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


  • Thu, May 01, 2014 10:42 AM | Trevor (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 | Trevor (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 | Trevor (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 | Trevor (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 | Trevor (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 | Trevor (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.

  • Thu, October 17, 2013 12:38 PM | Deleted user
    In 2007, the Yankees’ and MLB’s official team cap maker, New Era, issued a statement in which they refuted the claims of an East Harlem civic group that New Era was cashing in by manufacturing customized, non-traditional Yankees caps to reflect the colors and other symbols of area street gangs.

    Of course, the dual denial was nonsense undefined that’s exactly what New Era was doing and what New Era, the Yankees and MLB were profiting from.
    New Era and MLB, however, did thank the concerned citizens for bringing this issue “to our attention” and did promise to pull some of the Yankees, MLB-licensed gang headwear.
    That’s right, New Era had no idea that its funked-up, overly stylized Yankees caps with the crowns embroidered over the NY were being worn by Latin Kings.
    And New Era manufactured red and black bandana-style Yankees caps not knowing the Bloods, dressed to kill, would love them. Those blue and white bandana Yankees caps? They were favored by Crips? Who knew?

    Heck, murdered gang members would even be laid out in funeral homes wearing their MLB/New Era caps, soon to be seen in “R.I.P” photo T-shirts wearing them, too. Still are.
    Thursday, during Giants-Bears, a commercial appeared for New Era’s NFL team-colored caps undefined how one can flaunt his street attitude by wearing one. See that guy? And that guy?
    The ad cut to a shot of someone holding a can, spray-painting a Raiders logo on an outdoor wall.
    Now tell me what that’s all about? Perhaps Commissioner Roger Goodell would like to take a stab at explaining that.

    Is that representative of laying down an NFL gang tag, or just good old-fashioned vandalism? Is it a coincidence that the NFL’s original and sustaining bad-boy team’s logo was chosen?
    Regardless, why would such an image be included in an ad for any NFL merchandise?
    Gee, and won’t the New Era folks be surprised to learn that they had no idea, but thanks for bringing this to their attention.

    But it’s easy when money trumps shame. It’s easy when sports will do whatever and to whomever in exchange for an extra dime.
    It must’ve driven NFL marketing strategists wild to see so many street hoods appearing in surveillance tapes, at arraignments and in perp walks wearing MLB team caps when, with an extra push, they could’ve been wearing NFL team caps.

    After all, if you don’t go after the most vulnerable, you’re no really trying.

  • Mon, October 14, 2013 7:56 PM | Deleted user
    St. Louis gangs and New York crime-fighting among topics at Urban Crime Summit
    In Region

    By Jo Mannies, Beacon political reporter
    4:16 pm on Wed, 09.18.13

    Although billed as a “Urban Crime Summit,’’ one of the key crime statistics offered by the four-day event’s host, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, affected rural Missouri as well.

    Missouri’s per-capita crime rate is the 9th highest in the nation, Koster said in his opening address at Wednesday’s session, the third day of the Summit – and the first of two days in St. Louis.

    His point? Crime in Missouri “isn’t just an inner-city problem” facing its largest urban areas: Kansas City and St. Louis.

    Photos by Bill Greenblatt | UPI Attorney General Chris Koster and Mayor Francis Slay agree that a get-tough approach early on can deter some from getting swept up in crime.
    Still, the attorney general – a Democrat running for governor in 2016 – said there’s no question that St. Louis and Kansas City are grappling with entrenched and persistent crime problems, despite recent drops in murders.

    And he suggested that both urban areas, and the state, look east as they consider solutions.

    Kansas City’s murder rate is 22 per 100,000 people, while St. Louis’ is 35 per 100,000. By contrast, the city of New York’s murder rate is now 4 per 100,000, down from 14 per 100,000 in 1990.

    New York’s success helps explain why the Summit brought in several experts from New York, including William J. Bratton, a former commissioner of the New York Police Department and former police chief of Los Angeles.

    Some of the Big Apple’s tactics have come under fire, such as the “stop and frisk’’ approach condemned by groups concerned about civil liberties.

    Bratton defended that practice, but emphasized that individual rights must be protected. "The great debate going on around the country is the balance,” he said in his remarks, as he acknowledged that there have some cases where police has overused or abused the practice.

    The message from Koster, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and others on Wednesday was that a get-tough approach early on – along with more education and job opportunities – can deter some youths from getting swept up in crime.

    That’s one reason Koster joined Slay is calling for “gun courts” that would deal solely with gun-related crimes and likely impose swifter punishments.

    Police warn of "mission creep"
    Slay acknowledged that other factors contribute to crime – notably, the lack of adult guidance when young people need it the most.

    Said Slay in his remarks: “Too many young males don’t have anyone to teach them how to be a man.”

    For all the concern, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley said officials and the public shouldn’t ignore some of the region’s good news over the past decade. “Crime is at an all-time low in St. Louis County,” Dooley said.

    St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson and the mayor both emphasized that the number of murders in the city has gone down more than 40 percent in the past six years.

    But St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch said public perceptions can be hard to change – especially when some less-violent crimes, such as vehicle break-ins, are “experiencing a big spike around the area.”

    Fitch, like Slay, also alluded to societal ills that the police chief said can prompt “mission creep,” in which police are expected to not only fight crime, but address the social problems that contribute to it.

    “We can’t do everything. We’re the police,” Fitch said.

    Fitch’s point was that police can only do so much. He pointed to the recent shooting of an 8-year-old in Pine Lawn by a relative who, the chief observed, explained later that “he was angry” and felt like shooting at children.

