NEW YORK GANG
INVESTIGATORS ASSOCIATION

News

 

   
  • Thu, April 02, 2015 11:09 AM | Trevor (Administrator)

    Enhanced enforcement by the Syracuse Police Department this winter, as part of the TRUCE initiative, has led to the arrest of 20 Bricktown and Bootcamp gang members.

    Syracuse TRUCE started two years ago, as a collaboration between police and community service organizations with the aim of reducing gun violence in the city.

    The gang-related killing of Kendall Williams on New Year’s Day pushed the TRUCE program into action this winter.  The so-called trigger, meant ramped up street level enforcement in certain parts of the city and more parole and probation visits among other things.

    It ended with 20 arrests of Bricktown and Bootcamp gang members, on charges ranging from murder to firearm possesion. 

    Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said this stepped up enforcement is only one result of the latest TRUCE initiative meant to curb gun violence in the city. 

    “We know that we can’t arrest our way out of this problem,” Fowler said. “It’s going to take a collective effort. Intervention and prevention is going to be key in this.” 

    Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner and Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler discuss the TRUCE program at a news conference Wednesday <img src="/sites/wrvo/files/styles/default/public/201504/March_31__2015_at_0513PM.jpg" alt="Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner and Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler discuss the TRUCE program at a news conference Wednesday">
    Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner and Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler discuss the TRUCE program at a news conference Wednesday
    Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

    Fowler said arrest figures show a 50 percent drop in serious crimes following the latest TRUCE triggered initiative.

    TRUCE Program Director Sheria Dixon said TRUCE is more than just a crackdown on gang members.  It’s the opportunity for gang members to get out, by offering them a place to belong.  Community organizations work together with gang members who want to leave that life, helping them find jobs or an education.  She believes it’s making a difference in the community.

    “I grew up in this community,” Dixon said. “My parents still live in the house I was raised in.  I talk to my parents and people who live in that area all the time.  They feel the police presence, and they see that it’s there.  It’s making it easier to be in the front yard and do yard work, because they know that they are going to have that police interaction and that police presence."

  • Thu, April 02, 2015 11:08 AM | Trevor (Administrator)

     

    HARLEM — An anti-violence program that uses ex-gang members to stop shootings, and is the model for a $13 million citywide expansion of the initiative, is being revamped after allegations surfaced that employees were still active gang members, DNAinfo New York has learned.

    In the wake of the revelations, several members of the group, called SNUG, which is "guns" spelled backwards, have been removed, according to the Mission Society of New York City, which runs the program.

    Remaining staff members who were being retrained and "new security protocols" are being put in place, they said.

    Shawanna Vaughn, a worker at the Central Harlem organization, was placed under police protection following the shooting of a former SNUG employee.

    "They are hiring active gangbangers," said Vaughn, 36, who has worked at the program as a violence interrupter and hospital responder for several months. "It needs to be shut down."

    Vaughn said she made an official visit to the former violence interrupter and hospital responder in Harlem Hospital on Feb. 20 after he was shot on 142nd Street and Seventh Avenue, which is in SNUG's territory.

    The shooting victim believed someone at SNUG was responsible for the gunplay and had allegedly made threats that caused employees to believe that violence might erupt, according to a recorded meeting with managers of the SNUG program obtained by DNAinfo New York.

    The victim had been removed from his job prior to the shooting.

    The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment on the shooting.

    When Vaughn went to Mission Society management with a report she made on the shooting, she claims it was swept under the rug.

    "They told me to delete the report, that it never happened," said Vaughn, who fears for her safety.

    When she complained to the mayor's office shortly after the shooting about what was happening at the Mission Society, Vaughn says she was fired. Several other Harlem SNUG workers have left the area out of fear for their safety, sources said.

    The de Blasio administration acknowledged problems with hiring practices for the program.

    “The City takes these allegations seriously and we have been meeting with Mission Society leadership to ensure appropriate hiring practices are in place and that the program is currently staffed to effectively and safely carry out its mission," said Sarah Solon, a spokeswoman for the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.

    On the recording, two SNUG supervisors acknowledged that the former employee had been shot and that they had received notification from Harlem Hospital.

    "He's bringing outside in. That's the danger," one supervisor can be heard saying.

