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  • Thu, May 07, 2015 3:44 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    NEW YORK (AP) - Ten reputed members of the Bloods street gang have been indicted in a gunrunning ring that smuggled weapons to New York City for resale.

    Authorities unsealed the 367-count indictment Wednesday.

    They say the gang would use Metro-North to smuggle weapons into the city from Port Chester and Connecticut. The firearms ranged from .22 caliber pistols to assault weapons.

    The suspects face charges of conspiracy, criminal possession and criminal sale of firearms.

    One defendant was indicted separately on a murder conspiracy charge.

    The alleged ring leader used the nickname "Redrum" - murder spelling backward

    State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the allegations lay out a disturbing but "all too familiar" pattern of gun trafficking and violence.

    Authorities say an undercover officer bought nearly 100 guns on 47 separate occasions from the suspects.

  • Wed, May 06, 2015 3:42 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    Derrick Yancey, 27, of Buffalo, a member of the now-defunct 10th Street Gang, was ordered by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to serve a 168-month federal prison term for his conspiracy conviction under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi said that from 2005 through 2010 Yancey was an active member of the gang and on Sept. 15, 2008 he drove other gang members to Busti Avenue where they shot and killed Omar Fraticello-Lugo, an alleged member of the rival and now-defunct 7th Street Gang, and injured two other men. Yancey is the latest of 44 members of the 10th Street Gang or their associates charged and convicted.

  • Wed, May 06, 2015 3:41 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    Three Buffalo women were arrested on felony gang assault charges late Tuesday and two other women were being sought by police in connection with the alleged attack on a 7th Street woman late Monday afternoon.

    Bridgett A. Salter, 33, of Pine Harbor Walk; Alexis Davis, 17, of 7th Street and Ayana Hardyh, 24, who refused to give police a local address, were all charged with second-degree gang assault for allegedly accosting the victim and hitting her while she was holding her 7-year-old daughter near her home.

    Police reported obtaining a video tape of the incident made with an apartment building surveillance camera system. Two other unidentified women still were being sought for allegedly taking part in the incident.

  • Wed, May 06, 2015 3:40 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Nine alleged members and associates of the violent Bloods street gang were indicted on charges of operating a high-volume gun trafficking ring, state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton announced Wednesday .

    According to the 367-count felony indictment unsealed in Bronx Supreme Court, investigators seized 93 illegal guns.

    The weapons were allegedly purchased on New York City streets, but also in Port Chester, Maine and Connecticut for resale in New York City by ring members.

    Some of the guns bought in Port Chester and Stamford, Conn., were transported to the city on Metro-North trains and the weapons were resold in New York City for several times their original price, the attorney general's office said.

    Stamford Police arrested two of the men Tuesday after they were drawn into the investigation by New York City Police, New York State investigators and federal authorities last week, said Capt. Richard Conklin. He said Stamford police were told two of the suspects may have been spending time in the city.

    Brett "Agony" Irving-Carroll, 27, was arrested at his residence at 186 W. Main St., Apt. C., shortly before 6 a.m. Conklin said. He said police had been conducting surveillance on him and the residence. Stamford Police were joined New York City Police, New York Attorney General's office and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms representatives at the arrest.

    Conklin said a Ruger semiautomatic pistol with a laser sight, ammunition for other weapons and 3.5 pounds of marijuana were found in the residence.

    Irving-Carroll was extradited to New York, but Conklin said Stamford Police will also prepare drug and weapon charges against him.

    Later, officers swooped in and arrested a second member of the Bloods, Cadeim Beckford, 20, of the Bronx, as he walked in the area of Pacific Street and Towne Street in Stamford around 1 p.m. Conklin said Stamford Police will not be pressing any charges against Beckford because he was simply arrested by city police on behalf of New York authorities.

    Conklin said Stamford Police are "very interested" in the men's presence in Stamford.

    "We are very interested that they are in our fair city," he said.

    As a result of the Operation Redrum investigation, based on the nickname of alleged ring leader William “Redrum” Soler, the gang members and associates were charged with felony conspiracy and criminal possession and criminal sale of firearms counts. Soler was also charged with second-degree conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, for allegedly plotting to kill a rival gang member.

