News and Press Releases

Leader of the Folk Nation, a Violent Brooklyn Street Gang, Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Racketeering and Multiple Murders and Attempted Murders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2008

Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced today that JAMES MCTIER, also known as “JD,” the leader of the Folk Nation street gang in Brooklyn, was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for his February 4, 2008, conviction for racketeering, three murders, three attempted murders, murder conspiracy, narcotics trafficking, and other crimes. Following capital sentencing proceedings that began on February 12, 2008, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict regarding the death penalty. As a result, MCTIER faced a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. Today’s sentencing was held before United States District Judge I. Leo Glasser at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York.

The Folk Nation is a nationwide gang active in numerous cities and prisons across the United States. The Folk Nation gang active in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn operated out of the Marcus Garvey Village and Riverdale Towers housing facilities. Led by MCTIER, the gang was notoriously violent and murdered, shot at, stabbed, and robbed rival gang members as well as innocent bystanders.

In total, 10 members and associates of the Folk Nation have been convicted in this district of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, seven murders, more than a dozen attempted murders, murder conspiracy, drug trafficking and firearms offenses. MCTIER’s murder victims included Tabitha Buckman, a Brooklyn restaurant manager who was an innocent bystander shot in the head during a Folk Nation drive-by shooting; Ricky Tubens, an 18-year-old whom MCTIER stabbed through the heart as Tubens was trying to break up a fight; and Shamel Ayatolla, whom MCTIER shot outside of Marcus Garvey Village because MCTIER did not like the way Ayatolla looked at him. Other Folk Nation acts of violence included a gang-related murder attempt that wounded an off-duty officer of the New York City Police Department, a gang-related murder attempt in which an innocent 13-year old girl was shot in the head, and a drive-by shooting in which a woman holding her two-year old child was hit by a stray bullet.

“Under the defendant’s leadership, the Folk Nation became one of the most dangerous and feared street gangs in New York,” stated United States Attorney Campbell. “MCTIER and his gang turned their Brooklyn neighborhood into a war zone, threatening the lives and safety of innocent bystanders and law enforcement officers. We are gratified that MCTIER will now spend the rest of his life behind bars.” Mr. Campbell commended the extraordinary efforts of the New York City Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives for their exhaustive investigation.

The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Morris Fodeman, Jeffrey Knox, and Jason Jones.

The Defendant:

JAMES MCTIER, also known as “JD”
Age: 26



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