    The supervisors also listened as SNUG employees described how they felt their lives were in jeopardy because of the shooting, which they say they don't know the motivation for.

    "It's only a matter of time before something...really, really bad happens to someone on the team," said an individual who worked as a SNUG violence interrupter, according to the recording.

    "I'm feeling like I might have to go back to my old ways," the recording captured the violence interrupter, who is also a former gang member, saying.

    The same SNUG member described how female employees of the program such as Vaughn felt afraid for their lives.

    "Fear is not necessarily a bad thing," a supervisor says on the recording. "We hired them for their ability to go through s--t like this."

    The SNUG worker promptly corrects the supervisor.

    "No, we hired them because they were supposed to be able to have credibility and be able to do mediations," said the worker. "We didn't hire them to get ready for war."

    DNAinfo is withholding the names of the SNUG employees due to safety concerns. Vaughn said she was afraid, but felt she had to speak out publicly.

    "The Mission Society is acting like the criminals," Vaughn said.

    Under current protocols, ex-gang members being considered for jobs are interviewed by a panel that may include Health Department officials, local police, social service providers and community leaders.

    Employees must take a criminal background test and undergo screening to make sure they are not actively using drugs or still involved with gangs or illegal activity.

    The Mission Society declined to make President Elsie McCabe Thompson or any other staff member available for an interview or to directly respond to questions.

    In a statement, McCabe Thompson acknowledged that the Mission Society had "removed several individuals" from the SNUG program and has launched a search for several new staff members.

    "An internal review identified areas for improvement in the program’s management and delivery of services, and noted a lapse in protocols," the statement read. "We value all of our employees and we take seriously any concerns about our model."

    Robin Levine, a spokeswoman for City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, did not directly respond to questions, but said the City Council, which funded the first SNUG programs, was "proud" of its efforts and "will continue to examine strategies" to reduce gun violence.

    The Mission Society receives $1,469,216 in funding from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Health and Hospitals Corporation and the Mayor’s Fund, as well as private sources.

    SNUG is modeled after the Ceasefire Chicago initiative where former gang members serve as "violence interrupters" to stop shootings by trying to convince gang members to go into mediation to resolve their disputes while trying to cajole them out of the gang lifestyle.

    SNUG members also employ hospital responders who go to Harlem Hospital to speak with every shooting victim.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in August that he was launching a “Gun Violence Crisis Management System" to "prevent violence before it happens" that would expand the program to 14 neighborhoods with stubborn gun violence.

    In addition to the Central Harlem site, the Mission Society also runs a similar program in East Harlem and The Bronx that was a part of the expansion announced by de Blasio last August.

    The expansion effort began hiring staff in December and now has programs in neighborhoods from Coney Island to Long Island City's Queensbridge Houses.

    City officials say studies show the model works in spite of the troubles taking place in Harlem. The revamping of the city's effort to reduce gun violence comes as the number of shooting incidents and shooting victims have increased by 11 and 10 percent respectively this year.

    David Brotherton, a professor and chairman of the sociology department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who studies gangs, said there are risks associated with the model.

    "I'm sure there are some dodgy people who have a seat in both camps," Brotherton said about the ex-gang members.

    He added that the model is a worthwhile alternative to heavy-handed policing, but it should only serve as a part of the solution.

    "Maybe you can stop homicides for five months but all the other problems of a community" that help gangs flourish, such as poverty and elevated school dropout rates, remain the same, Brotherton said.

    "These programs act as a kind of salve to the system," he added. "No one is doing anything to structurally rethink these neighborhoods."

     

  • Wed, January 28, 2015 8:02 AM | Trevor (Administrator)
    Four members of the Get Money Gangstas street gang pleaded guilty in relation to a Mount Vernon murder three years ago.
    Four members of the Get Money Gangstas street gang pleaded guilty in relation to a Mount Vernon murder three years ago. Photo Credit: Westchester County District Attorney's Office    

    MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Four members of the Mount Vernon Get Money Gangstas street gang pleaded guilty to reduced charges in Westchester County court and now face lengthy prison sentences.

    Mark “Markie” Ogilvie, 25; Tyron “Yayo” McCallum, 27; Travis “Trav” Clarke, 25, all of Mount Vernon; and Bronx native Jason “Dutch” White, 32, pleaded guilty to a series of felony charges stemming from an investigation into several homicides that occurred in March 2012, according to Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore.