    Fitch tied such behavior to mental illness and “a profound sense of hopeless, and that leads to a lot of violent crime.”

    Tackling such factors, said Fitch, is the job of the community – not just the police.

    Dooley said the public needs to recognize “we cannot put enough police on the street to stop crime.”

    Gang violence small, but knows no boundaries
    Summit attendees were particularly riveted by St. Louis Detective Jerod Breit’s report on the region’s gang element – so much so that Koster revamped the program on the spot to allow for questions and answers related to Breit’s presentation.

    According to Breit, city police have documented at least 8,671 gang members – almost half of them just since 2008. Of that number, close to 1,200 are in prison, and close to 1,000 are on federal or state parole or probation. Another 257 are dead.

    Mayor Francis Slay and County Executive Charlie Dooley listen to St. Louis Detective Jerod Breit, who has been studying gang activity.
    But 1,285 of those identified gang members haven’t been involved in crimes in 10 years, Breit.

    And during the 18-month period ending in June, the percentage of various crimes linked to identified gang members was generally less than 10 percent – and in many categories, a lot less – underscoring Breit’s point that gang violence isn’t the main driver of urban crime.

    Gang activity also has shifted from the streets to the internet. Graffiti on buildings has become less of a problem, Breit said, because gang youth are increasingly doing their “painting” online. In fact, many gang members are spending more time communicating online than on the streets, he said.

    Another change: Locally, more gangs are mixed race, which the detective attributed, in part, to the shift in gang focus to “business” operations, such as drug dealing.

    City police used to have a problem with city gang members running into the county, outside their jurisdiction, and using county communities as “safe havens” to avoid arrest. That’s changing, said Breit, because of increased cooperation between city and county police.

    Dooley said that joint cooperation makes sense: “Crime and criminals don’t have boundaries; criminals don’t know or care that Skinker Avenue is the boundary between St. Louis City and County. It just makes sense to have joint solutions.”

  • Mon, October 14, 2013 7:36 PM | Deleted user
    Gunfire wounds 4 at SOB’s; Hoylman pushes bullet bill

    September 19, 2013 | Filed under: News | Posted by: admin
    Print PDF
    The promo invite for Fat Trel’s release of his mixtape, “SDMG” (Sex, Drugs, Money, Guns) at SOB’s on Sept. 11.
    BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | SOB’s stands for Sounds of Brazil. But last Thurs., Sept. 12, the sound of gunfire broke out inside the well-known Hudson Square music club, at Varick and Houston Sts. Four people were wounded in the incident, which sparked a chaotic, mad rush for the exit by frightened clubgoers, during which some were trampled and left with cuts.

    The shots, reportedly from a single gunman, broke out around 12:15 a.m. right before the rapper Fat Trel was set to take the stage to perform cuts from his new mixtape, “SDMG” (Sex, Drugs, Money, Guns).

    According to police, four people suffered nonfatal bullet wounds. The Daily News reported that two individuals were taken by ambulance to Beth Israel Medical Center, both with leg wounds, and that two others suffered graze wounds.

    Witnesses told the News the shooting occurred near the bar. The gunman reportedly fled the scene in a black car.

    No arrests had been made as of this past Tuesday evening.

    In the wake of the shooting, Robin and Larry Gold, the club’s owners, released a statement, which was posted on Complex, a style, music and sneakers Web site.

    “For 32 years, we here at SOB’s have prided ourselves on creating a safe and fun environment for visitors to enjoy good food and some of the best live music in New York and the world over. “The SOB’s family, along with its internationally acclaimed artists and devoted fans, has peacefully and gratefully celebrated diverse cultures and the music that unites us through its transcendent language for many years. This incident was unprecedented in the long history of SOB’s. We are assisting the police in every way possible to bring this person to justice. Nothing is more important to SOB’s than the safety and well being of our customers. This is a home of peace, respect and positive vibes and we here at SOB’s vow to keep it that way.”

    State Senator Brad Hoylman condemned the gun violence inside the Hudson Square club and said the incident demonstrates the need for state microstamping legislation.

    “The shooting injuries of four people in Soho today is a stark reminder of the enduring need to eradicate gun violence,” Hoylman said in a statement released the day of the incident.

    “We must do more to protect our communities from gun violence,” he said. “Earlier this year, New York took a critical step to combat gun violence by enacting the NY SAFE Act of 2013, which I was proud to support. Unfortunately, the SAFE Act does not include a provision requiring microstamping, a ballistic identification technology that allows police to link used cartridge cases recovered at crime scenes like the Soho nightclub, to the guns and individuals who used those guns in crimes.

    “I renew my call for the State to pass S.68/A.3244 (Peralta/Schimel), which would require any semiautomatic pistols manufactured or delivered to any licensed dealer in New York to be capable of microstamping ammunition.

    “The bill has the support of 100 mayors and 83 police departments and law enforcement organizations throughout New York State,” Hoylman added. “We must finally give law enforcement the best tools available to solve gun crimes like the one that happened early this morning in Soho and get guns off our streets.”

    It wasn’t immediately clear if any bullet casings had, in fact, been left at the scene. A revolver handgun, for example, doesn’t eject bullet shells, though an automatic handgun does.

    Jared Chausnow, Hoylman’s press secretary, said the state senator’s office has been in touch with police about the shooting, but has only been told that the investigation is ongoing. Chausnow said they weren’t told by’ police whether any shell casings were left at the scene, but that Hoylman saw the opportunity undefined since no suspect has been caught and the investigation is ongoing undefined to call for the microstamping legislation. The technique has been shown in states like California to increase arrest rates for gun violence, getting more shooters and guns off the streets.

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