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

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  • Fri, June 21, 2013 12:00 PM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -- As jurors in Broome County Court deal with a murder trial with possible gang ties, the Broome County Sheriff's office says gang violence continues to grow in the Southern Tier.

    "We've seen, in recent years, major long-term investigation focused on organized groups of criminal activity," said Captain Fred Akshar of the Broome County Sheriff's office.

    The problem, police say, stems from a bigger issue that's plagued the community for years.

    "Gang activity, I think, revolves around the distribution of narcotics. In this particular, we have a drug distribution problem," Akshar said.

    Akshar says four major gangs are prevalent in Broome County: The Bloods, the Crips, the Latin Kings and the Aryan Brotherhood. In an effort to curb further gang violence, police are stepping up their work in the field.

    "Even the patrolmen, the deputies, in this county, have an opportunity now to ask certain questions of suspects or defendants in certain cases and try and glean some further information about ongoing criminal activity," Akshar said.

    When gang members are arrested in the community, many of them are brought to the Broome County Correctional Facility, but there is a worry among law enforcement officials that their time there could create further problems once they're out.

    "The correctional facilities or the state prisons are the areas where recruitment is the highest, that being the number one place," said Captain Kevin Moore of the Broome County Sheriff's Office.

    While they may not be able to eliminate the problem of recruitment within the walls at the jail, officials enforce strict rules to help identify gang members.

    "If they're in possession of gang paraphernalia, if they're showing gang signs, have gang literature, that's a violation of the rules and they can be written up for that," Moore said.

    As the Sheriff's department continues to address the problem, it advises residents to be vigilant and report anything they suspect might be gang activity.

  • Fri, June 21, 2013 11:57 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    A Brooklyn gang member has been charged with shooting a 15-year-old boy outside a clothing store, authorities said Friday.

    Marlon Johnson, 19, who runs with the Wave Gang, was charged with attempted murder and held in lieu of $75,000 bail.


    He is accused of shooting and wounding Leslie Smalls outside Jimmy Jazz clothing store in Brownsville Sunday. The victim was one of 25 people shot in less than 48 hours last weekend.

    Police sources said Leslie, who has no criminal record, was hanging out with a group of friends and took cover inside the store when Johnson showed up with a gun.


    They stepped back outside when they thought Johnson had left, but he was nearby and opened fire, sources said. He was likely aiming for someone else in the group, sources said.

    Someone in the group identified Johnson as the shooter, court papers say.

    Johnson had been arrested three weeks ago after accidentally shooting himself in the leg on May 12 in East New York. In that case, he was hit with reckless endangerment and gun possession charges and released on $3,500 bail, records show.

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  • Wed, June 05, 2013 8:45 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    Responding to a bloody weekend in which seven people were killed and more than two dozen were shot, the NYPD on Monday beefed up police staffing at public housing developments, and deployed mobile and stationary observation towers for patrols, officials said.

    In addition, plainclothes officers are being assigned to anti-crime units citywide at crucial periods, and officers were told to track and arrest those wanted on outstanding warrants, said police spokesman Paul Browne.

    He said investigators also would monitor gang crews to try to prevent retaliations for the weekend's shooting spree.

    Among those hurt in the weekend gunfire, which began late Friday, was 11-year-old bystander Tayloni Mazyck of Brooklyn, who police said appears to have been paralyzed Friday night by a stray bullet outside her Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment. Police suspect Tayloni was struck by a bullet fired by Kane Cooper, 17, as he fired at rival gang members.

    Cooper was arrested Saturday and was held without bail on charges of attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment and other counts, said a spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg chalked up some of the violence to the hot and humid weather this past weekend, which he said often leads to short tempers and higher crime. But at the same time, Bloomberg said the number of shootings for the year is way down from the same period a year earlier.

    "The bottom line is, including this weekend, we have the lowest number of shootings that we've had in a decade, OK?" Bloomberg said in response to a question Monday about the weekend violence. A mayoral spokesman said later that Bloomberg was referring to year-to-date trends in making his overall comparison.

      Bloomberg also said the city remains safe. He could take heart from the latest FBI crime statistics, which on Monday showed that the city last year had the second-lowest "murder" rate per 100,000 population of any major U.S. city with more than 1 million people, behind San Diego. The city rate for all homicides was 5.05 per 100,000, compared with 3.51 per 100,000 for San Diego.

    There were 26 shootings including seven homicides this weekend, Browne said, although some unofficial tallies put the shootings at 25 and homicides at eight. Police didn't have a borough-by-borough breakdown of the shootings. Three shooting victims were younger than 16.

    "Even with the weekend shootings, homicides are still down 24 percent from last year," Browne said.

    He said there have been 127 killings in the city so far in 2013, down from 167 last year.