    Ogilvie pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree manslaughter and one count of criminal possession of a weapon. McCallum pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and one count of criminal possession of a weapon. Each crime is a felony.

    Clarke, the group's youngest member, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder, while White pleaded guilty to a felony count of criminal possession of a weapon.

    Each of the Mount Vernon defendants stood accused of second-degree murder for their role in gang hits on March 11, 2012 that left three men dead.

    The first victim, Russell Watkins, a Get Money Gangstas associate, was shot while riding his dirt bike in front of a series of witnesses on Seventh Avenue. The investigation into that murder is ongoing, though it is believed the suspect is a member of a rival street gang, the Goonies.

    In retaliation, two associates of the Goonies were “hunted down,” shot and killed later that day.

    Shortly before 9 p.m., Stephon Ramsey was shot and killed as he attempted to leave his home. The victim suffered gunshot wounds to the back of his head and right thigh. He died in Jacobi Medical Center eight days later.

    Approximately two hours later, Cleveland Baxter was shot while driving his BMW. He died in Mount Vernon Hospital the next day. Six rounds were found in his body during the autopsy. The gun used by the defendants was sold and later recovered by the NYPD in the Bronx.

    The joint investigation included officials from the District Attorney’s office, Mount Vernon Police Department, the state Department of Corrections and the FBI. Each of the defendants will be sentenced in the spring.

    “In our targeting these gangs, Mount Vernon has seen its gun violence homicides reduced dramatically,” DiFiore said. “The city is now a safer place for all its citizens, some of the same citizens that allowed both the DA and city detectives to develop their trust and confidence, thus allowing witnesses to come forward, resulting in today’s guilty pleas.”

  • Mon, January 26, 2015 7:17 PM | Trevor (Administrator)

    JACKSON HEIGHTS — A teen high-fived his friends after a rival gang member was shot and later told police he hoped the victim died, police said.

    Ivan Gomez, 17, was captured on video with two friends — who are still at large — approaching the victim and beginning to fight in front of a deli at 90th Street and 37th Avenue at 7:45 p.m. on Dec. 22, police said.

    The victim was shot in the back after running away from the group, according to the NYPD.

    The three suspects were seen on video high-fiving one another after shooting the victim, who was taken to Elmhurst Hospital with a collapsed lung.

    Gomez, who has no criminal record, later told police he and his friends “held it down,” police said.

    “We f--ked him up, I hope that motherf--ker dies,” he told officers, according to the criminal complaint.

    Police sources said he was not the shooter.

    Just an hour before the shooting, Gomez and his two friends robbed another man in front of the deli at 6:45 p.m., swiping his cellphone and threatening him with a gun, according to prosecutors.

    Both incidents are gang-related, police said.

    Gomez was arrested on Jan. 6, and was charged with attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon and robbery for both incidents, police said.

    A message left for his lawyer was not immediately returned.

  • Mon, January 26, 2015 7:10 PM | Trevor (Administrator)

    A student used a loaded gun to strike a classmate inside Progress HS for Professional Careers in Brooklyn — just hours before two other students were shot in a gang-related fight, The Post has learned.


    News of the hallway assault shocked and angered staffers in the Grand Street Campus, a building that houses three Williamsburg high schools, because many were not informed about the incident at the time, sources say.


    “Why weren’t we told? We want to be on the alert. We want to have a heads up,” an insider said.


    Some blamed Progress Principal William Jusino, who lobbied hard to have metal detectors removed from the building in 1996.


    In the school last Tuesday at about 1:30 p.m., a 17-year-old boy was walking to class when Traevon Stokes, 18, pulled the loaded pistol from his pants and struck him in the head, cops said.


    A school safety agent spotted the attack and seized the gun. Stokes was arrested and charged with assault and criminal weapon possession. The victim was treated at the scene.

    At about 2:50 p.m., shortly after dismissal, shots rang out less than a block away. A 17-year-old boy was shot in the arm and a 14-year-old girl was struck in the leg. The boy was the intended target, police said.


    The shooter jumped on a bus and fled. Cops later found a .25 caliber handgun believed to have been used in the shooting, but have not yet made any arrests.


    The shooting was apparently gang-related, cops said. Whether the shooting and earlier gun attack are related is under investigation.


