Leader And Top Enforcer Of Criminal Gang Convicted Of Racketeering And Murder
Defendants Damion Hardy And Aaron Granton Face Mandatory Life Imprisonment
Earlier today, following three weeks of trial, a federal jury in Brooklyn, New York, returned a guilty verdict against Damion Hardy, also known as “World,” and Aaron Granton, also known as “E-Bay,” on charges of racketeering, including six murders, narcotics trafficking, kidnaping, and robbery as predicate racketeering acts, and related offenses. Granton was also convicted of his participation in a murder-for-hire. When sentenced by United States District Judge Frederic Block, each defendant faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment on the most serious charge.
The verdicts were announced by Kelly T. Currie, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Diego G. Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI); Raymond R. Parmer Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York; and William J. Bratton, Commissioner, New York City Police Department.
“Today’s verdict is the culmination of more than a decade of work by prosecutors, special agents, and detectives to dismantle the Cash Money Brothers gang and to hold Damion Hardy and Aaron Granton accountable for their heinous crimes. Hardy and Granton terrorized parts of Brooklyn in the 1990s and early 2000s, and they now face mandatory sentences of life imprisonment,” stated Acting United States Attorney Currie. “I would like to thank our partners at the FBI, HSI, and the New York City Police Department for their hard work and years of dedication to this important case.”
“The process of eradicating gangs and the violence they bring to our communities remains a top priority for the FBI. Today’s convictions are a significant step, but in no way do they mark the end of our commitment to protect the welfare of those who live in neighborhoods plagued by crime,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Rodriguez.
“Drug traffickers destroy lives and ruin communities. Today’s guilty verdicts should leave no doubt about our shared commitment to attack and dismantle drug traffickers who pose a threat to our communities,” HSI New York Special Agent-in-Charge Parmer. “Working alongside our law enforcement partners, HSI will continue to use its unique authorities to ensure criminals are held accountable and brought to justice.”
“We applaud this guilty verdict which acknowledges the violent acts perpetrated by notorious gang members Damion Hardy and Aaron Granton. I want to thank our law enforcement partners for their dedication and tireless efforts which resulted in these criminals being brought to justice,” stated NYPD Commissioner Bratton.
From 1991 until August 2004, Hardy was the leader of a criminal enterprise known as the “Cash Money Brothers” (CMB), based in the Lafayette Gardens houses in Brooklyn, New York (Lafayette Gardens). Granton was a member of CMB and one of its top enforcers. From the time the crack-cocaine epidemic began in the late 1980s, Lafayette Gardens was a central and lucrative hub for the distribution of cocaine base. At that time, the young men who would later form CMB acted as low-level street dealers under the direction of the senior drug dealers who controlled Lafayette Gardens. In or around 1991, after CMB was formed under the leadership of the defendant Hardy and his brother, Myron Hardy, also known as “Wise,” the CMB ousted the senior dealers and seized control of the Lafayette Gardens crack trade for themselves.
The CMB wrested and maintained control of Lafayette Gardens through acts of violence that included near-daily gun battles with rival organizations and numerous murders. In 1998, Hardy ordered a junior gang member to shoot and kill Michael Colon because Hardy believed that Colon had disrespected and humiliated him at a roller skating rink. In 1999, while Hardy was incarcerated, his brother Myron Hardy was shot and killed in Lafayette Gardens. Hardy and other CMB members believed that a rival drug dealer named Ivery “Peanut” Davis and other members of Davis’s drug organization were responsible for the murder. Immediately after Myron Hardy was shot, while he still lay wounded in the hospital, Damion Hardy, from prison, began directing his gang members to exact revenge. Hardy ordered the CMB to murder Darryl Baum, James Hamilton, Tyrone Baum, and Ivery Davis, all four of whom were ultimately murdered by CMB members. Davis’s killing also resulted in the death of an innocent bystander, Johan Camitz. At Hardy’s direction, Granton acted as the triggerman in the murders of Darryl Baum, Hamilton, and Davis.
In addition, Granton also participated in the 2001 contract murder of Troy Singleton. Through his work with CMB, Granton had earned a reputation as an effective and ruthless killer. He was recruited by a separate gang, known as the “Supreme Team,” to kill Singleton, who was then shot multiple times in the back and head as he left a nightclub in Queens, New York.
The government’s case is being prosecuted jointly by the Office’s International Narcotics & Money Laundering Section and Organized Crime & Gangs Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew Amatruda, Soumya Dayananda, and Rena T. Paul are handling the prosecution.
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 04-CR-0706