    According to NYPD statistics, there have been 383 shooting incidents involving 439 victims through June 2, compared with 522 shootings and 615 victims in the same period of 2012. That represents declines of 28.6 percent in the number of victims and 26.6 percent in the total shooting incidents.

    "This happens," former NYPD Det. Sgt. Joseph Giacalone said of the blip in shootings in what has been a less violent year in the city. "It happened last year, too. The only thing you have to make sure that you are not dealing with a gang war or drug wars."

    Giacalone expressed concern that with fewer of the controversial stop-and-frisk searches done by police -- 51 percent fewer were conducted in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period in 2012 -- street criminals are becoming emboldened.

    "The bad guys follows these things," Giacalone said. "This is something that has to be monitored."

    Police late Monday said they were questioning a man whom they called a person of interest in the shooting of three men in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens section of Brooklyn on Sunday.

  • Wed, June 05, 2013 8:44 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)
    Local police say they've launched an aggressive response to increasing gang violence and gang-related shootings in our area.

    One action was the recent arrest of alleged Latin King gang member Gabriel Gonzalez by the Broome County Special Investigations Unit Task Force. With the aid of the Binghamton, Johnson City, Vestal joint SWAT Team, SIU raided 25 Berlin Street in Binghamton's First Ward last week. Police say 18 year-old Gonzalez was apprehended as he tried to flee out a back door. He faces weapons charges after investigators allegedly found a loaded stolen .32 caliber handgun and sawed-off shotgun in the home. SIU says the arrest grew out of an investigation into recent shootings on Thorp and Crandall Streets in the city.
  • Wed, June 05, 2013 8:43 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    Five reputed Latin Kings gang members will be sentenced in July for attempting to kill two people in retaliation for stealing money from and disrespecting the group, according to the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office.

    After a more than five-week trial and four days of jury deliberations, the verdict came down Saturday afternoon: All five defendants were guilty on all counts, including conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder.

    The sequestered jury found Timothy “King Tiny” Ramirez, 22, and John “King Whiteblood” Rizzo, 43, guilty of ordering the assassination. The three defendants who prosecutors said were present for the City of Poughkeepsie attack undefined Justin Alfonso, 18, Irving Negron, 22, and Paul Sellers, 19 undefined were also convicted.

    “It’s an ideal outcome,” said Assistant District Attorney Matthew Weishaupt. “This is a very dangerous street gang here.”

    Defense attorneys Bruce Petito and Steven Patterson didn’t return several phone messages before print deadline.

    Attorneys Paul Caltagirone, Cynthia Kasnia and David Segal couldn’t be immediately reached.

    The defendants could face consecutive sentences for up to 25 years for each person they shot and for the conspiracy charges, but their sentences could run concurrent, Judge Stephen Greller said.

    Ramirez is said to be the Latin Kings’ “supreme crown” in the Dutchess County area.

    Weishaupt said the convictions were “justified by the evidence the jury saw,” including text messages between supposed gang members discussing the order to kill the victims, and video and photographic evidence of three defendants at the crime scene that day.

    Just before 5 p.m. on March 6, 2012, shots rang out inside a Rip Van Winkle Apartments unit on the banks of the City of Poughkeepsie waterfront. Ruben Rivera, 21, took a bullet to his face and a knife across his upper torso. Kymberle Perez-Colon, 21, was shot in the upper chest. But they survived.

    Alfonso, who prosecutors said shot both victims with a .45-caliber handgun, was shown on video running down a staircase with his left hand in the pocket of his black hooded sweatshirt.

    Phone records showed that Alfonso called Rizzo and Ramirez shortly after the attack.

    Others charged in connection with the incident collaborated with police and became key witnesses.

    Rizzo and Ramirez will be sentenced on July 9 and 11, respectively, for second-degree conspiracy, two counts of second-degree attempted murder and two counts of second-degree assault, all felonies.

    Alfonso, Negron and Sellers will be sentenced the following week for second-degree conspiracy, two counts of second-degree attempted murder, two counts of second-degree assault and one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Alfonso was also convicted of fourth-degree grand larceny.

    Rizzo is from Hyde Park. Sellers is a City of Poughkeepsie resident, and Negron resides in the Town of Poughkeepsie.

    Weishaupt said that when the verdicts were read the courtroom was “somber.” He thanked his prosecution team of Aviv Segal and Frank Petramale.

    “The jury did a remarkable job and were truly committed to this case,” Greller said. He extended his gratitude to the officers who provided court security, including court and correction officers and local police agencies.

  • Wed, June 05, 2013 8:42 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    An 11-year-old girl was shot in the neck on a Brooklyn street last night by a thug firing at a gangbanger, police sources said.

