Bridgeport Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges Stemming from Courthouse Shooting
MARQUIS ISREAL, also known as “Garf” or “Gbaby,” 25, pleaded guilty today in New Haven federal court to racketeering offenses related to his participation in a gang-related shooting in front of a state courthouse in Bridgeport in January 2020.
Today’s announcement was made by Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Joseph T. Corradino, State’s Attorney for the Fairfield Judicial District; Bridgeport Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia; James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division; David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, and Acting U.S. Marshal Lawrence Bobnick.
According to court documents and statements made in court, the FBI, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service and Bridgeport Police have been investigating multiple Bridgeport-based gangs whose members are involved in narcotics trafficking, murder and other acts of violence. Isreal has been a member of the “Original North End” (“O.N.E.”), a gang based in the Trumbull Gardens area of Bridgeport whose members sold narcotics, laundered narcotics proceeds, robbed drug dealers, stole cars from inside and outside Connecticut and used them to commit crimes, and tampered with witnesses who might testify against them. Since approximately 2017, O.N.E. members have been aligned with the “Greene Homes Boyz” (“GHB/Hotz”), a gang based in the Charles F. Greene Homes Housing Complex in Bridgeport’s North End, against rival groups in Bridgeport, including the East End, East Side and PT Barnum gangs, as well as 150, which is a geographic gang based on the West Side of Bridgeport.
In pleading guilty, Isreal admitted that he and his associates attempted to kill members and associates of the East End gang on January 27, 2020, in a brazen afternoon shooting in front of a Bridgeport courthouse. At 12:11 p.m. on that date, Bridgeport Police responded to the area of 172 Golden Hill Street in Bridgeport after a Shot Spotter activation detected approximately 20 shots being fired in front of the state courthouse located there. Upon arrival, investigators discovered that four victims had been shot while sitting inside a black Chevrolet Impala. One victim was shot in the side of his chest and was left paralyzed and a second victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his back, shoulder and wrist. The victims’ vehicle had approximately 23 entry bullet holes in the driver’s side and windshield area.
As alleged in court documents in a related case, Isreal had previously been shot and seriously wounded by one of his victims in a restaurant at 1653 Barnum Avenue in the East End of Bridgeport on September 15, 2019.
Isreal pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder and aiding and abetting, and one count of conspiracy to commit murder, both in violation of the Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering (“VCAR”) statute. Judge Arterton scheduled sentencing for December 3, 2021, at which time Isreal faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
Isreal has been detained since August 6, 2020.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by ATF, the FBI’s Safe Streets and Violent Crimes Task Forces, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, Bridgeport Police Department, Connecticut State Police and the Bridgeport State’s Attorney’s Office, with the assistance of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory and the Naugatuck Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Jocelyn C. Kaoutzanis, Rahul Kale, Peter D. Markle and Karen L. Peck.
This prosecution is a part of the Justice’s Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), Project Longevity and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) programs.
PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
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.
OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.