United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue Announces Project Safe Neighborhoods Achievements on the Two-Year Anniversary of the Revitalization of the Program
Two years ago, the Department of Justice announced the revitalization and enhancement of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department’s violent crime reduction strategy. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders, and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
“The revitalized Project Safe Neighborhoods program is a major success,” stated Attorney General William P. Barr. “It packs a powerful punch by combining advanced data with local leadership, further reducing violence in communities across the country and improving overall public safety. U.S. Attorneys continue to focus their enforcement efforts against the most violent criminals and work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal police. The Justice Department’s relationships across the board have never been stronger.”
“The arrests, guilty pleas and sentencings of more than 60 gang members and associates prosecuted by the Eastern District of New York for violent crimes and drug trafficking have made our neighborhoods safer,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “Working closely with our federal and local law enforcement partners, we will continue to target violent street gangs.”
The PSN initiatives in the EDNY over the last year include:
MS-13 on Long Island
In October 2019, an MS-13 gang member was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his participation in the fatal attack with machetes and a baseball bat on a man in Brentwood on October 13, 2016.
In September 2019, an MS-13 gang member was sentenced to 50 years in prison for his participation in the murders of four young men with knives, wooden clubs and an axe in a park in Central Islip on April 11, 2017.
In July 2019, an MS-13 member pleaded guilty to racketeering charges for his participation in the murder of a fellow gang member in Brentwood on June 3, 2016 and the attempted murder of a suspected rival outside the Brentwood public library on January 15, 2016.
In June 2019, an MS-13 gang member was sentenced to 55 years in prison for his participation in the murders of four young men with knives, wooden clubs and an axe in a park in Central Islip on April 11, 2017.
In May 2019, an MS-13 gang associate was convicted at trial of racketeering, murder, assault and firearms charges in connection with the January 30, 2017 murder of a man suspected of being a member of a rival gang and the wounding of a female employee in a deli in Central Islip.
In January 2019, an MS-13 gang member was sentenced to 27 years in prison for the June 30, 2015 murder in Central Islip of a teenager suspected of being associated with a rival gang.
The investigations that led to these prosecutions and convictions were conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Long Island Gang Task Force.
MS-13 in Queens
In September 2019, three MS-13 gang members were charged in a superseding indictment with racketeering offenses, including the murder of a teenager in Alley Pond Park.
In June and July 2019, three MS-13 gang members from Queens and the Bronx pleaded guilty to assault in aid of racketeering charges for beating and stabbing an inmate who they believed was a member of a rival gang inside a pre-trial detention facility.
In May 2019, an MS-13 gang member was sentenced to more than 25 years in prison for shooting a teenager suspected of being a member of the rival 18th Street gang in Jamaica. The victim was left paralyzed.
The investigations that led to these prosecutions and convictions were conducted by the FBI/New York City Police Department (NYPD) Safe Streets Task Force.
Coney Island Gang Enforcement
In September 2019, three members of the West End Enterprise, a Coney Island-based street gang, pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy involving their participation in a murder outside the Mermaid Houses. The victim was shot to death in retaliation for what the defendants believed was his role in setting up the murder of a high-ranking member of the West End Enterprise. The investigation was conducted with the FBI and NYPD.
Bloods Gang Enforcement
In October 2019, six members and associates of the Red Stone Gorillas set of the Bloods street gang on the east end of Long Island were charged in a superseding indictment with racketeering, murder, robberies, narcotics trafficking and firearms offenses. The investigation was conducted with the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office (SCDA) and the Suffolk County East End Drug Task Force.
In September 2019, a member of the Bloods street gang on Long Island was indicted for racketeering and the September 2, 2016 murders of two individuals. The investigation was conducted by the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations and the Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD).
In August 2019, six members of the Bloods street gang on Long Island were indicted for trafficking heroin, fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, cocaine and crack cocaine in and around Babylon. The investigation was conducted by the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, SCDA and SCPD.
In July 2019, 17 members and associates of the Makk Balla Brims set of the Bloods street gang in Jamaica, Queens, were indicted for racketeering, including violent predicate acts related to their participation in a robbery crew. The investigation was conducted by the FBI and NYPD.
Between February and June 2019, 13 members and associates of the Makk Balla Brims set of the Bloods street gang have pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute crack cocaine and heroin, as participants in a drug-trafficking network that operated in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Maine. The investigation, which initially focused on criminal activity in a New York City Housing Authority complex in East New York, Brooklyn, led to the recovery of two firearms and was conducted by the FBI and NYPD.
In February 2019, a member of the Bloods street gang on Long Island was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the attempted murder of a rival whom the defendant believed was responsible for the murder of a Bloods gang member. The investigation was conducted by the FBI and Nassau County Police Department (NCPD).
In January 2019, a member of the Brooklyn-based Red Lane Gorillas set of the Bloods gang was indicted for racketeering, including a murder and an attempted murder on Long Island. The investigation was conducted by the FBI, NCPD and NYPD.
Other Street Gang Enforcement
In the past eight months, eight defendants charged in connection with the criminal activities of the Bushwick Crew, a Brooklyn-based enterprise comprised of high-level heroin traffickers and members of the Young Gunners street gang, pleaded guilty to various crimes including murder, using and carrying firearms in relation to drug trafficking and crimes of violence, and heroin trafficking. The investigation was conducted by the FBI and NYPD.
In February 2019, a member of the street gang G’z Up, based in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, was convicted following a jury trial of two murders. The investigation was conducted by the FBI.
Community Partnerships and Grants
PSN funding provides direct support to local law enforcement agencies as well as prevention, education and awareness programs for at-risk young people and parents. Presentations regarding gang awareness, internet safety and monitoring your child’s electronic devices all provide students and parents with necessary tools to effectively avoid the dangers of violent crime.
In October 2019, a PSN award of $500,447 was granted to Suffolk County to oversee and implement various violent crime reduction strategies in Suffolk County, Nassau County and throughout the district. Resources will be dedicated to enforcement and prevention efforts including funding for prosecutors and police, providing technical training, promoting community outreach efforts and supporting existing gun and gang violence reduction programs.
To learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods, go to www.justice.gov/psn.