    The NYPD has since stationed mobile metal detectors at the school.


    Jusino did not return a call or e-mail, but told The Post in 2011 that he opposed permanent scanners.


    “We greet students at the door with respect,” he said.


  • Thu, January 22, 2015 8:31 AM | Trevor (Administrator)

     

    Just over a month after setting out on their first patrol in Greenport, the Guardian Angels are reporting positive results: According to Benjamin Garcia, who leads the Greenport patrol, MS-13 gang members who’d been preying on women and employees at a convenience store in Greenport, after seeing the organized presence of the Guardian Angels, have hit the road and made themselves scarce.

    Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, said those results speak to the direct and positive impact the group has made on the community. “It can best be seen so far in the way we have been attempting to uproot the gang members away from the bodegas and convenience stores where they have been problematic. Harrasing women, intimidating the customers and threatening the store owners. Most important, when the children walk by, they now see there is an alternative to MS-13 and 18th Street gangs. It is the Guardian Angels.”

    In November, at a mass held at St. Agnes R.C. Church in Greenport, members of the Latino community applauded the Guardian Angels and signed up to join patrols as new recruits; two of those new members were present Saturday night.

    “The involvement as Guardian Angels from the immigrant community of Greenport is imperative to the success of our effort to stem the growing gang activity in the community and schools,” Sliwa said. “Initially our detractors said it couldn’t happen. But the Guardian Angel effort involves self-help. And the immigrant community, through their support and involvement as Guardian Angels, are taking responsibility for what happens in their community.”

    Next, the Guardian Angels are set to commence patrols this month in Riverhead, Sliwa said; in December, Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said he’d welcome the Guardian Angels to Riverhead with an eye toward combating gang activity and keeping the Latino community safe from “thugs”.

    “Our successful launch of the Guardian Angels in the immigrant community of Greenport has paved the way for the start of our effort in Riverhead. Our first patrol will go out the last week of January. The town supervisor has requested that we focus on the immigrant community of Riverhead where a number of crime problems have taken place of late. We will be seeking recruits from that community to patrol Riverhead as Guardian Angels,” Sliwa said.

    After the alleged gang attack in Southold in October, Sliwa offered to help address what he considers a growing threat not only on the North Fork but nationwide.

    Sliwa has said that having Guardian Angels from the immigrant community who speak Spanish is critical, to reach out to the burgeoning Latino community most vulnerable to gangs preying on their youth. It happens most often in local school districts — with some children recruited into MS-13 and 18th Street gangs as young as six years old. Forming bonds of trust within the Latino community, the Guardian Angels in Greenport are able to bridge gaps and communicate with those who’ve long felt disenfranchised and want to keep their streets safe from gangs, he said.

    “It’s important to realize that this is a community that wants to help themselves,” Sliwa said.

    During an earlier patrol in December, new recruits spoke to SoutholdLOCAL about what had compelled them to don the red jackets and berets that are the hallmark of the Guardian Angels — and to hit the streets.

    “I have kids, a 14 year old and an 18-month old,” said Oscar Cruz of Greenport. “Every generation, they’re waiting for help from the outside, or waiting for cops to do the job. I want to make a difference. If we can do something about leaving our streets safe for our children, for the future, even if we catch one bad guy, it will make a difference.”

    He added, “It’s better to start today to make a change, rather than waiting for the next generation.”

    Oscar Sanchez said he has long been motivated to get involved after Eber Lopez, 15, of Greenport was shot by alleged gang members in 2009. The teen, who went missing after a christening, was found in Farmingville.

    Sanchez he knew the boy, and since his death, always felt the need to do something to stem the tide of gang activity in his own community. “He was at a party with gang members. And then he was shot,” he said.

    “I like helping the community,” added Minor Barcarsel of Greenport.

    Gabriel Gonzales said he joined the effort “to clean up the community and get rid of the gangs. We want to protect all the children.”

    One woman, who declined to be named out of fear for her own safety, confirmed in December that she hoped to join the Guardian Angels; she was moved to take action after her brother was almost assaulted by a known MS-13 gang member in Greenport.

    Another employee of a local business who saw the Guardian Angels gathered outside Monday night said she was happy to see them in the village. “Having them here means more security,” she said. 

