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


  • Fri, May 02, 2014 7:37 AM | Site (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 | Site (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 | Site (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.
    • Thu, May 01, 2014 10:42 AM | Site (Administrator)

      Marlon Johnson Jr., 25, of Kenmore, was sentenced Friday to 48 months in prison for possession of a firearm.

      Johnson was an associate of the Bailey Boys Gang, federal prosecutors said, and his sentencing by Justice William Skretny was the latest development in a series of federal actions aimed at the gang. A total of 10 alleged members and associates of the Bailey Boys have been indicted on racketeering charges, including multiple murders, attempted murders, robberies and narcotics trafficking, prosecutors said.

      Buffalo police arrested Johnson in December 2011 after they responded to a call on Emerson Street. He ran from the area but was taken into custody inside a residence on Glenwood Avenue. Officers searched a garbage tote next door and found a loaded .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol with a defaced serial number. Johnson admitted later admitted that he stole the gun from another individual.

      The Buffalo police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI participated in the investigation.

    • Thu, May 01, 2014 10:42 AM | Site (Administrator)

      Damone Holcombe, 28, the last of the five members of Buffalo’s former Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation street gang to be convicted, pleaded guilty Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio to possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance.

      U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr., said the Grant Street resident now faces a prison term of up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine at his sentencing shortly by U.S. Chief District Judge William M. Skretny.

      In the midst of a crackdown on the Almighty Latin street gang, Erie County sheriff’s deputies found a 7.62mm semi-automatic rifle, a digital scale with cocaine and marijuana residue and a bag of marijuana in Holcombe’s trousers pocket when they raided his Grant Street home on Sept. 21, 2011. Federal agencies assisted in the crackdown, Hochul said.

    • Thu, May 01, 2014 10:40 AM | Site (Administrator)

      The NYPD has finally rid Times Square of the annual post-New York Auto Show gang-initiation violence that plagued the area for years, police sources told The Post on Tuesday.

      Bloods and Crips took to Facebook and Twitter to alert fellow gang members that there were too many cops in the area this year and to stay away, the sources said.

      “It was pretty much dead. It was really quiet this year,” said one source, noting that it felt “like Disneyland.”

      Detectives from the NYPD’s Intelligence Unit, which monitors social media, learned that the crew members were instead going to congregate in Coney Island, Brooklyn, following the show, the sources said.

      And gang violence erupted in a McDonald’s on Mermaid Avenue at around 11 p.m. Sunday. One man was stabbed to death while another was seriously wounded in the knife attack, cops said.

      A law-enforcement source told The Post there were other gang attacks across the city that night, but no confirmed assaults linked to crew members in Manhattan.

      Another factor in the decline of Times Square violence is that the show closed at 7 p.m. this year rather than 9 p.m. as in past years, the sources said.

      “They’re not as drunk and they usually go home,” one source said.

      Three gangbangers were shot and 54 arrested in Times Square on Easter, 2010.

    • Thu, May 01, 2014 10:37 AM | Site (Administrator)

      HARLEMundefinedThe last two defendants arrested as part of a takedown of 62 people in three violent East Harlem gangs have pleaded guilty to conspiracy and attempted murder charges, prosecutors said Thursday.

      Using statements made by the 62 defendants on social media and recorded phone calls from Rikers Island, members of East Harlem crews, Air It Out, True Money Gang and Whoadey were implicated in three murders and more than 30 shootings, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said.

      Gabriel Shelton and Sean Terrell Jr., both 19, were members of Whoadey, prosecutors said. Shelton pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. Terrell pleaded guilty to attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

      With these last two pleas, all 62 people arrested as a result of the 3 1/2-year investigation have pleaded guilty. Shelton and Terrell will be sentenced on June 3 and face up to 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison.

      The crews used hundreds of Facebook and Twitter posts and text messages to sell firearms and plot the murders of their rivals.

      "They were responsible for terrorizing the East Harlem community, engaging in a bloody gang war that claimed the lives of at least three teenagers and were responsible for dozens of shootings," Vance said in a statement.

