Member Of Brooklyn Street Gang Arrested And Charged With Racketeering, Double Homicide, Narcotics Trafficking And Unlawful Use Of Firearms
A five-count indictment was unsealed today in United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York charging Frank Smith, a member of a Coney Island-based gang known variously as “Rival Impact,” “R.I.,” “Mermaids,” “Mermaid Boys,” and “33rd Street Crew,” with crimes including racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, narcotics trafficking and unlawful use of firearms. The defendant was arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn.
The charges were announced by Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI); and William J. Bratton, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD).
As detailed in the indictment, between January 2001 and October 2014, to maintain Rival Impact’s power and hold in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, the defendant and his gang engaged in widespread narcotics distribution and violence, including the October 4, 2010 murders of Terrance Serrano and Rashawn Washington, in addition to various attempted murders, robberies, assaults and intimidation. Serrano and Washington, who were members of a rival gang known as “Thirty-O,” were shot and killed while sitting in their car after leaving a nightclub in Manhattan.
“As alleged, for years the defendant and other members of this violent Brooklyn street gang have plagued neighborhoods throughout Coney Island and elsewhere with drugs and violence. Today’s charges send the clear message that violence by and among street gangs will not be tolerated. We will use all available resources to hold accountable those who endanger the lives and well-being of the residents of our communities,” stated United States Attorney Capers.
“Street gangs have an impact on the communities in which they operate. They spread fear and violence so they can control their so called turf; and for them murder just comes with the territory. But the FBI and our law enforcement partners won’t accept any crime as a new normal, and we won’t stop pursuing gang members,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Rodriguez.
“We are hopeful that today’s indictment is a milestone along the path to this individual’s conviction,” said NYPD Commissioner Bratton. “The defendant, as alleged, terrorized Coney Island and other parts of the City by selling illegal narcotics, murdering members of a rival gang and using violence and intimidation to achieve his criminal objectives.”
The charges are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted of the charges in the indictment, Smith faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section. Assistant United States Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez is in charge of the prosecution.
Staten Island, New York
EDNY Docket No. 16-CR-346