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  • 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.

  • Fri, April 22, 2016 8:36 AM | Anonymous

    A Brooklyn man who authorities described as a member of the Sex, Money, Murder street gang was sentenced to 15 years in state prison Friday for firing a handgun at a woman in Midtown Kingston in October 2014.

    Ulster County Judge Donald Williams sentenced Riis “Flea” Silver, 22, to the maximum sentence allowed by law, saying that despite the advantages of a supportive well-educated family, God-given intelligence and athletic prowess and being father to “a beautiful child,” Silver chose a life of violent crime and gang involvement.

    “I see people every day in this court who don’t have those gifts ... those God-given grants of intelligence, family, athleticism and a child,” said Williams. “That makes what you did more tragic. You have no excuse for your behavior.”

    After a three-day trial in Ulster County Court, Silver was convicted of two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment.

    Authorities said Silver fired seven shots from a .40-caliber semiautomatic weapon at the vehicle of a woman with whom he had had a relationship. Although the woman wasn’t struck, the vehicle she was driving was hit five times.

    The sentencing followed a hearing during which Assistant Public Defender MariAnn Connolly tried to convince Williams that Silver was not a gang member.

    Asked by Williams what Silver’s “SMM” tattoo symbolized, Connolly, after conferring with her client, said “Strength, Morality, Motivation.” Testimony during trial was that the tattoo stood for Sex, “Money, Murder.”

    Williams also asked what the Silver’s five-pointed crown tattoo signified. Although the tattoo is known to be the symbol of the Latin Kings street gang, Connolly said her client indicated it stood for “King of Basketball. King of Brooklyn.

    Connolly also said Silver didn’t recall filing a form with the Ulster County Jail indicating that he was affiliated with the Bloods.

    Williams, though wasn’t buying it.

    “You are clearly a member of the Sex, Money, Murder subset of the Bloods street gang,” said Williams.

    He said Silver fired at the woman because “she was dissing you in front of your friends, probably your fellow gang members.”

    He said the woman confronted Silver about stealing money that she had set aside for rent and “she embarrassed you, dissed you, humiliated you and your street cred.”

    William said that when Silver was asked why he shot at the woman, Silver responded, “it’s a cold world.”

    “It’s a cold world, sir, and you’re going to get a real flavor of that today,” Williams said.

    On July 15, 2015, Silver pleaded guilty in Delaware to heroin sales and weapons possession. He was serving a four-year sentence on those charges when he was extradited to New York in September to face charges in Kingston.

  • Thu, March 10, 2016 10:12 PM | Anonymous


    Brandon Haugabook died because of a bloody gang feud.

    It was July of 2009, at the corner of Townsend Street and Paderewski Drive, and Haugabook, only 19 at the time, was in the company of a female friend.

    The man who murdered him, a member of the now dismantled Johnny Rounds Gang, said he targeted Haugabook because he considered him a rival gang member.

    “I made some bad decisions in life,” DeMario Stewert told U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

    Skretny sentenced Stewert to 18 years in prison Thursday.

    At the time of Haugabook’s murder, Stewert and the rest of the Rounds Crew were feuding with a rival gang, LRGP, located just a few blocks away in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood.

    Stewert pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy but, as part of his plea deal, admitted shooting and killing Haugabook. He said he considered Haugabook a member of LRGP and shot him because of his affiliation with the rival gang.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel L. Violanti said Stewert came from a strong supportive family and yet turned to a life on the streets and a gang that eventually led him into a life of drug dealing and violence.

    “That’s the sad part of this case," Violanti said.

    Investigators from the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force say the Rounds Crew controlled marijuana sales in the neighborhood for years and used violence to protect its turf from rival drug dealers.

    Johnny Rounds, 36, the acknowledged leader of the East Side gang, has admitted taking part in three murders and will face a recommended sentence of up to 25 years in prison when Skretny sentences him.

  • Thu, November 05, 2015 7:50 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

     BUFFALO, NY: Two young men were killed in a hail of gunfire while sitting in a parked car on Fillmore Avenue, Buffalo police said.

    “One of the victims from last night’s homicide suffered 11 gunshot wounds and was still able to get out of the car and ask for help,” a police source said.

    A passer-by drove Norman Fullenweider, 19, of Buffalo to Erie County Medical Center, where he died Saturday, police said.

    Jermaine Moss, 21, of Buffalo was found dead in the parked car.

    The killings marked the third and fourth homicides in nine days related to conflicts among street gangs, police said. The names of the victims were released late Saturday.

