News and Press Releases

Eight Members of Three Brooklyn-based Motorcycle Gangs Charged Federally with Trafficking of High-caliber Weapons

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2012

Total of 61 Firearms, 7 Improvised Explosive Devices, Thousands of Rounds of Ammunition, Operational Cannon, and Narcotics Seized

Eight members of three closely related Brooklyn-based violent motorcycle gangs, the Forbidden Ones, the Dirty Ones, and the Trouble Makers, have been charged in a federal criminal complaint with firearms trafficking.1 As alleged in the complaint and set forth in a court filing by the government, the defendants sold a total of 41 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and an operational cannon to undercover officers. An additional 20 firearms, along with improvised explosive devices and illegal narcotics, were seized this morning during the execution of arrest and search warrants. The defendants arrested today will have their initial appearances this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Roanne L. Mann at the U. S. Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York.

The charges and arrests were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Joseph Anarumo, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD).

Since approximately October 2010, the ATF Joint Firearms Task Force and NYPD Brooklyn North Gang Squad have been conducting a joint investigation into firearms trafficking by these motorcycle gangs. During the course of the investigation, ATF and NYPD undercover officers posing as gun customers purchased firearms, ammunition, and a cannon from the defendants, frequently at tattoo parlors operated by the gangs. During the firearms transactions, which were captured on video and audio recordings, the defendants sold two AK-47 assault rifles, armor-piercing ammunition, and other high-caliber weapons, including a Tec-9 9mm assault pistol; a Kel Tech 9mm folding rifle; a Taurus .410 caliber revolver, known as the “Public Defender-The Judge;” and a .243 caliber rifle with night vision scope, among others. The cannon, which had been positioned to aim at the door of the Forbidden Ones’ headquarters during gang meetings, was operational and capable of firing .50 caliber ammunition. In addition, earlier today, multiple search warrants were executed at locations associated with the motorcycle gangs, resulting in the seizure of 20 additional firearms, seven improvised explosive devices, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. The location from which the improvised explosive devices were seized also operates as a day care center.

As detailed in the court filings, each defendant was a “1% patched” member of his respective motorcycle gang. The defendants wore the patch to identify themselves as “outlaws,” who reject main-stream society and live outside of the law. Four of the Forbidden Ones defendants wore a “bangout patch,” depicting two crossing handguns, which signified that the member had assaulted or engaged in one or more confrontations with law enforcement. The gang members met regularly in their respective headquarters and were heavily armed to protect against rival gangs and police intervention. Each gang also had an enforcer, tasked with ensuring that all members had ready access to firearms and explosives. Several of the defendants were frequently armed with explosives, as well as multiple firearms.

The motorcycle gangs’ primary purposes are to preserve and protect the power and prestige of the gang, and to enrich its members through robbery, firearms, and narcotics trafficking. The gangs were also frequently involved in violent acts to collect debts, defend against rival gangs, and protect their turf. The defendant Scott Brannigan, a member of the Forbidden Ones, allegedly participated in a violent melee last year that culminated in the assault of NYPD officers necessitating medical treatment.

If convicted on the sole count currently charged, the defendants each face a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment.

“As set forth in the complaint, these defendants carried out their firearms dealing with no regard for the law or the safety of others. One defendant even stored the gangs’ explosive devices in his home, despite the fact that his wife ran a day care center at the same location. Proud of living outside the law, four defendants openly celebrated their prior confrontations with law enforcement. All are now confronted with the consequences of their actions. Violent biker gangs are not outside the reach of the law - no matter how many patches or tattoos they wear.” Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the Kings County District Attorney’s Office for its assistance and added that the government’s investigation is continuing.

ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Anarumo stated, “In a targeted approach, our agents, working with NYPD, made multiple purchases of illegal firearms and ammunition, and quantities of narcotics. The culmination of this investigation results in safer streets for our city.”

NYPD Commissioner Kelly stated, “The suspects should consider changing their names to ‘Busted Bikers’ after the outstanding work of the NYPD detectives and federal agents in this case, and by U.S. Attorney Lynch’s team in bringing it to court. We’re helping to keep New York safe by arresting and prosecuting those who carry, use, or sell illegal guns.”

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Celia A. Cohen.

The Defendants:

SCOTT BRANNIGAN, (a/k/a “Spider”)
Age: 61
Rockaway Park, New York

NESTOR CARDENAS, (a/k/a “Nesto”)
Age: 46
Brooklyn, New York

MIGUEL MAISONET, (a/k/a “Mike”)
Age: 47
Brooklyn, New York

FRANK MIRANDA, (a/k/a “Afro”)
Age: 50
Brooklyn, New York

SAMUEL MOYA, (a/k/a “Sammy”)
Age: 44
New York, New York

JOSE PEREZ, (a/k/a “Rusty”)
Age: 49
Maspeth, New York

KEITH TERRY
Age: 52
Brooklyn, New York

JONDALE WILLIS (a/k/a “Jay”)
Age: 33
Brooklyn, New York

 

 

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1The charges in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.



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