New York Man Charged with Murders
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Phillip Michael Bryant, 25, of Brooklyn, New York was indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday for participating in a criminal organization that engaged in acts of violence including murders, narcotics distribution and weapons violations in the Lincoln Park Housing Development in Hampton, Virginia. Bryant was previously indicted in March on drug and firearm charges. He was recently arrested in Albany, New York.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement following return of the superseding indictment. Bryant was charged with the murders of two individuals while using a firearm which are death eligible offenses subject to a decision by the United States Attorney General.
“Phillip Bryant and members of his gang allegedly came from New York and spread fear and violence – including multiple murders – to maintain a crack cocaine trafficking operation in the Lincoln Park Housing Development in Hampton,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “These charges are a result of the dedicated work of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and Hampton Police Division to hold those responsible for these murders accountable.”
According to the superseding indictment, the defendant and others were part of a criminal organization known locally as the “New York Boys,” a neighborhood set of the national gang known as “the Bloods.” The “New York Boys” members and associates engaged in trafficking cocaine base, cocaine and marijuana brought from New York for sale in Lincoln Park. The alleged gang members are accused in the indictment of protecting their criminal enterprise and activities through the use of intimidation, violence and threats of violence – including the murders of Sean McCracken on November 1, 2009 and Johnny Avery on March 19, 2010.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force and Hampton Police Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Howard J. Zlotnick and Lisa R. McKeel are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.