Christopher Acevedo, a founder and leader of the Wood City street gang based in the Woodhull neighborhood of Queens, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Diane Gujarati in federal court in Brooklyn to two terms of life imprisonment to run concurrently, for murder in aid of racketeering and causing death through the use of a firearm. Acevedo was convicted by a federal jury in May 2023 following a two-week trial.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the sentence.
“Christopher Acevedo showed his indifference for human life when he murdered David Hutchinson in broad daylight over a petty gang dispute, in order to maintain and burnish his status as the leader of a violent street gang whose members felt insulted by the taking of a piece of jewelry,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “Yesterday’s sentence of life imprisonment demonstrates the heinousness of Acevedo’s crime and sends a message that gun violence has no place in our society.”
Mr. Peace thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York City Police Department, and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force for their exemplary work on the case.
Since at least 2010, the Wood City gang has been engaged in racketeering activity, including murder, drug trafficking, and various forms of fraud and identity theft. Acevedo was the founder and leader of the gang which was so named because many of its members lived around Woodhull Avenue in Jamaica, Queens. Since at least 2011, Wood City has been involved in a war with rival “Snow Gang,” another violent gang based in Queens. During this period, members of Wood City and Snow Gang would regularly taunt and insult each other using social media platforms and phone calls.
On August 26, 2019, members of Snow Gang, including one of its leaders, robbed a gold “YTB” chain from a high-ranking member of Wood City while he was at a recording studio in Queens. Shortly after the robbery, the Snow Gang leader posted a photo himself wearing the YTB chain on social media. As a leader of Wood City, Acevedo was expected to retaliate for the chain-snatching to protect his gang’s reputation. Acevedo and other Wood City members drove to Snow Gang territory and spotted a vehicle with the Snow Gang leader who had robbed the chain and other members and associates of Snow Gang. After following that vehicle to the front of a deli in the vicinity of 140th Avenue and Springfield Boulevard, Acevedo pulled alongside the vehicle and fired a dozen shots, killing the driver, David Hutchinson. The murder occurred in broad daylight outside a bodega filled with civilians.
The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kayla C. Bensing and Benjamin Weintraub, and former Assistant United States Attorney James P. McDonald.
Queens, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 21-CR-162 (DG)