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office has convicted more than 1,000 of about 1,300 people charged in 52 large-scale drug and gang takedowns since late 2009.

      “The Bronx streets are safer because of the jury’s verdict,” Bharara said Tuesday.

      Read more:
    • Thu, May 01, 2014 10:44 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)
      While councilors, the police chief and the mayor have sung their praises for the anti-violence Syracuse TRUCE program, it’s latest praise comes from someone who knows how it's supposed to work more than anyone else in the country; its creator.
      Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – While councilors, the police chief and the mayor have sung their praises for the anti-violence Syracuse TRUCE program, it’s latest praise comes from someone who knows how it's supposed to work more than anyone else in the country; its creator.

      The architect of the concept, David Kennedy, was in Syracuse to access the program and gave great reviews.

      “I'll tell you for the first time in the 30 years that I've been doing this, I actually feel optimistic,” Kennedy said.

      The program has reduced homicide rates in some cities by as much as 60 percent and in Syracuse, the number of gang related homicides and gunfire injuries have seen a decrease since the implementation of the system.

      “I don't like to talk about the results of a game until the whistle blows, but since you asked me and put me on the spot, I would say it's successful,” said Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler.

      Kennedy’s program has been launched and lauded in other cities like Boston, where the drop in gun violence was dubbed the “Boston Miracle.”

      But, Kennedy said it doesn't take a miracle for the program to be successful. It takes hard work.

      In Syracuse, a series of face-to-face meetings to offer gang members a way out, has led to 35 people seeking help through the program.

      “If you've got 1,000 gang members, you've got these face-to-face meetings and you get substantial reductions in gun violence, which looks to be what's happening in the city. That's not because 1,000 people have turned their lives around and have got to work, it's because most of these 1,000 people have simply stopped acting violently,” Kennedy said. “We don't judge this by how many people get jobs any more than how many people go to federal prison. We judge it by whether the violence changes.”

      Anyone wanting to seek help through Syracuse TRUCE can visit their new Facebook page here or call (315) 475-9712.
    • Thu, May 01, 2014 10:43 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)
      17 East has been officially locked down. Binghamton Mayor Rich David nailed the notice to the front door, this morning.

      17 East was an after-hours club at 348 Clinton St. that police say was run by the MacBallers, which is affiliated with the national Bloods Street Gang.

      Police say the establishment did not have a liquor license and was a hub for the drug trade and illegal gambling. At least two shootings also happened there.

      17 East and eight other locations were raided last month, which netted the arrest of 14 people.

      The business will be locked down for one year.

      "As part of the stipulation, Binghamton Police are able to access this property 24/7 at their convenience without notice. The locks have already been changed and the keys are in the possession of the city," said David.

      38-year-old Calvin Johnson of Binghamton operated the nightclub. However, the business was placed in his girlfriend's name while the actual building was owned by his mother who lives out of the area.

      Johnson is now a federal fugitive.

      Police Chief Joe Zikuski says police were aware of the problems at 17 East, which led to an in-depth investigation. However, it took some time to put everything together.

      "It has got to be made clear to some of the neighbors, some of the business owners, they were serving alcohol here. We knew from our informants, but you couldn't just walk in," explained Zikuski. "They wouldn't let the police in when we came here at 3 o'clock in the morning. They would open up usually after the bars close, usually very late 2 a.m. in the morning, 3 a.m. When we did the warrant at 6 o'clock in the morning, there were still three people drinking at 6 a.m. in the morning on a weekday."

      The lock down order does not impact the barbershop or several apartments in the building.
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