Skip to main content
Press Release

Crips Gang Leader Sentenced To Three Life Sentences Plus 145 Years In Prison Following His Conviction Of Racketeering And Other Crimes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Raphael Osborne Conspired to Murder and Assault Rival Gang Members, Commit Robberies, Murder a Federal Informant, and Distribute Controlled Substances

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York, Raphael Osborne, also known as “Gusto,” a Crips street gang leader from Roosevelt, New York, was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences plus 145 years in prison following his conviction after trial in April 2016. Osborne was convicted of racketeering, conspiracy, robbery, attempted murder, witness retaliation, assault with a dangerous weapon, drug conspiracy, and brandishing and discharging firearms during the commission of these offenses. These charges arose out of the defendant’s participation in, and leadership of the Rollin’ 60s set of the Crips that for many years engaged in criminal activity in Roosevelt, New York, an area victimized by a high rate of gang and drug-related violent crime.

The sentence was announced by Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Mr. Capers extended his grateful appreciation to each of the law enforcement agencies for their assistance, in particular the Gang Investigations Squad of the Nassau County Police Department and the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force.

Between 2003 and 2013, members of the gang followed an “on sight” rule established by Osborne that commanded gang members to attack rival Bloods in Roosevelt whenever possible and by whatever means available. In addition, numerous other shootings and murders were committed at Osborne’s direction. During the trial, the government elicited details of 15 shootings and three homicides that were committed by members of the Rollin’ 60s during Osborne’s reign and established that the gang financed its activities through firearms and narcotics trafficking. In one of those shootings, Osborne ordered the murder of a federal informant in October 2012. Beginning in the spring of 2012, law enforcement, with the aid of a Rollin’ 60s gang member informant, began purchasing firearms from the gang. After the informant attempted to purchase a firearm from Osborne, Osborne became suspicious and ordered other gang members to kill him. On October 13, 2012, a gang member lured the informant from his Hempstead home to a location where a fellow gang member was waiting. The informant was shot five times at close range, leaving him paralyzed.

Osborne was also responsible for distributing crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methylone, commonly known as “molly,” and for bringing hundreds of illegal firearms to Long Island, including revolvers, semi-automatic handguns, assault rifles, and submachine guns.

The government’s investigation led to the arrest of 20 members and associates of Osborne’s gang. Of those defendants, 18 have been convicted, with the final two defendants pending trial. Osborne is the eighth defendant to be sentenced since the inception of this case:

  • on June 21, 2016, Jahmani Hamilton was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of ten years;

  • on August 4, 2016, Kurtis Philip was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of ten years;

  • on August 5, 2016, Courtney Smith was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of ten years;

  • on September 23, 2016, Merlyn Benitez was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of ten years;

  • on October 13, 2016, Derick Hernandez was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 20 years that will run consecutively to a four-year state sentence that he is presently serving;

  • on October 19, 2016, Kwame Lake was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of five years that will run consecutively to an eight-year state sentence that he is presently serving; and

  • on November 4, 2016, Tyshawn Gitto was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment.


The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nicole Boeckmann, Christopher Caffarone, and Michael Maffei.

The Defendant:

Raphael Osborne (a/k/a Gusto)
Age: 31

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 14-264 (S-5) (JS)

Updated January 13, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime