Three Defendants Indicted On Racketeering Charges, Including Six Murders
A superseding indictment was returned last Friday charging defendants Christian Keston John, Marvin Johnson and Shaquan Jones, who were members of a violent criminal enterprise, with racketeering, consisting of 23 predicate acts, including six murders, two attempted murders, three armed robberies, kidnapping, murder-for-hire, and gambling on dog fighting, among other crimes, all of which occurred in the Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant and East New York areas of Brooklyn.1 Johnson was arraigned earlier today at federal court in Brooklyn before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy, and the defendants Christian John and Shaquan Jones will be arraigned on Friday, also before Magistrate Judge Levy.
The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, George Venizelos, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and William J. Bratton, Commissioner, New York City Police Department.
According to court papers, the enterprise, known as the “Hull Street Crew,” began its violent conduct in 2000 with the murder of Charlemagne Lormand, followed by the 2005 murder of Shamell Etienne and the 2008 murder of Daquane Shelton. In 2006, the defendants allegedly murdered Earle Kevin Obermuller when they bound his entire head with duct tape, dragged him down to a basement, tied him to a chair on a bed of charcoals, and then set him on fire. The indictment also charges the 2011 murders of Jason Bostic and Aaron Formey, who were murdered in a similar manner when they were bound with duct tape, pushed down the stairs to a basement, and shot multiple times. The Hull Street Crew enriched its members through drug trafficking and gambling on dog fights, and committed these violent acts to enhance the enterprise’s prestige and to protect it from rival criminal organizations.
“As set forth in the indictment, the Hull Street Crew rained down brutal violence onto the streets of Brooklyn for over a decade. The defendants pledged their allegiance to the Crew and its violent methods, committing a brutal murder and other senseless acts of violence. This indictment brings to a halt the Hull Street Crew’s reign of terror over the streets of Brooklyn,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Working together with the FBI and the NYPD, we stand committed to ending the scourge of violence in our communities and bringing to justice those who commit such violent acts. We hope that this prosecution will bring some measure of closure to the families of the victims who have suffered not only because of the loss of loved ones, but also by not knowing who was responsible for these crimes.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Venizelos stated, “Violence is the rule, not the exception, in the Hull Street Crew. As alleged, this criminal enterprise used illegal means, including murder and kidnapping, to intimidate rivals and instill fear in the innocent public. Today’s indictment illustrates the FBI’s continued effort to work with our law enforcement partners to disrupt and dismantle violent criminal enterprises that terrorize our communities.”
Police Commissioner Bratton stated, “Members of this violent and vicious crew operated on the streets of Brooklyn for more than a decade, but with this investigation and indictment we send a message to those who choose to operate within a ruthless criminal operation – you will be brought to justice and eradicated from our communities. The Hull Street Crew was shut down thanks to the tireless efforts of the investigators from the NYPD Detective Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York.”
The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Frederic Block. If convicted of murder, the defendants face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, or possibly the death penalty.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Celia A. Cohen, Gina M. Parlovecchio, and Robert T. Polemeni.
CHRISTIAN KESTON JOHN
1 The charges contained in the superseding indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.