    If convicted, the lead defendants, Soler, Ronald Snyder, Princesequan Hunter, and Cadeim Beckford, face up to 25 years in prison on the top count, first-degree criminal sale of a firearm.

    A 10th defendant, Erick Ransom, was separately indicted for the murder conspiracy. He also faces up to 25 years behind bars.

    The investigation, led by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force and the NYPD’s Firearms Investigation Unit, began last summer.

    According to the papers, after an undercover detective, posing as a gun reseller, purchased guns directly from Soler, electronic surveillance was used to monitor the ring’s activities.

    Firearms sales charged in the indictment range from .22 caliber pistols to assault weapons. Approximately 11 of the guns seized had the serial numbers filed off, making the weapons untraceable.

    The indictment charges the following defendants:

    • Devon “Burnz” Fairburn, 27, Brooklyn.
    • William “Wobbles” Soler, 33, the Bronx.
    • Ronald “Piff” Snyder, 25, Manhattan.
    • Princesequan “Saiko” Hunter, 29, the Bronx.
    • Cadeim “Deim” Beckford, 20, the Bronx.
    • Brett “Agony” Carroll, Stamford, Conn.
    • Jordan Romeo, 20, Binghamton.
    • Terrence “T-Bone” Gordon, 35, Rocky Point, N.Y.
    • Julio “Punn” Morales, 29, the Bronx.
    • Erick “Pilz” Ransom, 26, the Bronx.
  • Tue, May 05, 2015 3:39 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    JACKSON HEIGHTS — Two gunmen shot and killed a man in what appears to be a gang-related attack, sparking investigators to shut down part of the neighborhood in a search for the suspects, officials said.

    The victim, identified as Jorge Manzanarez, 38, of Corona, was in front of 93-12 Roosevelt Ave., near Whitney Avenue, about 2:23 p.m., when he was shot in the torso, an NYPD spokesman said.

    He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition, an FDNY spokesman said. He later died of his injuries, police said.

    In the wake of the shooting, police cordoned off Roosevelt Avenue between 93rd and 94th streets and Whitney Avenue from Aske Street to 40th Road to allow investigators to canvass the area.

    Police looked under cars and in backyards for the two suspects while a police helicopter circled overhead.

    Locals said the shooting and police response made them feel tense.

    Slideshow A man was shot on Roosevelt Avenue near Whitney Street, police said.

    Man Shot to Death in Jackson Heights Shooting, Police Say

    "Everybody who live here, is not safe," said Alfons Matta, 69, who has lived in the area for 10 years, "You have to protect yourself. Close door, go inside. A lot of gangs. You have to stay away."

    The investigation continued Wednesday, but an NYPD spokesman said it appeared to be a gang-related incident.

  • Tue, May 05, 2015 3:38 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    The Guardian Angels, who have been diligently patrolling Greenport every week for months, have uncovered what they believe is gang graffitti near the railroad tracks.

    According to Benjamin Garcia, patrol leader for the Guardian Angels in Greenport, the graffiti was found on a trailer, and read “666”.

    According to multiple sources, the “666” tag is sometimes used by the 18th Street gang.

    “We do get a variety of graffiti complaints over the course of the year, some are just tags of a graffiti artists’s work, some are simply symbols of favorite bands — but some are definitely associated with gang symbols and gangs marking their territory,” said Southold Police Chief Martin Flatley. “We have seen the ‘666’ tag in the past in different parks in Greenport, so this may be an older graffiti marking, and yes, that symbol was associated with the 18th Street gang. We investigate every report of graffiti sightings in town and document them by photographing and maintaining a file with all of these photos, which will assist with our investigations.”

    Steven Lundquist, commanding officer of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office Gang Intelligence Unit, said the symbol is also used as a sign of the devil.

    Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, said the Guardian Angels are fighting back and taking a proactive stance against any signs of gang activity in Greenport, including graffiti.

