3 New Haven Gang Members Plead Guilty to Federal Racketeering Charges
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that three New Haven men have pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court to various charges related to their roles in a violent street gang.
According to statements made in court, the New Haven Police Department’s Shooting Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have been investigating approximately 40 unsolved shootings in New Haven and Hamden. Ballistic examination of recovered cartridge cases determined that three firearms were used in 18 shootings committed in or around New Haven in 2016. The investigation has revealed that the firearms were possessed by members and associates of the Goodrich Street Boys (“GSB”), a New Haven street gang, and that GSB members also were involved in a number of other shootings in 2016, many of them retaliatory against rival gang members.
On August 3, 2017, a grand jury in New Haven returned a 13-count indictment charging MILTON WESTLEY, CLIFFORD BRODIE, SEDALE PERVIS, DEJUAN WARD, MICHAEL BELLE, and MICHAEL VIA with racketeering, attempted murder, firearm and narcotics trafficking offenses. The indictment alleges that, between September 2015 and May 2016, GSB members and associates were involved in six gang-related shootings that caused injuries to five individuals.
On September 21, 2018, SEDALE PERVIS, also known as “Scope,” 26, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. In pleading guilty, Pervis admitted that, on September 2, 2016, he possessed a distribution quantity of marijuana, and also possessed a loaded Ruger model P85, 9mm handgun. During the investigation, law enforcement also recovered a .380 caliber firearm that contained Pervis’s DNA.
Pervis admitted that he knew that other GSB members planned to use the 9mm firearm to shoot an individual on May 27, 2016. Ballistics from both the 9mm and .380 firearm were found at the scene of the shooting on that date. The investigation revealed that the 9mm and .380 caliber firearms also were used in other shootings.
On September 26, 2018, CLIFFORD BRODIE, also known as Cliff G,” 21, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity and one count of brandishing of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. In pleading guilty, Brodie admitted that he and other GSB members sold cocaine and heroin. He also admitted that he was present and brandished a firearm at a February 6, 2016, shooting of rival gang members during which a bystander was shot and almost died. He further admitted that, on April 4, 2016, after rival gang members were shot by a fellow GSB member, he drove the assailants home.
On September 27, 2018, MICHAEL BELLE, also known as “MB,” 20, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity. In pleading guilty, BELLE admitted that he was present at the January 23, 2016, shooting at a rival gang member’s house. He also admitted that he and other GSB members agreed to shoot an individual on April 3, 2016, because the individual had information that led to the conviction of a GSB member.
The charge of conspiracy to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. As to Pervis, the charge of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a mandatory consecutive prison term of five years. As to Brodie, the charge of possession of a firearm during an in relation to a crime of violence carries a mandatory consecutive prison term of seven years.
Milton Westley, also known as “Reese,” and Michael Via, also known as “Mike Live,” previously pleaded guilty to related charges and await sentencing.
All of the defendants who have pleaded guilty are detained pending sentencing.
Dejuan Ward is awaiting trial. As to Ward, U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
U.S. Attorney Durham noted that this prosecution is a part of the Justice’s Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program and Project Longevity. PSN is a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Longevity is a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities. Through Project Longevity, community members and law enforcement directly engage with members of groups that are prone to commit violence and deliver a community message against violence, a law enforcement message about the consequences of further violence and an offer of help for those who want it.
This investigation is being conducted by ATF and the New Haven Police Department. The FBI, Hamden Police Department and New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office have provided critical assistance in the investigation.
An instrumental component of this investigation has been the work of the Connecticut State Crime Laboratory in utilizing the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) to analyze ballistics evidence.
This matter is being prosecuted in the District of Connecticut by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter D. Markle, Rahul Kale and Jocelyn Courtney Kaoutzanis.