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Press Release

Last Two Bricktown Gang Members Plead Guilty

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

As Part of these Pleas:
Saquan Evans Admits to Killing 20 Month Old Child, Shooting Four People, Gun Possessions and Possessing Substantial Gang Paraphernalia
Ernest Hester Admits to a Shooting, Gun Possessions and a Gang Assault at a Denny’s Restaurant in Syracuse

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian announces that SAQUAN EVANS, age 23, and ERNEST HESTER, age 24, both residents of Syracuse, pled guilty today in U.S. District Court in Syracuse to an indictment which charged them and 12 others with conspiring to exploit their membership in the Bricktown Gang to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity which included multiple acts of murder, drug trafficking, and robbery. All fourteen defendants have now guilty in this matter.

As part of their pleas, EVANS and HESTER admitted that the Bricktown Gang has operated within the City of Syracuse from at least 2000 through the present and that members of the Bricktown Gang: (1) maintain a specific geographic territory within the City of Syracuse in which only gang members can sell crack cocaine, cocaine and marijuana; (2) protect that exclusive crack distribution territory with violence if necessary; (3) obtain drugs from suppliers in New York City and elsewhere; (4) project a very violent attitude and respond to violence with violence in order to preserve their stature in the gang community; (5) on occasion use hand signs, wear blue colored bandanas and have tattoos, all of which are intended to signify their gang membership; (6) use criteria such as willingness to use violence, ability to sell drugs, and familial connections to determine membership; and (7) routinely carry and use firearms in connection with their gang activity.

EVANS also admitted as part of his plea that he: (1) possessed a handgun in the 200 Block of Oakwood Avenue on March 4, 2006; (2) was involved in a shooting in the vicinity of 1300 South State Street on November 7, 2006; (3) jointly possessed a 9 mm handgun along with several co-defendants, including ERNEST HESTER, in the 200 block of Baker Avenue on November 15, 2006; (4) shot four rival gang members as they sat at a table playing cards at 321 Shirley Drive on November 7, 2012; (5) shot and killed 20 month old Rashad Walker, Jr., while intending to kill a rival gang member, on November 28, 2010; and (6) possessed substantial gang paraphernalia including a detailed gang roster, writings, drawings, photos, rap lyrics and clothing.

HESTER also admitted as part of his plea that he: (1) along with a co-defendant, shot at three people in the 500 block of West Colvin Street on April 2, 2005; (2) possessed ten bags of crack cocaine after being shot in the 100 block of Beard Avenue on October 19, 2006; (3) jointly possessed a 9 mm handgun, as noted above, that occurred on November 15, 2006; (4) jointly possessed a .45 caliber handgun and a 9 mm handgun, along with multiple co-defendants, while together in a vehicle at 1400 Erie Blvd. West on December 13, 2008; and (5) actively participated in the stabbing of four persons inside a Denny’s restaurant on Erie Blvd East on January 30, 2011.

Both EVANS and HESTER are scheduled to be sentenced in December, 2013. Each faces up to life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to five years of supervised release following any period of incarceration.

This prosecution resulted from a long-term investigation conducted by the Syracuse Gang Violence Task Force, which is comprised of agents and detectives from the following agencies: United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (Syracuse Office), the Syracuse Police Department, the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department, the New York State Troopers, and the United States Marshals Service. The Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office also assisted in the investigation.

Further questions or inquiries may be directed to Assistant U.S. Attorney, John M. Katko, who is handling the case, at (315) 448-0672.

Updated January 29, 2015