Founder Of The Blood Hound Brims Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison For Racketeering And Related Offenses
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that LATIQUE JOHNSON, a/k/a “La Brim,” a/k/a “Straight 2 Business,” a/k/a “Breezy,” a/k/a “Boss Dog,” 39, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced today to 30 years in prison in connection with his leadership of the Blood Hound Brims, a violent street and prison gang that operated in New York City and elsewhere, and his participation in narcotics trafficking and acts of violence, including two shootings in 2012. JOHNSON was convicted on March 27, 2019, following a five-week jury trial before Judge Gardephe, who also imposed today’s sentence.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Latique Johnson founded a notoriously violent and lawless gang from within the New York State prison system that grew to terrorize communities across New York City and New York State. As the founder and leader of the Blood Hound Brims, Johnson recruited members based on their violent reputations and willingness to follow his orders. Together with other members of the Blood Hound Brims, Johnson is responsible for several heinous acts of violence. Today’s lengthy sentence sends an important message to gang members who commit violent crimes that they will be apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
According to court documents, the evidence at trial, and statements made in court proceedings:
The Blood Hound Brims (“BHB”) were a criminal enterprise that operated principally in the greater New York area, from at least 2005 up to and including 2016. The BHB was a faction of the Bloods street gang, which operates nationwide, and is under the New York Blood Brim Army (“NYBBA”). The BHB operated within and around various locations in New York, including New York City, Westchester County, Elmira, and in Pennsylvania, as well as within and outside federal and state penal systems.
The BHB used a hierarchical structure that was organized, in part, by New York City borough, and that was maintained, in part, through the payment of dues. The founder and leader of the gang was LATIQUE JOHNSON, and other members and associates of the BHB referred to JOHNSON as the “Godfather.” The gang was divided into several “pedigrees,” each of which had its own leadership structure that was approved by JOHNSON. Leadership positions within the pedigrees included, among others, treasurers who collected dues from members of a particular pedigree, and individuals who performed security and disciplinary functions for the pedigree.
Members of the BHB had regular meetings, sometimes called “pow wows” or “9-11s,” at which members were required to pay dues. Some of the meetings were among members of a particular pedigree, and other meetings were for all members of the enterprise. Word of the meetings was disseminated via text message, word-of-mouth, and flyers. The BHB’s business, including rivalries with other gangs, shootings, the arrest of gang members, guns, and drugs, was regularly discussed at these meetings. “Kitty dues” – money that paid for commissary funds, lawyers, guns, and drugs, and that served as tribute to JOHNSON – were collected at these meetings. The BHB maintained its own rules and constitution that new members were required to learn. Members of the BHB also used code words and secret phrases to communicate with each other both while in prison and on the street in order to avoid detection by law enforcement.
One of the BHB’s principal objectives was to sell cocaine base – commonly known as “crack cocaine” – powder cocaine, and heroin, which members and associates of the BHB sold throughout the greater New York area and in Pennsylvania.
Members and associates of the BHB engaged in multiple acts of violence against rival gangs. These acts of violence included assaults and attempted murders, and were committed to protect the BHB’s drug territory, to retaliate against members of rival gangs who had encroached on the territory controlled by the BHB, and to otherwise promote the standing and reputation of the gang vis-à-vis rival gangs. These acts of violence also included assaults and attempted murders against members and associates of the BHB itself, as part of internal power struggles within the gang.
For example, on or about January 28, 2012, in the Bronx, New York, JOHNSON, aided and abetted by his co-defendant Donnell Murray, used an AK-47 assault rifle to fire into a fried chicken restaurant where rival gang members were gathered, injuring two individuals who survived the shooting. The violence continued in fall of 2012 when JOHNSON ordered the shooting of two other members of a rival gang, who survived.
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Donnell Murray, 39, of the Bronx, New York, was convicted following a jury trial of racketeering conspiracy, assault in aid of racketeering, narcotics conspiracy, and firearms offenses. Murray was sentenced in November 2019 to 20 years in prison.
Brandon Green, 36, of the Bronx, New York, was convicted following a jury trial of racketeering conspiracy, narcotics conspiracy, and firearms offenses. Green is facing a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison and will be sentenced in 2020.
David Cherry, 39, of the Bronx, New York, was convicted following a guilty plea to a firearms offense. Cherry faces a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison and will be sentenced in 2020.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police Department, and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
The prosecution is being handled by the Violent and Organized Crime Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica Feinstein, Allison Nichols, Andrew Chan, and Abigail Kurland are in charge of the prosecution.