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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

Monday, March 24, 2014

Crips Gang Member Sentenced To 168 Months In Prison

Defendant Committed Or Attempted To Commit Six Carjackings And Two Home Invasion Robberies



Earlier today, at the United States Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, Thomas Harris, a member of the Crips gang, was sentenced to 168 months in prison. On January 5, 2013, Harris pled guilty to charges of robbery conspiracy and brandishing of a firearm.1

The sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Thomas J. Cannon, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), New York Field Office.

“Harris and his fellow gang member, Wendell Jenkins, terrorized the communities of Brooklyn and Queens by committing a spree of carjackings,” stated U.S. Attorney Lynch. “His senseless acts of violence have now earned him a home in a federal prison for the next 14 years.”

As part of his plea agreement, Harris admitted that he participated in six carjackings or attempted carjackings and two home invasion robberies between April 10, 2010 and February 28, 2011. According to the government’s sentencing memorandum, during one attempted carjacking in Jamaica, Queens, Harris and Jenkins forced a woman to give them her ATM cards and ATM PINs, and then forced the victim into the trunk of her car as they drove to nearby ATMs, where they stole $2,000 from her bank accounts. They then left her abandoned on the side of the road.

In another instance, the defendants attempted to carjack a mother and her young child in the drive-through of a McDonald’s restaurant in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. The defendants fled only after the woman panicked, took her foot off the car brake, and hit another car. Undeterred, the team then committed an armed carjacking of an elderly man a few blocks away.

After the arrest of his co-defendant Jenkins, Harris fled to Oakland, California, where he was arrested by Deputy U.S. Marshals. Harris possessed two kilograms of marijuana, 2.9 grams of methamphetamine and three firearms, including an assault-style rifle, at the time of his arrest.

The sentencing proceeding was held before the Honorable Frederic Block, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York.

The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Amatruda.

The Defendant:


Age: 31


1 On October 5, 2013, co-defendant Wendell Jenkins was sentenced to 154 months in prison following his guilty plea to charges of robbery conspiracy and possession of a firearm.

Firearms Offenses
Updated September 2, 2016