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

local and national news

  • Wed, August 24, 2016 1:39 PM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A man who was shot and wounded early on Tuesday morning in Stapleton is a gang member with 39 arrests to his record, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.

    The 32-year-old man -- who likely was shot a few blocks away on Broad Street and then went to Tessa Court -- has a gunshot wound to the thigh and is in stable condition at Richmond University Medical Center in West Brighton, an NYPD spokesman said.

    The man is on parole until 2020 and has 39 arrests -- most of them sealed -- dating back to 1999, the source told the Advance. 

    "He is very well known to the department," said the source about the man's interactions with the NYPD.

    Police have made no arrests in the shooting and have no description of the suspect or suspects, said a police spokesman. The victim isn't cooperating with police in their investigation.

    Officers initially responded at about 12:22 a.m. Tuesday on Tessa Court. The man's age was originally posted as 22-years-old.

  • Tue, August 23, 2016 1:38 PM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Families are in mourning after three people were murdered in Buffalo in just three days. Buffalo Police told News 4 the violence has been mostly gang related. They’re asking witnesses to come forward with information.

    On Saturday morning, Buffalo Police said 25-year-old Shakila Cottrell was shot and killed on Shumway St. during a street party. The next morning, around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, two brothers were shot on Schreck Ave., 39-year-old Earl Parker died.

    On Monday evening, a 24-year-old man was shot and killed on Plymouth Ave. Buffalo Police have not released his name yet.

    Police told us it’s too soon to know if the crimes are related.

    There have been nine homicides in just the last month. Thirty people have been killed this year.

    Buffalo Peacemakers Program Coordinator, Pastor James Giles said there has been a spike in gang activity over the last six weeks.

    “We call it ‘flaming on’,” he said. “It’s when they begin to ride around and look for targets and then respond to that by shooting at people.”

    Giles said there are also new criminals in Buffalo.

    “We have new players coming in, we have people shooting that we’ve never heard of before,” said Giles. “When I know it’s that gang, when I know it’s that group, it’s easy for us to respond, to go over there and get this stuff squashed. But now we have new players coming into the arena, making a name for themselves.”

    Giles also told News 4 the people being targeted has changed.

    “It’s really staggering, the bullets are not caring whether you’re a male or female,” he said. “Now they are targeting females so it’s getting a little scary.”

    Buffalo Police data shows 30 people have been killed this year. Twenty-seven of those crimes are still under investigation.

    The number of homicides has increased since last year.

    By Aug. 23, 2015 there were 18 homicides. A total of 42 people were killed by the end of the year and 23 of those cases are still under investigation.

    Buffalo Police told us witnesses are slower to come forward in gang related crimes.

    “For a lot of these crimes we have evidence and we have an idea who may or may not have committed them, however, a lot of these cases require corroborating evidence from witnesses and people who can come forward and help us to do identifications, as well as help us to make arrests,” said Lt. Jeff Rinaldo, with the Buffalo Police Department.

    Lt. Rinaldo asks anyone with information to call Buffalo Police to help them solve these homicides. The tip line number is 847-2255.

  • Fri, August 19, 2016 1:38 PM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- July was a busy month for Buffalo police. Last month police recorded more than 30 shootings, four of which were fatal.

    Stop the Violence Coalition president Murray Holman says that's just part of the story.

    "You know a lot of the shootings are not being reported that can play a role, but what I'm seeing now is new characters, new gang members," Holman said.  

    Holman thinks the spike can be traced to younger and younger people getting pulled into gang activity.     

    "We don't have the resources and I'm seeing new players," he said. "I'm not seeing the same average, OG (original gangsters) is like 18-years-old in gangs. Now I'm seeing 12 and 13-year-olds, we mentioned before, they're growing up now, and it only takes a fist fight for them to retaliate and raise mayhem."

    "You know when you have these young men who are 20-25-years-old who feel as though maybe that their best avenue to get a dollar is to deal drugs or to runs guns or those types of things, those are the wrong messages," University District councilmember Rasheed Wyatt said.

    Wyatt thinks more has to be done to break the cycle.

    "I think it really has to boil down to: how do we engage our young people, how do we help them with job training, job readiness, so they can have jobs," Wyatt said. "Because, I just can't say more police or more activities will be the things that's going to save them, because the young men in some of these problems are young people who have had problems with the law not one or two times but many times."

    Mayor Brown say he is concerned about the spike, but says overall crime is down and he believes that trend will continue.  

    "Overall crime is still down in the city of Buffalo, something that we're pleased with," Brown said. "Over the last ten years crime has been trending downward and has dropped from every previous year."

