Crips Gang Member Indicted For 2014 Murder
The Defendant, a Member of the Cypress Gangsta Crips, Shot and Killed a
Earlier today, a three-count indictment was unsealed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York charging Tyvon Bannister, also known as “Turtle,” with Murder In-Aid-Of Racketeering, as well as related firearms charges, for the 2014 murder of Rayvon Henriques. The defendant, who faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment if convicted of the top charge, was arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr.
The charges were announced by Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD).
“This indictment sends a message to all gang members in the Cypress Hills Houses and beyond – we will be relentless in our pursuit of violent gang members who have besieged communities like Cypress for far too long,” stated U.S. Attorney Capers. “My Office, along with our federal partners and the NYPD are committed to reducing shootings and saving lives through a coordinated effort to target the most violent offenders who are doing harm in our communities.”
“It’s hard to fathom what possesses someone to think violent acts promote their reputation, and killing someone is just another way of doing that. The criminal gangs that operate in areas of our community use violence as their calling card, and create an atmosphere of fear. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will do all we can to go after those who put so little value on human life,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.
“This long-term, coordinated investigation demonstrates the impact of precision policing: targeting those who engage in violence,” said Police Commissioner O'Neill. “The NYPD will not tolerate the East New York community being subjected to continued violence, as detailed in today's indictment. I commend the continued diligence of the detectives, agents, and prosecutors whose work resulted in today's charges.”
As detailed in the indictment and a detention memorandum filed by the government, Bannister is a member of the Cypress Gangsta Crips (CGC), a subset of the Crips street gang that is comprised of individuals residing in and around the Cypress Hills Houses, a large New York City Housing Authority complex in East New York, Brooklyn (Cypress). For years, Cypress has been besieged by gang- and drug-related violence arising largely from a long-standing feud between the CGC, who hail from the “Backside” section (buildings on Linden Avenue) and “Teamside” section of Cypress (buildings on the western end of Sutter Avenue and the northern end of Fountain Avenue), and the Bloods-affiliated gang members who reside in the “Frontside” section of Cypress (buildings on the eastern end of Sutter Avenue). CGC members and associates earn money by trafficking in drugs and firearms and committing robberies, and commit acts of violence to promote their reputation and to protect their enterprise.
On July 8, 2014, Bannister and another gang member allegedly shot and killed Henriques in front of a nightclub in East New York. Henriques, who was 26 years old at the time of his death, was targeted because of his association with the CGC’s chief rivals, the Bloods-affiliated gang members from the “Frontside” section of Cypress.
The indictment is the result of a long-term investigation initiated by the FBI, the NYPD, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2015 in response to gang-related violence in and around Cypress. The investigation has resulted in charges against 21 defendants for drug trafficking, illegal weapons possession, robbery, and murder.
The charges announced today are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Margaret E. Gandy, Andrey Spektor, and David Gopstein are in charge of the prosecution.
Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-116 (BMC)