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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 30, 2016

“Bmb” Gang Member Pleads Guilty To Bronx Murder In Connection With Racketeering Conspiracy

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MARTIN MITCHELL, a/k/a “Tyliek,” pled guilty today to involvement in a racketeering conspiracy in connection with his membership in the “Big Money Bosses” (“BMB”), a violent street gang that operated primarily on White Plains Road from 215th Street to 233rd Street in the Bronx.  As part of his guilty plea, MITCHELL admitted that he committed the murder of Keshon Potterfield, on or about June 22, 2014, in the vicinity of East 232nd Street in the Bronx.  MITCHELL’s guilty plea was presided over by Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Martin Mitchell, as a member of the violent Bronx street gang Big Money Bosses, admitted to shooting and killing a 17-year-old boy at a birthday party.  This type of senseless gang violence threatens the safety and security of all New Yorkers, and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to confront it aggressively.”

According to the Indictment and other documents filed in the case, as well as statements made during the plea proceedings:

BMB is a subset of the “Young Bosses,” or “YBz” street gang, which operates throughout New York City.  Between 2007 and 2016, members and associates of BMB committed numerous acts of violence against rival gang members in the Bronx – including murders, attempted murders, and armed robberies – and sold crack cocaine and marijuana.  

MITCHELL was a member of BMB.  On June 22, 2014, MITCHELL and other members of BMB attended a birthday party in the backyard of a residence in the vicinity of 232nd Street in the Bronx.  Potterfield was one of the guests at the party and was shot by MITCHELL in connection with BMB’s rivalry with another street gang.  Potterfield was 17 years old. 

MITCHELL was arrested in this case as a result of a multi-year investigation by the New York City Police Department’s Bronx Gang Squad (the “Bronx Gang Squad”), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Violent Gang Unit (“HSI”), the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), and the Joint Firearms Task Force of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) into gang violence in the Northern Bronx.  The Indictment, which was unsealed on April 27, 2016, charged 63 members and associates of BMB with racketeering conspiracy, narcotics conspiracy, narcotics distribution, and firearms charges.  To date, 30 of these defendants have pled guilty.

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MITCHELL, 22, of the Bronx, New York, was arrested on April 27, 2016, in the Bronx, New York, and has been in federal custody since.  MITCHELL pled guilty today to one count of racketeering conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.  The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the judge.  MITCHELL is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Alison J. Nathan on April 6, 2017, at 3:30 p.m.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding work of the NYPD’s Bronx Homicide Task Force, the NYPD’s 47th Precinct Detective Squad, the NYPD’s Bronx Gang Squad, HSI, DEA, and ATF.  

This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Rachel Maimin, Micah W.J. Smith, Hagan Scotten, Jessica Feinstein, and Drew Johnson-Skinner are in charge of the prosecution.

Press Release Number: 
16-355
Updated December 30, 2016