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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Five Members Of Violent Bronx Gang Charged In Connection With Shooting Of Off-Duty NYPD Officer

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the unsealing today of an Indictment charging five members and associates of the “Jack Boyz” street gang with racketeering and firearm offenses in connection with the shooting of an off-duty NYPD officer.  PATRICK AVILA, a/k/a “Pat,” JALEN COLDS, a/k/a “Jay Gunz,” NAZAE BLANCHE, a/k/a “Zae,” and DONNELL JENKINS, a/k/a “Nellz,” were taken into custody this morning and will be presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein later today.  LEON SMALLS, a/k/a “Smoove,” remains at large.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged in the indictment, this gang committed a brazen act of violence, and one of New York City’s finest was struck by their gunfire.  Thanks to the extraordinary work of the NYPD, these defendants will now face justice in federal court.”

NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said:  “When an off-duty cop was driving home from work in October, he was struck in the chest during a gang-related shooting. This further highlighted our efforts to precisely investigate and rid from New York City streets such brazen criminals. We stand with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners ready to identify and bring to justice drug dealers and gang members who are at the root of crime and violence in our city. With these arrests, we continue to make significant progress in our work to make the streets of New York safer for everyone.”

As alleged in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court[1]:

The Jack Boyz are a criminal enterprise involved in committing numerous acts of violence, including shootings, in and around the Bronx.  Members and associates of the Jack Boyz engage in violence to retaliate against rival gangs, to promote the standing and reputation of the Jack Boyz, and to protect the gang’s narcotics business.  Members and associates of the Jack Boyz enrich themselves by committing robberies and selling drugs.

On October 30, 2018, AVILA, COLDS, BLANCHE, JENKINS, and SMALLS shot at gang rivals in the vicinity of East 137th Street and Brown Place.  During the course of that shooting, an off-duty NYPD officer was struck in the chest.  

*                *                *

A chart containing the names, charges, and maximum penalties for the defendants are set forth below.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the NYPD. 

This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Karin Portlock and Michael Longyear are in charge of the prosecution.

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

COUNT

CHARGE

DEFENDANTS

AGES

MAX. SENTENCE

1

Attempted murder in aid of racketeering

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 1959

PATRICK AVILA

JALEN COLDS

NAZAE BLANCHE

DONNELL JENKINS

LEON SMALLS

 

19

19

19

19

23

20 years in prison

2

Using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to, or possessing a firearm in furtherance of, a crime of violence, which firearm was discharged

 

18 U.S.C. § 924(c)

 

PATRICK AVILA

JALEN COLDS

NAZAE BLANCHE

DONNELL JENKINS

LEON SMALLS

 

 

Life in prison

 

Mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment constitutes only allegations, and every fact described herein should be treated as an allegation.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
19-080
Updated March 14, 2019