    2015_0118_Guardian
  • Sat, January 17, 2015 8:26 AM | Trevor (Administrator)

    NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi                                                                                                                                                                                                     Cops were warned to be watchful, especially in Brownsville's Howard Houses.

    Cops were warned on Friday that a Brooklyn street gang may be gunning for them soon, according to authorities.

    Detectives from Brownsville’s 73rd Precinct received information that the gang, known as the Young Gunnerz, have made “threats of violence” against cops, according to the internal memo, acquired by the Daily News on Friday.

    Cops citywide were told to be careful, especially in Brownsville and the Howard Houses where the gang is active.

    “All (officers) on patrol are to use caution and to be aware of their surroundings at all times,” the memo noted. Earlier this week, cops were told members of the Latin Kings had planned to shoot cops in the Bronx, but the threat was ultimately deemed not credible.

  • Mon, January 12, 2015 8:32 AM | Trevor (Administrator)

    The daughter of a former member of the Latin Kings gang demonstrates hand signals with gang handkerchiefs. The notorious gang allegedly has a plot against cops in the Bronx.Matthew Roberts for new york daily newsThe daughter of a former member of the Latin Kings gang demonstrates hand signals with gang handkerchiefs. The notorious gang allegedly has a plot against cops in the Bronx.

    Cops across the city have been warned of a possible plot by the Latin Kings gang to shoot officers at a specific Bronx intersection in the coming weeks, according to police sources.

    The department named seven believed associates of the notorious gang who were possibly planning to ambush cops at W. Farms Road and E. Tremont Ave. in Castle Hill during the week of Jan. 19, according to the NYPD’s intelligence bureau, which transmitted the threat to all posts and commands on Sunday.

    An informant reported the alleged plot to cops, but the threat had not yet been verified, according to the memo, which nevertheless urged rank and file cops to use extreme caution when interacting with the men.

    At least two of the potential threat-makers have served time in state prison on charges of attempted robbery and weapons possession, according to public records.

  • Wed, November 12, 2014 2:56 PM | COREY

    Thursday, Nov 6, 2014 • Updated at 3:24 PM EST

    Fourteen members of the Latin Kings street gang have been indicted on charges accusing them of attacks against rivals that left four victims maimed for life, law enforcement officials announced Thursday.
    One victim was stabbed and nearly scalped in an attack last year, according to the indictment. Three of his fellow gang members who were present at the time were also assaulted. They all survived.
    Vodka, Heroin, Razors Easy to Smuggle Into Rikers: Probe
    "The streets of Brooklyn do not belong to the Latin Kings but to the people of Brooklyn, and our streets after now safer as a result of these arrests," Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said in a statement.
    Ten of the indicted gang members were arrested Wednesday; four were already behind bars. They were arraigned in Brooklyn Supreme Court and nine were ordered to return to court in January. The lead defendant, Luis Blanco, 26, alleged "First Crown" of the Latin King's Outlaw tribe, was held without bail.
    Man Attacks 7-Year-Old Son, 2 Women With Barbell: Cops
    The charges against them include attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, gang assault and tampering with witnesses in connection with attacks on seven rivals of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation's Outlaws tribe, according to the indictment.
    If convicted of the most serious charges, each defendant faces up to 25 years in prison, Thompson said.
    The charges stem from attacks against rival gang members that began in September, 2013.
    A second indictment charges four individuals, including a Latin King, with kidnapping and other crimes in connection with an assault and robbery on Oct. 21 in East New York.

  • Wed, November 12, 2014 2:54 PM | COREY

    By Mark Belcher, News 4 Digital Producer
    Published: November 7, 2014, 9:49 pm

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) undefined A 10th Street Gang member was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison for the murder of a rival gang member in 2009.

    Miguel Moscoso, 23, of Buffalo was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara. He originally was convicted of Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) after being a member of the 10th Street Gang for only a year.

    “Today’s sentence – like others issued in this case – demonstrates that those who engage in gang activity pay a heavy price upon conviction,” U.S. Attorney William Hochul said.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Tripi said Moscoso participated in gang violence, possessed firearms, sold marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine and other controlled substances on Buffalo’s west side.

    Moscoso isn’t the only 10th Street Gang member who has been convicted. He and 44 of his former gang have been convicted as part of the case.

© New York Gang Investigators Association
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software