Trinitarios Gang Member Charged in Connection With Two Shootings in Queens and Brooklyn on the Same Day
Following a five-week sentencing proceeding, a federal jury in Brooklyn today returned a verdict imposing the death penalty on Ronell Wilson for the murders of two New York City Police Department Detectives, Rodney J. Andrews and James Nemorin.
The verdict was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Joseph Anarumo, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in New York, Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), and Richmond County District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan, Jr.
In March of 2003, the NYPD Firearms Investigation Unit began an investigation of the Stapleton Crew (the “Crew”), a violent criminal enterprise whose members terrorized the borough of Staten Island for several years. On March 3, 2003, Detective Nemorin, posing as an international gun trafficker, purchased a firearm from a member of the Crew. Several days later, on March 10, 2003, Detective Nemorin and Detective Andrews, who also was working in an undercover capacity, arranged to purchase another gun from members of the Crew. On this occasion, however, members of the Stapleton Crew, including Wilson, decided to rob the officers rather than sell them another gun. In furtherance of this plan, Wilson and an associate met with the undercover officers in the vicinity of the Stapleton Houses in Staten Island. Wilson instructed the officers to drive him to a second location in Staten Island, where he received a .44 caliber revolver from other Crew associates. Later, Wilson, who had detected that the undercover detectives were police officers, used that revolver to murder both detectives, execution-style, and steal their car. When Wilson was apprehended by local police several days later, lyrics to a rap song boasting about the murders were found in his pocket.
In 2006, a federal jury found Wilson guilty of committing numerous crimes in connection with the Crew, including the murders of Detectives Nemorin and Andrews, and imposed the death penalty. In 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed Wilson’s conviction, but vacated the death sentence and remanded the case for re-sentencing. As a result of today’s verdict, Wilson will receive the death penalty.
“Ten years ago, on a deserted Staten Island Street, Ronell Wilson ruthlessly executed Detectives Andrews and Nemorin, two husbands, two fathers, two heroes. Their deaths were a tragedy, not just for their families, but for all of New York City. Today, a jury of his peers looked at Ronell Wilson, everything he did and all that he is, and rendered justice. We hope that the verdict brings some measure of closure to the victims’ families, the men and women of the New York City Police Department, and to the communities Detectives Nemorin and Andrews served so well,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the ATF, the NYPD and Richmond County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in this case.
The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys James G. McGovern and Celia Cohen.