Earlier today, following four weeks of trial, a federal jury in Central Islip, New York, returned a guilty verdict against Bloods gang member Lawrence Lewis, also known as “L Boogs,” for the July 29, 2017 murder of John Birt, the forcible rape and sex trafficking of a Suffolk County woman, racketeering, multiple firearms offenses, narcotics possession and distribution and witness tampering. The trial was held before United States District Judge Joanna Seybert. When sentenced, Lewis faces a mandatory penalty of life in prison for the murder.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Timothy D. Sini, District Attorney, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Ricky J. Patel, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, New York (HSI), Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Stuart Cameron, Acting Commissioner, Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD), announced the verdict.
“Lewis’s conviction today ensures that he will never again be able to terrorize our community with his senseless acts of gang-related violence,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “I commend the prosecutors in this Office, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and the special agents and detectives whose hard work and persistence led to Lewis being held accountable for his long record of reprehensible crimes.”
“With extreme violence and indifference to human life, Lawrence Lewis with the Bloods street gang reigned terror over neighborhoods in Suffolk County, Long Island for over a decade. With today’s verdict finding Lewis guilty of heinous crimes to include murder, rape, and sex trafficking, a clear message has been sent to these violent gang members that they will be held accountable for their actions,” stated HSI Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Patel. “HSI New York’s Long Island Transnational Violent Gangs Task Force, working with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners, will continue to tirelessly pursue the most dangerous offenders and bring them to justice.”
“Today’s verdict shows Mr. Lewis has very little regard for human life and demonstrates how truly detrimental his presence has been to society. He will now face the consequences of his actions. The outstanding work being done by our Long Island Gang Task Force continues to take these violent criminals of our streets and out of our communities so they can longer terrorize our neighbors,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll.
“As a member of a violent street gang, Lewis’ involvement in illegal activity ran the gamut,” stated SCPD Acting Commissioner Cameron. “He was willing to do whatever it took to further his criminal activities and attempt to evade authorities. I applaud the hard work of all the agencies involved to hold Lewis accountable for his heinous actions.”
As proven at trial, between April 2004 and June 2019, Lewis, as a member of the Bloods street gang, distributed large quantities of cocaine base and heroin in Suffolk County. In order to protect his supply of narcotics, and secure his ability to distribute his narcotics, Lewis possessed a number of firearms, including an AR-15 assault rifle, a pistol-grip 12-gauge shotgun, a Mossberg .22 caliber rifle and a Ruger .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol.
Lewis also engaged in acts of extreme violence on behalf of the Bloods gang. For example, in 2014, as retaliation for a theft of guns, Lewis forced a woman into engaging in prostitution until she repaid her debt to him. During the same period of time, Lewis forcibly raped the woman. On July 29, 2017, Lewis shot and killed John Birt, a member of the Crips gang, at the Illusions Gentlemen’s Club in Deer Park, New York. While Birt and several friends posed for pictures inside the club, Lewis and a fellow Bloods gang member approached the group. Lewis’ associate attempted to display a Bloods hand signal and Birt began arguing with Lewis, who then shot and killed him. Later, Lewis texted a number of close acquaintances about the murder, stating that he was “sleeping good” and would “do it again.”
Prior to the trial, Lewis and others acting on his behalf made efforts to prevent witnesses from testifying against him, through the use of veiled and implicit threats of violence.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher C. Caffarone, Mark E. Misorek and Anthony Bagnuola are in charge of the prosecution.
LAWRENCE LEWIS (also known as “L Boogs”)
Calverton, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-187 (S-1) (JS)