      The three crews operated around Johnson Houses, Taft Houses and Lehman Houses where violence spiked in the 23rd Precinct as two of the crews, True Money Gang and Whoadey, united against Air it Out.

      From October 2009 to April 3, 2013 there were seven homicides, 46 non-fatal shootings, and 17 reports of shots fired within the 23rd Precinct. From April 2013 to March 31, 2014 there have been two homicides, three non-fatal shootings, and no reports of shots fired.

      "It's made a huge difference," said Deputy Inspector Eric Pagan, the commanding officer of the 23rd Precinct.

      But with 11 public housing developments in the area comprising 95 buildings, Pagan said the goal is to not become complacent.

      He said he has officers, both uniformed and plain clothes, focusing on pockets where crimes such as robbery jump. Anytime a juvenile is listed on a complaint, an officer from the precinct pays a visit to the family.

      "Ninety-five times out of 100 there is a way to help these kids, we just have to find it," Pagan said.

      Vance has targeted the youth crews since taking office, issuing 12 indictments against 13 gangs.

      The Rev. Vernon Williams of Perfect Peace Ministries works with young people in Harlem to prevent gang violence. He said the aggressive prosecutions and convictions have made remaining gang members "uneasy."

      "They don't want to see 25 or 30 years in prison. They are not as ready to go for the gun," Williams said.

      The goal now is to reach the 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds who are at risk. Williams' group is partnering with other organizations around Harlem to reach children as early as possible to steer them away from gangs.

      Williams said he's also continuing to advocate for the funds necessary to fight the problem.

      "We are encouraging grassroots and other community groups to keep fighting because if you leave it, the problem will lay dormant for a minute and then go back to what it was," Williams said.

      "At the end of the day we are not fighting against children who act badly, we are fighting against poverty, which is behind all the situations in these young people's lives causing them to act out."

    • Thu, May 01, 2014 10:26 AM | Site (Administrator)

      SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A Syracuse street gang member who was the driver in a drive-by fatal shooting of a star athlete was sentenced today to 20 years in prison.

      U.S. District Judge Norman Mordue imposed the sentence on Habakkuk Nickens, 28, who pleaded guilty last year for his role in the V-NOT gang, which used violence to control its drug-trafficking business on the city's south side.

      Habukkak Nickens.JPGHabakkuk Nickens

      Federal prosecutors have identified Nickens as one of the two leaders of the gang. But he denies any leadership role.

      Under federal sentencing guidelines, Mordue could have sentenced Nickens to more than 30 years in prison. But the judge cited the work that Nickens did in the community to try to turn teens away from violence and gangs after Nickens distanced himself from the V-NOT gang.

      Nickens founded Help Breakdown Silence in 2011 and held community events aimed at putting young people on the right path, according to court papers filed by his lawyer, William Sullivan.

      In January 2012, the group gave away hats and gloves to children at "The Man in the Mirror Event." It included skits aimed at discouraging violence and drug use. One skit was entitled "Death Become Us," according to a flier that Sullivan filed with the court.

      Federal prosecutors have said Nickens formed the non-profit group only as an attempt to prepare for his defense to the racketeering charges.

      Mordue said he received 31 letters from people, many of them jail inmates, praising Nickens for his spiritual guidance. Nickens formed a bible study group at the Cayuga County Jail, Sullivan wrote in court papers.

      Nickens wrote two books in jail that he hopes to publish someday, Sullivan wrote. One was "Book of Habakkuk," which is the story of his life "with Bible references which illustrate how to transition to a better life," the court papers said. The other was a children's book with parables, Sullivan wrote.

      Nickens admitted he was the driver in the Nov. 26, 2010, drive-by fatal shooting of Kihary Blue. Nickens pulled up alongside a a car known to be used by rival Bricktown gang members on Interstate-81 and V-NOT leader Kahari Smith opened fire.

      Blue was not a member of a street gang, but was with four Bricktown gang members in the car, police said.

      Blue, 19, was a star football and basketball player at Henninger High School before he graduated in 2009.

