MS-13 Gang Leader Sentenced to Life in Prison for Racketeering Charges Including the Murder of 16-Year-Old Victim in Alley Pond Park in Queens
Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, Richard Michel, also known as “G-Light” and “Gangsta Light,” the leader of the Red Lane Gorillas “set” of the Bloods street gang, was sentenced by United States District Judge Joanna Seybert to 30 years’ imprisonment for racketeering and predicate acts including the October 2011 kidnapping and assault of a rival gang member and another man in Hempstead, the July 15, 2012 murder of Anthony Richard in Baldwin Harbor, and the September 2016 attempted murder of a disloyal Bloods gang member in Uniondale. Michel pleaded guilty to the charges in December 2021 along with co-defendant Dylan Cruz.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the sentence.
“For the murder, kidnapping, and assaults of Michel’s victims, the pain to their loved ones, and the violence Michel brought to our communities, today’s sentence is justice served,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “As a result of the hard work of our prosecutors and law enforcement partners, Michel’s gang has been dismantled. And, we will not rest until all violent criminal enterprises on Long Island are eliminated.”
Mr. Peace thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, the Nassau County Police Department, and the New York City Police Department for their outstanding investigative work on the case.
Michel, along with other members of the Red Lane Gorillas, engaged in a violent gang war against rival gangs, including the Crips and the 5-9 Brims set of the Bloods, in Nassau County and Brooklyn. To maintain his leadership position in the gang and to keep rival gangs in fear, Michel engaged in extreme violence against anyone suspected of disloyalty or being disrespectful of his gang.
According to court filings and statements made by the defendant at his guilty plea, Michel, among other crimes, admitted his role in the murder of Richard, an individual that he wrongly suspected of assisting the Crips in the 2010 murder of a member of their gang. Cruz and Michel, together with fellow gang members and associates located the victim, obtained a firearm, and followed the victim’s vehicle to Baldwin Harbor. Cruz, who was Michel’s top lieutenant, exited the vehicle he was travelling in, walked up to the victim’s car and fired approximately 15 shots into the vehicle at close range, killing Richard and wounding his passenger. Michel also admitted to the October 13, 2011 gunpoint kidnapping and assault of someone he perceived as a disloyal gang member and another man in Hempstead, New York. Further, Michel admitted pulling the trigger in the September 9, 2016 attempted murder of a fellow Bloods gang member whom he suspected of disloyalty, in which the victim was lured from Brooklyn to Uniondale under the guise of a marijuana deal. Once at an isolated location in Uniondale, Michel shot the man in the back of the neck and left him in the street to die. The man survived his wounds. In June 2022, Cruz was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. As part of the program, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and their local communities to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Nicole Boeckmann, Michael Maffei and Oren Gleich are in charge of the prosecution.
RiCHARD MICHEL (also known as “G-Light” and “Gangsta Light”)
Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket Nos. 18-CR-664 (S-1) (JS)
Danielle Blustein Hass
United States Attorney’s Office