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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

19 Members Of Rival Middletown Street Gangs Charged In White Plains Federal Court And Orange County Courts With Narcotics And Firearms Offenses And Murder

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, David M. Hoovler, the Orange County District Attorney, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and John Ewanciw, the Chief of the City of Middletown Police, today announced the unsealing of indictments charging a total of 19 members and associates of two rival street gangs operating in Middletown New York:  Guap Gang and Coke Wave Boys.  The gangs are charged in separate courts Six Guap Gang members are charged in federal court with narcotics conspiracy and firearms offenses in United States v. John McGuigan, et al., 18 Cr. 585 (the “Guap Gang Indictment”).  Thirteen “Coke Wave Boys” members or associates are charged in Orange County Courts with offenses including murder, conspiracy, narcotics and weapons offenses.

Three defendants—JOHN McGUIGAN, DUANE KIRBY, and DESMEN AGOSTO— were taken into federal custody yesterday morning.  They were presented in White Plains federal court yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison.  One defendant, CHRISTOPHER SHELP, remains at large.  CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON and DARIUS MONROE were previously in federal custody and will be transported to White Plains federal court to be arraigned on the Guap Gang Indictment in the coming days.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman stated:  “To protect their drug territory, these alleged rival gang members sowed fear in the community by acquiring and using guns to escalate their feud.  Today’s arrests are a product of continued cooperation between federal, state, and local partners to stamp out gang violence and stem the tide of drugs in Middletown.”

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler stated:  “We will not tolerate the rise of violent street gangs hoping to profit from the devastation that narcotics are already wreaking on our communities. The murder of Coree White is further proof that where there is organized narcotics dealing, gun violence inevitably follows. I commend the City of Middletown Police Department for recognizing the connection between violence and organized narcotics activity.  Only through the coordinated efforts of various law enforcement agencies can we stem the rise of narcotics gangs. I thank the New York State Police, Orange County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Group, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for partnering with the City of Middletown Police Department, and my office, in the investigation of “Coke Wave” and their associates. I commend the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York for their investigation and prosecution of members of the “Guap Gang,” and thank them for working with us to make Middletown safer.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. stated:  “Most fear the violent streets gangs in the bigger cities in our area, but these criminal enterprises have now infected the small towns outside the cities hoping to control territory.  The FBI Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force has been working hand-in-hand with our law enforcement partners in Orange County, and Middletown, NY to stop these gangs by taking out the leadership, and sending a message to others who want to fill that hole - they will face the same fate.”

City of Middletown Police Chief John Ewanciw stated:  “The alleged crimes of the individuals charged in today’s indictments are understandably very disturbing to the residents of the City of Middletown.   For too long, the Coke Wave Boys and Guap Gang engaged in violent and dangerous activities that threatened the safety of our community, and it was their reckless disregard for human life that resulted in the death of Coree White on August 17, 2017.  I will not stand for this type of violence in our City, and I am committed to continuing our work with our partners on the federal, state, and local levels to ensure that these types of gangs are eradicated from our community.  I would like to thank the family of Coree White for their patience and support during this in-depth and complex investigation.  I would also like to thank the men and women of my agency, as well as those of all the other partner agencies, for their hard-work and dedication in seeing this investigation to its conclusion.  Our work undoubtedly does not end here today, however, the City of Middletown is a safer community because of the arrests and indictments made during ‘Operation Wipeout.’”

Middletown Sheriff Carl E. DuBois stated:  “I have been committed to the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and as a result of this commitment our communities are safer today.”

As alleged in the Guap Gang Indictment unsealed today in White Plains federal court[1]:

From about 2016 to the present, JOHN McGUIGAN, a/k/a “Jack,” a/k/a “Rico,” a/k/a “White Boy,” DUANE KIRBY, a/k/a “Ace,” a/k/a “Eddie,” a/k/a “Flea,” a/k/a “Montana,” DESMEN AGOSTO, a/k/a “Feddi Green,” CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON, a/k/a “Bo,” a/k/a “Drama,” DARIUS MONROE, a/k/a “Boosie,” a/k/a “Loso,” and CHRISTOPHER SHELP, a/k/a “Silence,” agreed to violate the narcotics laws of the United States by distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute heroin in and around Middletown, New York.

Additionally, McGUIGAN and KIRBY used and carried a firearm in furtherance of the drug trafficking crime.  MONROE also illegally possessed a firearm after having been previously convicted of a felony. 

*                      *                     *

A chart outlining the charges against the federal defendants is below.  The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as the sentence will be determined by the court.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, the City of Middletown Police Department, and the New York State Troopers.  Mr. Berman thanked the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for its invaluable partnership in the case. 

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Gillian Grossman and Allison Nichols are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

CHARGE(S)

DEFENDANT(S)

MAXIMUM PENALTIES

Narcotics conspiracy

(Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 1 kilogram and more of heroin.)

JOHN McGUIGAN, 28 years old

    a/k/a “Jack,”

    a/k/a “Rico,”

    a/k/a “White Boy,”

DUANE KIRBY, 29 years old

    a/k/a “Ace,”

    a/k/a “Eddie,”

    a/k/a “Flea,”

    a/k/a “Montana,”

DESMEN AGOSTO, 29 years old

    a/k/a “Feddi Green,”

CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON, 27 years old

    a/k/a “Bo,”

    a/k/a “Drama,”

DARIUS MONROE, 28 years old

    a/k/a “Boosie,”

    a/k/a “Loso,” and

CHRISTOPHER SHELP, 25 years old

    a/k/a “Silence”

Life in prison

 

Mandatory minimum:
10 years in prison

Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime

JOHN McGUIGAN,

    a/k/a “Jack,”

    a/k/a “Rico,”

    a/k/a “White Boy,” and

DUANE KIRBY,

    a/k/a “Ace,”

    a/k/a “Eddie,”

    a/k/a “Flea,”

    a/k/a “Montana”

Life in prison

 

Mandatory minimum:
five years in prison, to be imposed consecutively to any other sentence

Felon in Possession of a Firearm

DARIUS MONROE,

    a/k/a “Boosie,”

    a/k/a “Loso,”

10 years in prison

 

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the descriptions of the Indictment set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Updated August 21, 2018