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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 17, 2017

31 Members And Associates Of Two Rival Poughkeepsie Street Gangs Charged In Federal Court With Murders, Attempted Murders, Racketeering, Narcotics, And Firearms Offenses

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), William V. Grady, Dutchess County District Attorney, Thomas Pape, Chief of Police for the City of Poughkeepsie, Adrian Anderson, Dutchess County Sheriff, and George P. Beach, the Superintendent of the New York State Police (“NYSP”), announced today the unsealing of two indictments charging 31 members and associates of two rival street gangs operating in Poughkeepsie, New York: Uptown and Downtown.  The gangs are charged in two separate Indictments – United States v. Douglas Owens et al., 17 Cr. 506 (NSR) (the “Uptown Indictment”), and United States v. Ronald Johnson et al., 17 Cr. 505 (the “Downtown Indictment”) – with murders, attempted murders, racketeering conspiracy, narcotics conspiracy, and firearms offenses.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “As alleged in the indictments unsealed today, two violent Poughkeepsie street gangs have been at war with each other for the last several years.  Their war has left in its wake a bloody trail of tragedy – alleged murders, attempted murders, shootings, and rampant drug dealing.  One of the innocent victims of this alleged gang war was Caval Haylett, an 18-year-old basketball star whose bright future and promise was extinguished on March 9, 2016, in a hail of senseless gunfire.  With today’s charges and arrests, we seek to dismantle these gangs from the top down, and together with our federal and local law enforcement partners, we seek to stem the tide of gun violence and drug dealing in Poughkeepsie.  When gangs flourish, neighborhoods suffer, parents grieve, and children die; it is as simple as that.  And we will not sit by and let that happen.”    

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “Two young lives were lost in the alleged ongoing criminal activity of these street gangs. We will not sit idly in the midst of violence, as shown by the diligent and dedicated work of our FBI Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force and our law enforcement partners. As gang rivalry continues to stir strife in our community, we won't stop or slow down in our pursuit to take these members off the streets and keep our residents safe.”

District Attorney William V. Grady said:  “There is no question that gang activity in our community has resulted in drug dealing, shootings, violent crimes and homicides, and this cannot be tolerated.  All possible efforts must and are being made to insure that our community is a safe place to live and work.  These indictments today send a clear message that law enforcement agencies at all levels will join forces to insure that these violent offenders are held accountable and removed from our streets.”

Chief of Police Thomas Pape said:  “On December 23, 2012, a senseless act of violence took the life of a young resident of Poughkeepsie.  This act was the beginning of many more shootings and homicides that plagued our City and took the lives of too many young men. Today, through the cooperation of federal, state and local law enforcement, the persons responsible have been taken into custody and will have to answer for their actions.  I want to personally thank the United States Attorney, Mr. Kim, his office, and all of the law enforcement agencies that through a collaborative effort, removed these violent individuals from our community.”

Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian Anderson said:  “Today was an enormous victory for law enforcement by the taking of these individuals off of our streets. These charges are evidence of the strong commitment that we share with other law enforcement agencies, both local and federal, and should serve as a great example of what can be achieved when everyone works together. I commend all of those involved for their outstanding efforts to remove dangerous individuals from our communities and prosecute them to the fullest extent.” 

NYSP Superintendent George P. Beach said:  “This investigation is another example of our law enforcement partners working collaboratively to put an end to the dangerous gang activity that brings violence and crime into our neighborhoods.  I commend all of our law enforcement partners for their hard work in dismantling these rival gangs and for their commitment to making our neighborhoods safer.  We have no tolerance for those who bring drugs and the threat of violence to our communities.”

According to the Indictments[1] unsealed today in White Plains and Manhattan federal court and other documents in the public record:

The Indictments arise from a joint investigation by the FBI’s Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force, the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department, the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office, and the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office into the gang war between Uptown and Downtown, which has led to multiple fatal and non-fatal shootings between 2012 and the present in the City of Poughkeepsie.

Uptown is a criminal organization whose members referred to themselves by, and were known by, several different names.  Those names include the “Spready Gang,” the “400 Savages,” the “Boogotti Boys,” and the “Mob Stars.”  Uptown gang members referred to themselves by different combinations of these names, all of which referred to the same criminal enterprise: the Uptown street gang.  Uptown is based within the eastern portion of Poughkeepsie, from east of Hamilton Street to the city line and, more specifically, within the Hudson Gardens housing development (commonly referred to as the “Bricks”).  Uptown gang members and associates control the narcotics trade within the Bricks, distributing primarily heroin, crack cocaine, and marijuana.  Uptown gang members stored shared guns in various locations known to gang members to protect the narcotics business, to protect each other from rival gangs, and to strike against rival gangs.  The case of United States v. Douglas Owens et al. charges 12 members and associates of Uptown, including its leaders: DOUGLAS OWENS, a/k/a “Born Truth,” and JIHAD WILLIAMS, a/k/a “Goodie.”