    Taylani Mazyck was hit by the stray bullet as she walked with her mom near her home on Gates Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant about 8:45 p.m., the sources said.

    “Her mother said that she might be paralyzed,” said grandmother Sarah Mazyck, 67, adding that doctors said the bullet is lodged in the girl’s vertebrae.

    “I am just torn with grief right now. I want her to live, but I am begging God to let her walk again.”

    The shooter fired at a Bloods gang member after the two men got into a beef, police sources said.

    TAYLANI MAZYCK Shot in the neck.
    TAYLANI MAZYCK Shot in the neck.

    Investigators had a man in custody last night they believed was the shooter, sources said.

    “I’m so scared to be outside now. I hope she’s OK. She’s such a good girl,” friend Tanaya Montes, 9, said through tears.

    “She’s always getting good grades in math,” said classmate Tarane Montes, 11, who heard the shots.

    The girl was rushed to Kings County Medical Center in critical condition.

  • Fri, May 31, 2013 4:50 PM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    A Yonkers man who eluded police for years undefined sometimes dressing as a woman undefined was arraigned Thursday in the shooting deaths of a Yonkers gang leader and another man, and authorities said they feared gang revenge against him in jail.

    Four others were wounded in the July 6, 2010, attack at an apartment in Yonkers, including a 5-year-old boy.

    Two men are serving long prison terms in the shootings, but it took authorities nearly two years to catch up to a third man, identified as Ronnell Jones, 25. Jones was arrested June 10 in a traffic stop in Chicago, where police said he was in the back seat of a car drinking a beer.

    On Thursday, Jones, dressed in a white T-shirt, ripped jeans, and black sneakers, pleaded not guilty to murder charges before Judge Barry Warhit in Westchester County Court in White Plains.

    Warhit also ordered him held without bail undefined possibly at Rikers Island in New York City, after, prosecutors said, officials at the Westchester County jail in Valhalla said that he might be killed by rival gang members there.

    A large group of acquaintances of Jones undefined a prosecutor described them as gang associates, prompting guffaws in the gallery undefined also attended the hearing.

    Jones is charged in the deaths of Kasheem Little, 21, also known as "Killa Kash," a leader of the Strip Boyz, a Yonkers gang, and Carlton McLeod, 23, in an apartment at Cromwell Towers, 77 Locust Hill Ave.

    The 5-year-old boy, a 17-year-old girl and two other men were also shot and wounded in the apartment at the same time.

    Richard Ferrante, a lawyer for Jones, declined to comment outside the courtroom, saying that he had just been assigned the case and needed more time to study the facts.

    Jones was arrested in Chicago on weapons and alcohol charges and later extradited to New York after those charges were resolved. He was indicted in Westchester County shortly after the shootings on murder and attempted murder charges.

    Jones, who often dressed like a woman to avoid police capture, was featured at one point on “America’s Most Wanted.”

    Jones’s two alleged accomplices, Brian Roach, 23, of Yonkers, and Daniel Sanchez, 26, of Brooklyn, were previously convicted on murder and attempted murder charges in the Yonkers shootings. Roach was sentenced to 32 years to life in prison, and Sanchez received five concurrent life terms in prison.

    Jones is due back in court June 13.

  • Fri, May 31, 2013 4:49 PM | NYGIA (Administrator)
    Two men shot to death in a Central Islip neighborhood less than two days apart may have been random victims of a lethal gang initiation ritual, law enforcement sources said Wednesday.

    The Sunday night shooting of Derrick Mayes, 21, and the Tuesday morning killing of Keenan Russell, also 21, matched the tactics, sources said, of a rash of shootings in the Central Islip area in 2009 and 2010 that were the work of MS-13 gang members. Some of those shootings targeted perceived rival gang members, but others claimed innocent victims.

    Law enforcement sources said they have learned from informants that a new crop of MS-13 members had been "jumped in" and were expected to "draw blood" from those they perceived as rival gang members.

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    But other sources cautioned that despite the similarities, no one has been charged in either shooting and the investigation is still in its early stages.

    Friends and relatives of Mayes, a warehouse worker, and Russell, an aspiring rapper, said they were not gang members.

    "The victims are random," a source said about the most recent killings. "The shootings are rarely random."

    Suffolk County police did not respond to requests for comment on the matter. According to the sources, the department's homicide and criminal intelligence units have reached out to federal authorities in the two cases.

    Their deaths and the fatal shooting of Matthew Gilmore, 25, just blocks away and hours later rattled residents and spurred County Executive Steve Bellone to vow to "bring the killers to justice."

    Police said Tuesday that Gilmore's shooting was not linked to the previous two.

    Mayes was found lying dead in the street with a gunshot wound to his torso about 11:35 p.m. Sunday. Police said he had been walking on Wilson Boulevard when he was confronted and shot. Witnesses in the quiet neighborhood said they heard three loud shotgun blasts but no voices or screaming.