  • Thu, August 18, 2016 1:37 PM | NYGIA (Administrator)


    BUFFALO (AP) — The leader of a Buffalo street gang has been sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for his role in four murders and seven attempted slayings during a 12-year period.

    The U.S. Attorney's Office says 30-year-old Efrain "Cheko" Hildalgo was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Buffalo, where he was convicted of conspiracy and discharging a firearm during a violent crime.

    Prosecutors say Hildalgo was a member of the Cheko's Crew-7th Street Gang that committed violent acts and sold cocaine, heroin and other drugs on Bufffalo's West Side between 2000 and 2012.

    Authorities say he admitted to his role in the murders of four people, including two brothers were gunned down inside their apartment in November 2004. Prosecutors say the people he attempted to kill included four rival gang members.

  • Tue, June 07, 2016 10:50 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Closing arguments were postponed until Wednesday in the murder trial for one of the suspects accused in the mass shooting outside the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester last summer.

    Johnny Blackshell, Jr., 21, is accused of shooting seven people, killing three of them, outside the Genesee Street facility on August 19.

    On Tuesday, defense attorneys for Blackshell said they wanted to bring in a 17-year-old witness who was reportedly near Genesee Street that night.

    Judge Randall granted the defense a 24-hour window to bring in the witness and sent the jury home for the day.

    Raekwon Manigault, along with Johnny Johnson and Jonah Barley, were killed that night. Four others - Billy Williams, 26, Carey Bradley, 19, Anthony Jones, 24, and Carl Canty, 29 - were also shot and injured.

    Last week, Blackshell's girlfriend at the time of the shooting testified that the shooting was in retaliation for another shooting at a friend's house earlier in the summer.

    Two others charged in the case - Jalen Everett and Michael Mathis - will stand trial separately.

  • Fri, June 03, 2016 10:58 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    Rochester, N.Y. - For the first time since the mass shooting outside the Boys and Girls Club on August 19, 2015, a possible motive has been revealed.

    As testimony continued in the Johnny Blackshell, Jr. trial Friday, a key witness took the stand. Blackshell's former girlfriend Tatiana Starling testified that he confessed to the shooting the same night it happened. Starling said Blackshell had taken her car. She said she tried to call him about eight different times with no answer, and when he finally picked up he told her he was in the middle of something.

    Starling told the court she heard about on the shooting on Facebook before she saw Blackshell.

    She said she thought it could be him because she knew he had an AK-47. A few weeks earlier, on July 29, 2015, Starling said she, Blackshell and Ramel Robinson went to a home on Lake Avenue. She said she was driving, and stayed in the car as Blackshell and Robinson burglarized the home. "They brought out a long gun safe put it in the backseat," said Starling on the stand. She said Blackshell later showed her the AK-47 that was inside.

    Starling testified, following Blackshell's confession, she asked him why. She said he told her it was because some kids in the area had shot up a friend's house.

    "You know, it is powerful testimony; we have Ms. Starling to put the 'why' out there. Everybody always wants to know why," said Assistant Monroe County District Attorney Perry Duckles.

    The night of the August 19th, Starling said she helped Blackshell get rid of the shell casings, throwing them down a sewer grate on Laser Street in Rochester.

    "He had to get rid of the gun," said Starling, who saw it in the trunk.

    She said they drove to Clay Avenue, found an abandoned home and parked in the back. Blackshell got out and hid the gun. She testified that when she asked him where it put it, he told her he put it under the porch.

    "Her testimony kind of pulls everything together in a lot of different ways," said Duckles.

    Less than a week after the shooting, Starling said Blackshell knew he would be arrested. While driving to Eastview Mall with Blackshell and two others, Starling testified that he said, "It's over, it's over, they found the gun."

    Later that day, Starling met with investigators.

    During cross-examination, defense attorney Joseph Damelio focused on Starling's criminal history. She is still in custody.

    They also pointed out more than once that Starling made a deal with the D.A.'s office in exchange for her cooperation.

    Testimony continues on Monday, and could wrap up next week.

  • Wed, June 01, 2016 11:02 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    Rochester, N.Y. - Testimony continued Wednesday in the trail of a man accused of murder in the mass shooting on Genesee Street.

    Johnny Blackshell Jr. is charged with murder in the crime spree which killed three men and injured three others outside of the Boys and Girls Club.

    The courtroom heard from police investigators and technicians who found the AK-47 rifle linked to the murders and ammunition at a house on Clay Avenue. They also found other evidence belonging to Blackshell in a car police say was used in the killings.

    Family members of the victims have been in court throughout the trial.

    They told 13WHAM that it's difficult to re-live what happened.