Downtown, like Uptown, is the name of a large-scale criminal organization that went by many different names.  Those names include the “420 Boys,” “L-Block,” “Most Hated,” “Hamo Gang,” the “C-Eazy Gang,” and the “Bully Hard Hunna” faction of the Bloods street gang.  Despite the existence of several different names, each one referred to the same criminal enterprise: the Downtown street gang.  Downtown’s base of operations was located in the western portion of Poughkeepsie, from west of Hamilton Street to the Hudson River and, particularly, within the Martin Luther King and Rip Van Winkle housing developments (commonly referred to as the “Ville” and “Rip,” respectively).  Downtown gang members and associates controlled the narcotics trade within the Ville, Rip, and the surrounding area, also distributing primarily resale amounts of heroin, crack cocaine, and marijuana.  Downtown gang members also stored their shared firearms in different locations known to members and associates.  This allowed Downtown gang members to arm themselves quickly when confronted by rivals and to protect each other and their narcotics business.  The case of United States v. Ronald Johnson et al. charges 19 members and associates of Downtown, including its leader: RONALD JOHNSON, a/k/a “Top Gun.”

In addition to countless non-fatal acts of violence against rival gang members and innocent victims, the rivalry between Uptown and Downtown has led to the following two murders:

  • The murder of Downtown gang member Daquell LeBlanc, a/k/a “Hamo,” who was killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest at the age of 16 in the vicinity of Main Street, between Academy and North Hamilton Streets, on or about December 23, 2012.
  • The murder of Caval Haylett, 18, an innocent bystander and local high school basketball star, who was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head while attending a barbeque in the vicinity of Winnikee Avenue and Harrison Street, on or about March 9, 2016.

*                      *                     *

In a coordinated operation, 11 defendants were arrested in and around Dutchess County yesterday and early this morning, one defendant was arrested in North Carolina, and one defendant was arrested in Florida.  The Uptown defendants will be presented later this afternoon in Manhattan federal court, while the Downtown defendants will be presented later this afternoon in White Plains federal court.  Eighteen defendants were in custody on state charges and will be transferred to federal custody in the next day.  Charts identifying each defendant, the charges, and the maximum penalties are below.

Mr. Kim praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI’s Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force, the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department, the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, the Dutchess County Drug Task Force, as well as the United States Marshals’ Service, the New York State Police, and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision for their assistance in today’s arrests.  Mr. Kim also thanked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for their assistance in the investigation.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher J. Clore and Maurene Comey are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictments are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

United States v. Douglas Owens et al.

 

CHARGE

DEFENDANTS

MAXIMUM PENALTIES

Count One

Racketeering Conspiracy

 

DOUGLAS OWENS

  a/k/a “Born Truth”

JIHAD WILLIAMS

  a/k/a “Goodie”

NICHOLAS HARRIS

  a/k/a “Bados”

DIMETRI MOSELEY

  a/k/a “Pancho”

JAQUEZ HILL

  a/k/a “Quezzy”

  a/k/a “Quez”

MARKEL GREEN

  a/k/a “Booge”

RAHEIM MILLER

  a/k/a “Bigs”

  a/k/a “Bigs Miller”

  a/k/a “Trippy”

CHRISTIAN BLADES

  a/k/a “C Blades”

  a/k/a “JT”

ASHANTI BUNN

  a/k/a “Shan D”

RAYSHAWN CASANOVA

  a/k/a “Cass”

  a/k/a “Uber Jack”

TREQUON DANCY

  a/k/a “Trigga Tre”

  a/k/a “Tre Pound”

RASHMI RUPARELIA

  a/k/a “Baby Rash”

20 years in prison

Count Two

Murder in Aid of Racketeering

 

MARKEL GREEN

RAHEIM MILLER

 

Life in prison

 

Count Three

Murder in Aid of Racketeering

NICHOLAS HARRIS

DIMETRI MOSELEY

JAHQUEZ HILL

Life or the death penalty with a mandatory minimum of life

Count Four

Firearms Offense

RASHMI RUPARELIA

JIHAD WILLIAMS

 

