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Press Release

Six Defendants With Gang Ties Charged As Additional Members Of An Interstate Gun Trafficking Operation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Gangsta Killa Bloods Gang Members and Associates Allegedly Trafficked Over 70 Firearms from Georgia to New York and Distributed Them Throughout the Metropolitan Area

A third superseding indictment was unsealed today in United States District Court in Brooklyn charging Richard Almarez, also known as “Rated R,” Terrell Brown, also known as “Rellz,” Tislam Cato, also known as “Vietnam,” Shaheem Evans, also known as “Sha,” Joseph Isar Ras, also known as “Bada Boom,” and Elvin Sanabria, also known as “Rico,” as members of a conspiracy to deal in firearms, along with six other defendants who were previously charged. The indictment was returned under seal by a federal grand jury on February 23, 2017, and relates to the defendants’ alleged participation in a gun-trafficking operation that was responsible for transporting more than 70 firearms from Georgia to New York between October 2015 and June 2016. At least seven of the firearms that were illegally acquired and distributed by the operation have been recovered by law enforcement officers in the New York area.

The charges were announced by Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, and James O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department.

The gun-trafficking operation was run by members and associates of the Gangsta Killa Bloods (GKB), a set of the Bloods street gang, who relied on “straw buyers” (individuals who were lawfully able to purchase firearms) to purchase firearms in Georgia that were then transported to New York, where the newly charged defendants illegally sold them to criminal associates for profit.

Previously, on June 16, 2016, a grand jury in the Eastern District of New York returned an indictment in this case charging straw buyers Micah Isaiah Desuze, Dominique Chanel Fairnot, Jeremy Sanchez, Ashanti Sease-Matthews, and Omar Jermaine Walker with conspiracy to deal in firearms and to make false statements to acquire firearms, as well as substantive counts of making false statements to acquire firearms. The government’s investigation revealed that the straw buyers, several of whom were current or former members of the United States military, lied on Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Forms 4473 by certifying that they were not purchasing the firearms on behalf of other people.

On June 22, 2016, a superseding indictment was filed charging the same straw purchasers and Marquez Bridges, also known as “Tega,” an Atlanta-based GKB member and gun-trafficking facilitator, with conspiracy to deal in firearms and to make false statements to acquire firearms. On November 22, 2016, a second superseding indictment was filed charging the previously-charged defendants (with the exception of Fairnot, who pled guilty before the second superseding indictment was filed) and Bonnay Benford, also known as “Popalot,” a New York-based GKB member and gun trafficking facilitator, with conspiracy to deal in firearms and to make false statements to acquire firearms.

For their role as gun distributors in the gun-trafficking operation, the six newly charged defendants face a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment for conspiring to deal in firearms, the sole count with which they are charged in the third superseding indictment. The defendants who acted as straw buyers face maximum sentences of five years’ imprisonment on each of the two conspiracy counts, and maximum sentences of ten years’ imprisonment on each of the substantive counts of making a false statement to acquire firearms with which they are charged. The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Rena Paul and Margaret E. Gandy.

The Defendants:


Age: 42

Westchester, New York



Age: 30

Brooklyn, New York



Age: 26

Atlanta, Georgia



Age: 34

Miami, Florida



Age: 35

Brooklyn, New York



Age: 25

Atlanta, Georgia



Age: 41

Bronx, New York



Age: 35

Brooklyn, New York



Age: 29

Englewood, New Jersey



Age: 27

Lancaster, Pennsylvania



Age: 23

Atlanta, Georgia



Age: 29

Savannah, Georgia


E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 16-CR-326 (ARR)

Updated March 1, 2017

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