    Mayes' mother, Sabrina Mayes, 39, said her son and his girlfriend of two years, Chanice Graham, 19, were expecting their first child in December.

    She said her son was close to his brothers and sisters and others and avoided trouble.

    "He was never in a gang. He was a normal kid," she said yesterday at her Central Islip home.

    Russell was shot in the abdomen after a party as he gathered with several others outside a house on Acorn Avenue about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. A friend of Russell said he heard the gunshot, but did not see who opened fire. He turned and ran with others back into the house and only later realized his friend was missing.

    Russell was a rapper whose music was being noticed in the industry.

    Gilmore also aspired to be a rapper and wanted to open up his own car dealership despite brushes with the law over his driving record.

    On Wednesday, the families of all three men grieved separately for them.

    "I feel numb," said Matthew Gilmore's mother, Gloria Gilmore, 70, of Central Islip. "My body can't move. I have no money to bury him because I have no insurance. I don't know what to do."

    Gilmore said she was notified of her son's death at 11:47 p.m. Tuesday. She said she has no idea if her son was involved in any trouble.

    Police have no additional information on his case.

    "It's very, very scary," said Malachi Smith, 21, a friend of Russell's, about the threat of being targeted by a gang. "I was nervous the whole ride here. In the daylight!"

    Wednesday afternoon two Suffolk detectives visited Russell's father, Clemmie Russell. They chatted for about 10 minutes and left.

    "It's rough," Clemmie Russell said afterward. "This is chaos right now. Too many kids getting killed for no good reason. I don't see a reason. It's nonsense."Five of Russell's childhood friends stopped by to pay their respects as well. They said Russell was all about playing basketball, seeing his girlfriend, working and making music.

    "It's devastating," said Deshawn Carter, 21 of Central Islip. "He was one of my closest friends. You don't imagine losing your closest friends like this. It's hard to bear."

    Deron Williams, 21 also of Central Islip, was with Russell at the party shortly before he was shot. They were standing in front of the home that was hosting the party when the shots rang out.

    "I didn't see nothing," said Williams. "My back was turned to the street. All I heard was the gunshots. Everybody started running and when I looked behind me to see if he was there, he wasn't."

    Williams said he called Russell on his cellphone to check on him and tell him he had run into the house. Russell picked up. "He told me, 'I'm good' and then my phone died."

    Those were his last words to Williams. The last he saw of Russell was the red Cubs baseball cap Russell wore earlier, lying in the street.

  • Fri, May 31, 2013 4:48 PM | NYGIA (Administrator)
    A crack down on increasing gang violence on Crandall and Thorp Streets in Binghamton results in the arrest of an alleged Latin King Gang Member.

    The Broome County Special Investigations Unit Task Force and Joint Area SWAT Team raided the first floor apartment at 25 Berlin Street in Binghamton Tuesday.

    Police say 18 year old Gabriel Gonzalez attempted to flee out the back door but was caught by officers. They say Gonzalez admitted to being a Latin King.

    He was found in possessions of a stolen revolver hand gun and a sawed-off 20 gauge shotgun.

    He will be arraigned in the City of Binghamton Court.
  • Fri, May 31, 2013 4:47 PM | NYGIA (Administrator)

    Mount Vernon Police arrested three members of the “Goonies” street gang Friday evening in connection with a murder inside a crowded Alamo Bar at 166 Gramatan Ave.

    Bronx resident Demetrius Price, 24, and Yonkers resident Donnie Dixon, 24, whose home Hill was hiding in, were subsequently arrested.

    Hill was charged with second-degree murder, a felony, Price was charged with first-degree hindering prosecution, a felony, and Dixon was charged with second-degree hindering prosecution, a felony.

    Hill’s criminal record dates back to 2005 and include seven arrests. He was charged with torturing an animal, robbery, possession of stolen property and reckless endangerment. He was convicted of seven misdemeanors and one felony.

    Mayor Ernest D. Davis praised the work of the Mount Vernon Police for their work.

    “The Mount Vernon Police Department moved swiftly to arrest those responsible for brazenly open fire in a location where others could have easily been killed or harmed,” Davis said. “Those involved in criminal activity should be forewarned; Mount Vernon Police Department will relentlessly pursue offenders and bring them to justice.”

    Sgt. Daniel Fischer led the Mount Vernon Police Department Major Case Unit in the investigation along with investigators from the Westchester County District Attorneys’ Office, FBI, Yonkers Police and Westchester County Police.

    Christopher Foe was fatally shot in the chest and abdomen around 2 a.m. on May 19. He was the second murder victim in Mount Vernon in a three-day span.

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