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Justice News

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

Friday, January 31, 2020

Member of a Violent Drug Crew Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy Including Two Murders in Brooklyn

Co-defendants Previously Pleaded Guilty to Four Murders in Queens and Brooklyn

Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Maurice Brown, a member of the “Bushwick Crew,” a drug-trafficking enterprise based in Brooklyn and Queens, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto to participating in a racketeering conspiracy and murdering Gary Lopez and Rudy Superville on March 5, 2013 at an apartment in Brooklyn used by one of crew’s heroin distributors.  Brown is the last of seven defendants to plead guilty to charges in the third superseding indictment.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the guilty pleas.

“As a result of the outstanding work by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police Department and our Office’s prosecutors, seven members of this gang have been brought to justice for the wanton violence they carried out in furtherance of their drug trafficking enterprise,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “We hope this prosecution brings a measure of closure for the victims’ families.”

As detailed in the indictment and other court filings, the Bushwick Crew was a large-scale heroin trafficking organization with connections to Mexican drug cartels.  Various members of the crew armed themselves to escort drug traffickers, forcibly collected drug debts and committed murders and other acts of violence against anyone who interfered with the crew’s operations or offended its members. 

Previously, Luis Lopez and Peter Vasquez pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy for their roles in the murders of Gary Lopez and Superville; Tyquan Griem pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and the murder of Kelvin Johnson at a nightclub in Queens; Jaquan Cooper pleaded guilty to brandishing a firearm during a robbery of a barbershop in Queens; Lance Goodwin pleaded guilty to causing the death of Donte Williams by discharging a firearm; and Norman Marrero pleaded guilty to brandishing a firearm during an extortion.  The previous guilty plea proceedings were held before United States District Judge Raymond J. Dearie.

When sentenced, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. 

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the its renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Lindsay K. Gerdes and Andrey Spektor are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance provided by Assistant United States Attorney Brian D. Morris of the Office’s Asset Forfeiture Unit.

Defendant Who Pleaded Guilty Today:

MAURICE BROWN (also known as “Spaz”)
Age: 28
Brooklyn, New York

Defendants Who Have Previously Pleaded Guilty:

JAQUAN COOPER (also known as “J-Gunna”)
Age: 31
Brooklyn, New York

NORMAN MARRERO (also known as “Tito”)
Age: 36
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

LANCE GOODWIN (also known as “Ty Mucka”)
Age: 30
Brooklyn, New York

TYQUAN GRIEM (also known as “Ty Goon”)
Age: 29
Brooklyn, New York

LUIS LOPEZ (also known as “Lou”)
Age: 37
Brooklyn, New York

PETER VASQUEZ (also known as “Pete”)
Age: 31
Brooklyn, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-390 (S-3) (RJD)

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Updated January 31, 2020