    “There is no doubt that it is gang related graffiti,” Sliwa said. “In communities all over the country, large or small, there is a rule of thumb: As soon as the gang graffiti goes up, it must be painted over or removed.”

    Often, Sliwa said, the graffiti is painted on commercial or residential property that’s owned by absentee landlords and property managers, “if they even have one, normally won’t lift a finger to have it removed. Every day it remains up, it empowers the gangs all the more. It says to the immigrant community, ‘We rule the day and we rule the night.’ The kids see it and then, some are attracted to it as part of a public recruitment campaign. Every minute, every hour, every day it remains up it strengthens the gang.”

    Sliwa said if the graffiti remains in Greeport, the Guardian Angels will remove it themselves.

    Hate crimes and graffiti laced with gang symbols must be eradicated, Sliwa said. “Imagine if it were swastikas, how quickly it would be removed, and rightfully so. The fear and intimidation of what the swastika stands for, especially in the Jewish community — we’ve seen that controversy blow up recently in Commack and before that, in Bellmore, where teenagers were flaunting swastikas. When the immigrant community sees the gang graffiti from their country of origins it reminds them of the nightmare that they have fled from. The tyranny has followed them to the East End.”

    Sliwa attended a Tolerance Dinner at Westbury Manor last night hosted by the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County, he said. “The people of Long Island need to recognize the harm, fear, fright and hysteria that the gang graffiti spreads in the immigrant community. We will be in the forefront of removing it and keeping it off.”

    In Southold Town, the anti-bias task force came before the town board today and outlined ways it, too, aims to galvanize to prevent gang activity or bullying, looking toward education of young people to help create change. The immigrant community, they said, needs to be able to feel comfortable coming forward to the police when necessary; the hiring of a Spanish-speaking officer this year was a critical step, the group said.


    Meanwhile, the Guardian Angels who’ve patrolled the streets of Greenport continue to report a positive response from the community.

    “Cars have been passing, with drivers honking at us and giving us the thumb’s up,” Garcia said.

    Diners on Front Street stopped a recent patrol and thanked the Guardian Angels, as did recent guests at a children’s birthday party held near the carousel; kids and parents asked the Guardian Angels if they could pose with them for photos.

    “They tell us we’re doing a great job,” Garcia said, adding that even a police officer on patrol last weekend gave the Guardian Angels words of support.

    Cami Feeney of Southold said after she heard about a brutal gang shooting and machete attack that began in Greenport between the 18th Street gang and MS-13 and ended up in Southold last fall, she was “very, very concerned. I was shocked.” She and her family left Sayville for a quieter North Fork life but now, she said, she won’t even let her the son, 14, ride his bike alone at night.

    Stopping to thank the Guardian Angels, Feeney said, “It’s nice to see you guys here,” she said. “Thank you for what you do.”

    On a recent patrol with the Guardian Angels, two members of the Latino community also stopped to sign up as future patrol members. “I want to help make a difference in my community,” said Walter Alvarado.

    Sliwa said the Guardian Angels’ continuous presence in the village over the past months has helped to create bonds and a sense of security.

    “The Guardian Angels’ regular presence is building up trust in the local immigrant community, so if they have a problem involving public safety they know feel confident to approach members of their own community, who are out there boldly patrolling as Guardian Angels. From the merchants to families to day laborers and street people, the more we’re out and involved with their community the more trust is conveyed into us. As of this date the assimilation of the Guardian Angels into the immigrant community is working as planned,” he said.

  • Mon, May 04, 2015 3:37 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    Syracuse, NY -- Jerry Benton is going on trial later this month in the stabbing death of another man outside a Milton Avenue bar last year.

    But can Senior Assistant District Attorney Melinda McGunnigle bring up his alleged gang affiliation to the jury? Benton's lawyer says no, arguing that it's "highly prejudicial."

    Defense lawyer Robert Baska noted that Benton, 32, was not charged with a gang-related homicide. Benton is charged with manslaughter, accused of stabbing Bryan "Gadget" Sheppard to death June 7, 2014 outside Club Gravity bar, on Milton Avenue near the city's border with Solvay.