  • Thu, May 12, 2016 11:00 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    Rochester, N.Y. - One of the three men accused of shooting seven people outside the Boys & Girls Club in Rochester last summer will stand trial Monday.

    On Thursday afternoon, a judge ruled that Johnny Blackshell, Jr. will not stand trial with his two co-defendants who are also accused in the mass shooting.

    Michael Mathis and Jalen Everett will be tried for the crimes, as well. However, it is not yet clear if they will be tried together or separately.

    Blackshell, 21, and Everett, 20, were each indicted on three counts of first-degree murder, six counts of second-degree murder, four counts of first-degree assault, one count of second-degree assault, and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

    Mathis, 18, was charged with murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

    On August 19, Blackshell, Mathis and Everett were allegedly inside a car in which at least one person opened fire, killing three people and wounding four more people.

    Raekwon Manigault, Johnny Johnson and Jonah Barley were killed in the shooting. Police said the victims injured in the shooting were Billy Williams, 26, Carey Bradley, 19, Anthony Jones, 24, and Carl Canty, 29 - all of Rochester.

    Jury selection begins Monday for Blackshell's trial. That trial could last up to one month.

  • Tue, May 03, 2016 9:11 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    A Houston man has admitted he helped supply cocaine to a notorious East Side gang.

    Earl Brown Sr., 54, pleaded guilty to drug and money laundering charges, conceding he regularly provided multiple kilograms of cocaine – drugs that eventually made their way to Buffalo’s LRGP gang, according to federal authorities.

    Brown’s guilty plea was announced Thursday by U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr.’s office.

    Brown supplied cocaine to Franklin Richards – described by authorities as a major supplier to the LRGP gang. The cocaine was either shipped or transported by Brown from Texas. Richards pleaded guilty in March 2013 to federal charges of cocaine distribution.

    Richards distributed the drugs to Dewayne Gray, the leader of the LRGP gang. Gray took a plea deal in March to racketeering conspiracy and admitted he was in charge of a gang connected to two murders. Those were the 2009 killing of Andre Anderson and the 2011 killing of Amir Chambers.

    LRGP stands for Lombard, Rother, Gibson and Playter, the streets that bounded the area where the gang operated.

    According to authorities, Gray processed much of the cocaine into crack cocaine, which gang members sold in the Broadway-Fillmore Avenue area on the city’s East Side.

    Brown also admitted to money laundering. Authorities confiscated $112,000 at Buffalo Niagara International Airport in December 2012. That money was drug proceeds headed to Brown in Texas.

    Brown pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo. He was arrested with seven other defendants, all of whom have been convicted, authorities said.

    His plea wraps up an investigation involving the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Buffalo Police, State Police and Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police.

    When Brown is sentenced Aug. 3, he faces between 10 years and life in prison.

  • Tue, May 03, 2016 9:10 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

     A reputed Brooklyn gang member was held without bail on drug charges after federal prosecutors produced chilling photos from his Instagram account suggesting he was preparing to avenge the murder of his best friend.

    Nigel (Freaky) Sandy was seeking release on bail Wednesday — a day after the NYPD released a surveillance video depicting a “person of interest” in the April 20 fatal shooting of Harold (Buttah) Culler.

    Sandy and Culler were allegedly members of a violent street gang called the Yung Gunnerz based in Bushwick, and both were co-conspirators in the heroin trafficking case, according to papers filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.


    Culler, shot in the face and body on Hancock St., was Sandy’s best friend, as well as a “close gang ally.”

    Nigel (Freaky) Sandy (r.) was seeking release on bail a day after the NYPD released a surveillance video depicting a possible suspect in the fatal shooting of Harold (Buttah) Culler.

    Nigel (Freaky) Sandy (r.) was seeking release on bail a day after the NYPD released a surveillance video depicting a possible suspect in the fatal shooting of Harold (Buttah) Culler.

    Investigators monitoring Sandy’s Instagram account became alarmed by comments he posted three days after the slaying in which he expressed a desire for revenge.

    “(Sandy) posted a photograph of himself and Culler in which the defendant is giving the middle finger and Culler is intimating that he has a gun in his hand,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lindsay Gerdes and David Pitluck said in court papers.


    “The defendant captioned the photograph: 'Mood: Pic explains it all ... eat a’ and the defendant used an emoticon, or graphic symbol of a gun,” the prosecutors noted.

    Sandy, 29, was arrested Monday on charges of transporting kilos of heroin from New York to Maryland.

    The prosecutors told Magistrate Judge Vera Scanlon that Sandy could easily make good on retaliation because he has access to firearms.

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