      Two days after that shooting, Bricktown member Saquan Evans targeted the wrong gang for retaliation. He fired into the parked van of 110 Gang member Rashaad Walker Sr., killing his toddler son, Rashaad Walker Jr., who was in a car seat.

      The gang members were arrested in May 2012 by the Syracuse Gang Violence Task Force.

    • Fri, December 20, 2013 8:21 PM | Deleted user
      Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal By Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal Follow on Twitter

      on December 20, 2013 at 7:44 PM, updated December 20, 2013 at 7:48 PM

      A reputed West Coast gang member wanted for murder in California was arrested in Weehawken yesterday by Hudson County sheriff’s officers, authorities said.
      After six hours of surveillance, Donovan Blair Johnson, 22, of Los Angeles, was arrested on Fulton Street at 10:30 p.m. by sheriff’s officers and FBI agents who were working on a tip, a sheriff's office report says.
      Johnson was wanted in connection to the Aug. 27 shooting in which a 16-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man were gunned down on a Los Angeles street, a police report says.
      Authorities say he fired an AK-47 in a gang-related retaliation shooting. Two more men, 19 and 18, were wounded, the report says.
      After conducting surveillance at an apartment building on Fulton Street Thursday, sheriff's officers entered the building and searched and apartment, but did not find Johnson.
      While searching the area around 10:30 p.m., officers were approached by a man and they ordered him across the street because of the investigation, a report says.
      The man told the officers he lived in the building and when he identified himself as Donovan Johnson, he was arrested, a report said.
      Police in Los Angeles believe the double-murder was retaliation for the shooting death of a gang member by a rival gang.
      Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari praised the work of his officers, as well as the FBI agents and law enforcement in Los Angeles.

      © 2013 All rights reserved.
    • Wed, November 13, 2013 3:45 PM | Site (Administrator)
      A member of the MS-13 street gang has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the drive-by killing of a rival gang leader and the attempted murder of another rival, officials said.

      Yonis Acosta-Yanes, 27, of Glen Cove, was sentenced to the maximum term for racketeering conspiracy on Monday in federal court in Central Islip by U.S. District Judge Joseph Bianco, officials said.

      Acosta-Yanes' attorney, Lloyd Nadel of Mineola, had asked for a sentence of 17 years, requesting leniency for his client. Acosta-Yanes, who was born in El Salvador, was raised and attended school in an impoverished area of Glen Cove that was "rife with interracial violence and gang problems," Nadel said Tuesday. On one occasion his client's jaw was fractured and on another his hand was broken and his scalp lacerated, Nadel said. Acosta-Yanes did not comment before the sentencing, Nadel said, who added that his client is considering an appeal.

      When he pleaded guilty to the racketeering charge in March, Acosta-Yanes admitted he was the driver in a car that was involved in the killing of Santos Castillo-Martinez in Hempstead in May of 2008, according to court records. Castillo-Martinez was a leader of the Hempstead clique of the rival 18th Street gang, the records said.

      Castillo-Martinez was sitting in his car on Washington Avenue when Acosta-Yanes drove alongside in a minivan and another MS-13 member sitting in the passenger seat fired a fatal shot to the head of the 18th Street leader, the court records said.

      The investigation into who did the actual shooting is continuing, officials said.

      The 18th Street leader, Castillo-Martinez, had been talking to an unidentified leader of a third street gang, Salvadorans With Pride, or SWP, according to the court records, which were filed by Eastern District prosecutor John Durham.

      Shots also were also fired at the SWP leader, but he fled the scene unharmed, Durham said.

      Seven months later, in October 2008, Acosta-Yanes and other MS-13 members were en route to kill another unnamed rival gang member when their car was stopped by officers from the Nassau County and Garden City police, Durham said in the court papers.

      In the car, police found a loaded .380-handgun, which led to Acosta-Yanes' second guilty plea for racketeering, according to the records.

      Since 2010 prosecutors, working with the FBI's Long Island Gang Task Force, have convicted more than 30 members of the MS-13 on charges relating to their participation in one or more murders, Eastern District spokesman Robert Nardoza said Tuesday.

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