    But McGunnigle said her key law enforcement witnesses -- including Benton's federal parole officer and Syracuse cops -- recognized Benton because he was considered a gang member.

    The key piece of evidence in Benton's trial will be a videotape of the fatal stabbing.

    McGunnigle said Benton's parole officer -- he was convicted of federal drug crimes -- will say she recognized Benton as the attacker. Federal authorities had labeled Benton a gang member, but never prosecuted him as such.

    In addition, a Syracuse police officer who followed street gangs and recognized Benton in the video because of Benton's reputed gang affiliation, McGunnigle said.

    Baska argued that McGunnigle simply wanted to bring up the gang issue to provide a motive for the crime that wasn't proven with facts. McGunnigle said there was a known conflict between Bricktown -- Benton's alleged gang -- and the 110 gang. She suggested that was an impetus for the fight.

    "I do think it's a motive, but also his identity," McGunnigle said.

    Benton reportedly made a reference to his membership in the Bricktown gang during a scuffle at the Onondaga County Justice Center jail, McGunnigle said.

    County Court Judge Thomas J. Miller said he would offer Baska time to respond in writing before making his decision. He promised to rule by the end of the week.

    But the judge appeared to look for ways today to allow the prosecution to present a case without bringing up the word "gang." For the parole officer, for example, would it be OK to tell the jury that Benton had been convicted of a previous crime without saying he had been identified as a gang member?

    Benton goes to trial May 18. If found guilty, he is facing up to 25 years in state prison.

    This is not a new issue. In a trial earlier this year, it wasn't made public until sentencing that a Syracuse man accused of murder was a gang member.

    Lewis Swift was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison this February for the brutal beating death of Carnell Marshall. Prosecutor Matthew Doran was barred until sentencing from saying that Swift was a gang member who ordered his subordinates to carry out the fatal attack.

    And in 2014, a judge barred prosecutors from labeling a Syracuse man as a gang member at a murder trial involving a death outside a South Avenue bar. That defendant was acquitted of the crime.

  • Sat, April 25, 2015 11:07 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)


    Gates, N.Y. - A chaotic scene erupted after one person was killed and at least six more were injured after a shooting early Saturday morning at a bar in the town of Gates.

    According to police, the shooting happened around 1 a.m. inside the Gates Pub on Hinchey Road near Chili Avenue after an argument inside the pub escalated.

    Officers on scene say six to seven people have been taken to local hospitals. The injuries of the victims range from minor to serious injuries, according to Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode.

    One 37-year-old man was found dead at the scene. Six others were shot, some multiple times.

    Police say at least one shooter was involved, but have not ruled out the possibility of multiple shooters.

    Multiple people are being questioned in connection with the shooting, including at least one person of interest.

    No word yet on what the motive may have been behind the shooting.

    Police have not yet released the identities of any victims, injured or deceased.

    Gates Police Department is investigating the incident with help from Rochester, Ogden and Greece Police Departments, as well as the Monroe County Sheriff's Off

    13WHAM News will continue to update you on this story as it develops and will bring you any information as it becomes available on 13WHAM News, on our mobile apps and here on 13wham.com.

  • Sat, April 25, 2015 11:04 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    Rochester, N.Y. - A jury was seated late Friday in the trial of the man accused of shooting Rochester Police Officer Daryl Pierson. Twelve jurors and six alternates were selected after 375 people were screened over 3 days.

    "We've been very thorough in our questioning of the potential jurors and I'm confident we produced a jury and alternates that will be fair and impartial," said District Attorney Sandra Doorley.

    Thomas Johnson III is accused of intentionally shooting officer Pierson during a foot chase September 3, 2014. He's also accused of the attempted murder of another police officer and shooting a civilian caught in the crossfire.

    Thousands of people in Rochester attended Pierson's funeral and there has been extensive publicity in that case. Defense attorneys sought a change in venue fearing they could not get a fair trial here.

    That opinion appears to change after jury selection this week.

    "We've selected 12 jurors and six alternates and no one is someone on the jury that Thomas Johnson would not approve of,” said Defense Attorney James Hinman.