    What is known is that Fullenweider and Moss were parked in a car in the 1200 block of Fillmore Avenue and one or more gunmen opened fire on them at about 6:10 p.m., police said.

    “We believe they are gang members and this was gang-related,” a second police source said.

    “They were sitting in a Pontiac Grand Am when they were shot. One of them died at the scene and the other, who suffered multiple gunshots, died later.”

    A week ago Thursday, 29-year-old Jonathan Jones was killed in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood.

    Police arrested 15-year-old Avonte Works on Monday and charged him with second-degree murder for that killing.

    Police said the teen shot Jones at 8:15 p.m. Oct. 22 in a parking lot in an area of Fillmore Avenue and Peckham Street.

    Works’ family and acquaintances said he was defending himself against area gang members who were attacking him.

    Authorities continue to investigate the killing, but have confirmed the incident was gang-related.

    Last Monday afternoon, Joseph Daniels, 18, was shot at Broadway and Woltz. He was later pronounced dead at ECMC. A second person shot with Daniels was later released from the hospital. Police are still looking for that killer.

    As for the latest shooting, homicide detectives continue to search for the killer or killers. Anyone with information can call the police confidential tip line at 847-2255.

  • Thu, November 05, 2015 7:48 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

     A Valley Stream man has been arrested in the April shooting deaths of two men outside the funeral of a Brooklyn gang member.

    Two funeral-goers died and four others were wounded in the shootout, which officials said was sparked by a 20-year-old beef between mourners at the Emmanuel Church of God on Flatbush Avenue near Foster Avenue in Kensington.

    Mourners had gathered for the funeral of José “Cheo” Robles, a member of the Bloods gang, law-enforcement sources said at the time.

    Celestine allegedly sparked the violence by confronting Sharieff Clayton, 40, who was sent to jail for manslaughter in 1994, sources told The Post.

    Clayton shot back, “You better get out of here; there’s going to be trouble!”

    Celestine then allegedly left the church and returned in a silver car, fatally pumping a bullet in Clayton’s abdomen, police sources said.

    Ronald Murphy, 44, of Brooklyn dove in front of his wife, Taisha, to shield her from the flying bullets — and was fatally struck in the chest, law-enforcement sources said.

    Murphy had not been an intended target, officials said.

    Two other men and two women were wounded in the gunplay.

    One of the women was Murphy’s wife, despite her husband’s heroics, law-enforcement sources said.

    Still, he may have saved her from more serious injuries, they said.olice on Friday arrested Pierre Celestine, 35, charging him with murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

  • Thu, November 05, 2015 7:47 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

     BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After two more fatalities from gun violence in Buffalo which claimed the lives of two young men, ages 19 and 21, community members are speaking out about increasing tensions between numerous neighborhood gangs.

    “We now have a very good insight of what’s about to happen,” said Pastor James Giles, the coordinator for the Buffalo Peacemakers. “It doesn’t look good. It’s very ugly.”

    The Buffalo Peacemakers are a community group that goes out into neighborhoods, establishing relationships with members and hoping to curb violence and crime.

    “It saddens us that we couldn’t muster whatever is required to get to them; to save them,” said Pastor Giles about the most recent group of young victims. He recalls looking into the eyes of each victim who has died in the last few weeks; remembering moments he shared with them.

    Pastor Giles says there are around 35 murders that have happened in Buffalo so far this year, a number that is slightly down from this time last year.

    He has a real fear though that four of the most recent murders are all connected.

    “You’re seeing some of the retaliations from some of that stuff that’s being done,” said Pastor Giles who adds that these young men involved in the gangs are looking for money and turning to robbing each other which is part of the reason tension is running high right now.

    He said the only way to curb that rising tension is to get into the neighborhoods and meet with these members. The hard part is, according to Pastor Giles, these gangs members are getting younger and younger, now in the early teens, and the pastor said sometimes it is too late to build strong relationships with them because they’re already getting into trouble.

    “If we had enough resources, we could address the problems were having,” said Pastor Giles. “The violence is an outcry of something else.”

    The Peacemaker coordinator said all of these connected murders happening to young men he knows in neighborhoods he frequents concerns and saddens him and everyone in these communities.

    “They’re [these gang members] not bad,” said Pastor Giles. “They’re just misguided, misdirected and have this very poor sense of morality when it comes to taking a life. In some cases, it’s like a game to some of them. But this isn’t a game where people are getting up after they’re getting blasted.”


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