New Haven Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Racketeering Charge, Admits Gang-Related Shootings
John Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that, on September 14, 2018, MILTON WESTLEY, also known as “Reese,” 20, of New Haven, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to a federal racketeering charge stemming from his role in a New Haven 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.
In pleading guilty, WESTLEY admitted that he was a member of GSB, that he sold drugs with other GSB members, and that he was involved in two gang-related shooting incidents.
The first shooting incident occurred after GSB members believed that an individual had disrespected them over social media and GSB members sought to retaliate. In the early morning hours of January 23, 2016, GSB members fired multiple shots into the individual’s house in New Haven. WESTLEY video recorded himself at the scene while shots were being fired and sent the video to other GSB members.
In the early morning hours of May 27, 2016, in the area of Sperry Street and Whalley Avenue in New Haven, WESTLEY shot an individual from afar, and then, while the victim was on the ground, shot him in the head at close range. The victim survived the shooting.
On August 3, 2017, a grand jury in New Haven returned a 13-count indictment charging WESTLEY and five other individuals 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.
WESTLEY pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. A sentencing date is not scheduled.
WESTLEY had been detained since his arrest on August 9, 2017.
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 Jocelyn Courtney Kaoutzanis, Peter D. Markle and Rahul Kale.