    It's been almost 8 months since the community mourned the death of Officer Pearson. Beginning Monday the community will learn in great detail what happened on Hudson Avenue the night of September 3.

    Both the prosecution and defense will lay out their cases in opening statements. Prosecutors will be the first to present witnesses and some of the first people the community will hear from are Rochester police officers who were there the night officer Pierson was killed.

    "The biggest challenge will be dealing with the emotion," said Doorley. "I'm sure it will be emotional for the witnesses who testified as well as Amy Pierson, her family and Rochester Police. But we'll get through it."

    It is unclear whether the defense will call any witnesses, though under the law they are not required to do so.

    "I do not expect Mr. Johnson to be acquitted," said Hinman. "I do not intend to argue Mr. Johnson is not responsible for officer Pierson's death. The issue is what is the level of responsibility."

    In order to get the strongest sentence of life without parole, jurors must find intent. Jurors must believe Johnson intentionally shot Officer Daryl Pierson.

    The trial will unfold 4 days a week for the next 3-4 weeks. The duration of the trial led to the decision to seek 6 alternates when the usual number is 2.

    Alternate jurors sit alongside the regular jury and step in if someone is dismissed for any reason. 

    "If someone becomes ill or has a family emergency and we lose one of the 12 we would have to start all over. Nobody wants that," said Hinman.

    In the 1991 trial of serial killer Arthur Shawcross, 4 alternate jurors were selected. The trial lasted 12 weeks and none of the alternates were pressed into service.

    However, Chuck Siragusa, who prosecuted in that case and hundreds of others said alternate jurors are used more often than most people think. He estimated alternates stepped in about one quarter of the cases he has tried.

  • Wed, April 22, 2015 11:03 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    THE BRONX—Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday he was unaware of the problems plaguing a Harlem anti-violence site that uses ex-gang members to stop shootings but that he stood behind the model the city has chosen to address stubborn gun violence in the city's toughest neighborhoods.

    Harlem SNUG is one of 14 sites that the mayor and the City Council dedicated $13 million to last year as part of de Blasio's Gun Crisis Violence Management system. The system was based on the Cure Violence model, created by criminologist David Kennedy and based on the idea that gun violence could be treated like a disease.

    "I’d say the broad concept is getting intervention I believe in very fundamentally," de Blasio said at an event in The Bronx. "I’m a big fan of David Kennedy and the concept he created about how you stop gang violence before it proliferates; how you involve community members, family members, clergy in that effort."

    But the central Harlem site, run by the Mission Society, is under investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney's office following the shooting of a former employee.

    There were also allegations that active gang members were still involved in the program and possibly dealing drugs and recruiting new gang members.

    On Monday, DNAinfo New York reported that the supervisor of one of the expansion sites in The Bronx had been arrested for domestic violence for brutally beating and threatening to kill his former girlfriend, a fellow employee.

    DNAinfo is withholding the name of the defendant in the domestic violence case to protect the identity of the victim. The defendant is facing charges of assault and harassment and has been released without bail.

    The victim claims that Mission Society was aware of the abuse and did nothing.

    In fact, she says Mission made her work in the same building as her abuser despite having a restraining order against him, charges the Mission Society has denied.

    The victim says her abuser was promoted to supervisor of one of the expansion sites under de Blasio's program even after her beating.

    Mission Society is investigating the allegations against the supervisor accused of domestic violence, an ex-gang member who is still employed with the non-profit.

    The victim was fired by Mission Society, along with several other employees who said they were in fear of their lives because of alleged threats made against Harlem SNUG following the shooting of the former employee.

    The Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice has said it is involved to make sure the Department of Health and the Mission Society are following proper hiring and employee management protocols.

    Elsie McCabe Thompson, former head of the Museum for African Art and wife of former comptroller and mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, has head the Mission Society for the last year.

    The trouble with the program comes as the city is experiencing an increase in shootings, including a bloody weekend where three people were killed and 23 wounded in 21 shooting incidents, The Daily News reported.

    De Blasio said the model works.

    "We certainly have had some real success with former gang members getting their life together and then being agents of peace," said the mayor.



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