Violent Fugitive Captured After Four Year Search
On Friday, July 31st, Andrew Smith, also known as “Back-it,” was arrested by members of the United States Marshals Service New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force; the United States Marshals Service Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team; Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Removal; and the Cincinnati Police Department. Smith was arrested with the assistance of a K-9 unit at approximately 1:30 a.m. in Cincinnati, Ohio, after a brief stand-off.
Smith is allegedly a member of the violent Fatherless Crew marijuana trafficking organization, which for years used violence and intimidation to control drug trafficking in portions of Queens, New York.
The capture was announced by Kelly T. Currie, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Charles Dunne, United States Marshal for the Eastern District of New York.
Smith has been a fugitive since October 2010. He narrowly escaped arrest when, following a year-long investigation, federal, state, and local law enforcement officers conducted a search of the Fatherless Crew’s stash house in Queens. That search resulted in the arrest of more than a dozen individuals and the seizure of nearly 300 pounds of marijuana, three loaded handguns, and a variety of drug trafficking paraphernalia, including electronic scales, heat-sealing machines, and a vehicle outfitted with a with a hydraulic trap for concealing firearms. Smith was allegedly responsible for both the distribution of marijuana at the organization’s stash house and the use of violence against rival drug dealers. In March 2010, Smith was also allegedly involved in a shootout with a rival drug gang during a baby shower in St. Albans, Queens. Detectives from the NYPD recovered more than 30 shell casings and bullets, including one bullet that ricocheted off the door of a neighboring daycare center. One individual was shot in the chest during the gunfight but survived.
To date, more than 15 members and associates of the Fatherless Crew have been convicted, including four who were convicted following a five week trial in early 2012.
“Andrew Smith thought he could evade justice by living his life on the run. He learned today that he was wrong,” stated Acting United States Attorney Currie. “Law enforcement will work cooperatively and tirelessly to find and capture violent fugitives.” Mr. Currie expressed his appreciation to each of the agencies that participated in the arrest and thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Postal Inspection Service, New York City Police Department, and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio for their assistance in this case.
“This fugitive was located because multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies cooperated with each other over a period of several years through the United States Marshals Service’s Fugitive Task Forces both in New York and Ohio. These Task Forces produce results like this every day,” stated United States Marshall Dunne.”
The defendant was arraigned on Friday afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman at the federal courthouse in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was ordered to be removed to the Eastern District of New York to face drug tracking and firearms charges. The defendant was remanded without bail. The charges are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s International Narcotics and Money Laundering Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Steven Tiscione, Gina Parlovecchio, and Tyler Smith are in charge of the prosecution.
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 10-CR-809 (KAM)