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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Three Members of Coney Island Street Gang Plead Guilty to Murder As Part of Racketeering Conspiracy

Defendants Admit to Fatal Shooting Outside Mermaid Houses in Brooklyn

Tysheen Cooper, Michael Liburd and Maurice Washington, members of the West End Enterprise, a Coney Island-based street gang, pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn on September 24 and September 25, 2019 to a racketeering conspiracy involving their participation in the murder of Antwon Flowers.  The guilty pleas were entered before United States District Court Judge Pamela K. Chen.   

Richard P. Donoghue, 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 (FBI), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the guilty pleas. 

As detailed in the superseding indictment, other public court filings and statements in court, the defendants were members of the West End Enterprise, a street gang comprising individuals residing in and around the Sea Rise Apartments, the Gravesend Houses and Surfside Gardens, also known as the “Mermaid Houses,” located in Coney Island.  Between approximately 2011 and October 2017, the gang committed various criminal acts, including narcotics distribution, robbery, extortion and murder. 

On January 17, 2016, the defendants agreed to murder Antwon Flowers in retaliation for what they believed was his role in setting up the killing of a West End Enterprise leader the previous day.  As captured on surveillance video, Liburd and Cooper followed Flowers as he walked out of the Mermaid Houses, at which point they pulled out firearms and shot at Flowers, with Liburd’s shot striking Flowers in the head and killing him.  Liburd and Cooper then fled in a getaway car that Washington had parked nearby. 

“Families living in apartment buildings and public housing deserve to feel as safe, and to be as safe, as those living in mansions,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “We and our law enforcement partners will continue to prosecute gang members who inflict mindless violence not only on one another, but on the community.”  Mr.  Donoghue thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New York City Housing Authority, Office of the Inspector General, for their assistance in the case. 

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 its renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s 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 Mathew S. Miller, Jennifer M. Sasso and Kayla Bensing are in charge of the prosecution. 

The Defendants:

TYSHEEN COOPER (also known as “Billz”)
Age:  28
Brooklyn, New York

MICHAEL LIBURD (also known as “Mike Mike” and “Mitty”)
Age: 33
Brooklyn, New York

MAURICE WASHINGTON (also known as “Moe” and “Flaco”)
Age: 30
Brooklyn, New York

EDNY Docket No. 17-CR-296 (PKC)

 

 

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Contact: 
John Marzulli United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323
Updated September 25, 2019