Life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 5 years’ in prison

Count Five

Firearms Offense

CHRISTIAN BLADES

ASHANTI BUNN

RAYSHAWN CASANOVA

Life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 10 years’ in prison

Count Six

Firearms Offense

MARKEL GREEN

RAHEIM MILLER

 

Life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 10 years’ in prison

Count Seven

Firearms Offense

NICHOLAS HARRIS

DIMETRI MOSELEY

JAHQUEZ HILL

Life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 10 years’ in prison

 

DEFENDANT

AGE

DOUGLAS OWENS

34

JIHAD WILLIAMS

26

NICHOLAS HARRIS

25

DIMETRI MOSELEY

23

JAHQUEZ HILL

19

MARKEL GREEN

21

RAHEIM MILLER

21

CHRISTIAN BLADES

24

ASHANTI BUNN

30

RAYSHAWN CASANOVA

21

TREQUON DANCY

22

RASHMI RUPARELIA

41

 

United States v. Ronald Johnson et al.

 

CHARGE

DEFENDANTS

MAXIMUM PENALTIES

Count One

Racketeering Conspiracy

 

RONALD JOHNSON

  a/k/a “Top Gun”

MARKUS ANDERSON

  a/k/a “Sparks”

SAVON BAGBY

  a/k/a “Baggs”

NATQUAN CATTS

  a/k/a “Nate”

  a/k/a “Scoop”

JAHQUEZ COLEMAN

  a/k/a “Quez the Rapper”

  a/k/a “Quez”

WALTER COLEMAN

  a/k/a “BB”

CHEVEZ DERELLO

  a/k/a “Vezy”

LEONARD DERELLO

  a/k/a “Lenny Boy”

TYRECK DOUGLAS

  a/k/a “Little Ty”

ERVING FERZAN

  a/k/a “Erv”

RAKEE JOHNSON

  a/k/a “Spaz”

  a/k/a “Zetho”

COREY LATIMER

  a/k/a “Fonzi”

ANTOINE MCKINNON

  a/k/a “Twon”

  a/k/a “Cuzzi”

WAYNE MORGAN

  a/k/a “Chum Chum”

GORDON RIDDICK

  a/k/a “Stacky G’s”

  a/k/a “Stacks”

KEENAN WATTS

  a/k/a “Milleone”

  a/k/a “Mills”

20 years in prison

Count Two

Attempted Murder in Aid of Racketeering

 

TYRECK DOUGLAS

GORDON RIDDICK

MARKUS ANDERSON

 

10 years in prison

 

Count Three

Attempted Murder in Aid of Racketeering

TYRECK DOUGLAS

 

10 years in prison

Count Four

Narcotics Conspiracy

CARLOS OCASIO

  a/k/a “Pimp”

  a/k/a “Leak”

KWAMENE WILLIAMS

  a/k/a “Kwa”

  a/k/a “Rich Quality”

GLORIOUS LANDUM

  a/k/a “Gus”

RAKEE JOHNSON

  a/k/a “Spaz”

  a/k/a “Zetho”

 

Life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 10 years’ in prison

Count Five

Firearms Offense

 

MARKUS ANDERSON

JAHQUEZ COLEMAN

CHEVEZ DERELLO

LEONARD DERELLO

RAKEE JOHNSON

COREY LATIMER

ANTOINNE MCKINNON

GORDON RIDDICK

 

Life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 5 years’ in prison

Count Six

Firearms Offense

TYRECK DOUGLAS

Life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 10 years’ in prison

Count Seven

Firearms Offense

GLORIOUS LANDRUM

 

Life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 5 years’ in prison

 

DEFENDANT

AGE

RONALD JOHNSON

33

MARKUS SPARKS

24

SAVON BAGBY

19

NATQUAN CATTS

22

JAHQUEZ COLEMAN

22

WALTER COLEMAN

43

CHEVEZ DERELLO

25

LEONARD DERELLO

22

TYRECK DOUGLAS

23

ERVING FERZAN

27

RAKEE JOHNSON

25

GLORIOUS LANDRUM

27

COREY LATIMER

23

ANTOINNE MCKINNON

43

WAYNE MORGAN

21

CARLOS OCASIO

36

GORDON RIDDICK

23

KEENAN WATTS

23

KWAMENE WILLIAMS

27

 

 

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

Updated August 17, 2017