Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), and Ashan M. Benedict, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, announced that KENNETH RUDGE, 28, of the Bronx, New York, received a sentence of 420 months’ imprisonment from District Judge Kimba M. Wood at a proceeding held today in Manhattan federal court. Rudge previously pleaded guilty to firearms charges arising from his use of a firearm in the murder of Nelson Dubon on January 21, 2016. Rudge murdered Dubon in the course of a robbery in the South Bronx, which Rudge and other members of the violent street crew “YNR” committed as part of that crew’s drug business.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Kenneth Rudge and his YNR crew inflicted violence and death upon our community. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the NYPD and the ATF, Rudge will now spend the next 35 years in prison.”
According to the charging documents filed in the case, as well as statements made during the plea proceedings and earlier court appearances:
Since at least 2012, a group of young men and women living in the vicinity of 188th Street and Webster Avenue, and referring to itself as “YNR,” engaged in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and heroin to addicts in that area. YNR managed to bring large quantities of crack cocaine and heroin into its neighborhood and to inflict mindless and, ultimately, deadly violence on its community.
RUDGE personally organized and participated in multiple acts of narcotics sales by junior members of YNR, including groups of minors working at RUDGE’s direction. RUDGE also instigated multiple acts of drug-related violence. Those incidents included the following, each of which was committed in the Bronx, New York: 1) a robbery in or about 2015, of a marijuana dealer in that marijuana dealer’s apartment, during which robbery a victim was pistol-whipped by one of RUDGE’s co-conspirator; 2) a robbery, in or about 2015, of a marijuana dealer, resulting in a shooting by RUDGE and others in order to thwart the victim’s attempt to retaliate for that robbery; 3) an attempted armed robbery, on or about January 21, 2016, of a marijuana stash apartment; and 4) a robbery, on or about January 21, 2016, of a narcotics dealer and others located inside a billiards club, during which RUDGE shot and killed Nelson Dubon.
Following his arrest by the NYPD in connection with the murder of Dubon, RUDGE attempted to corruptly influence and silence witnesses against him, including by attempting to have other YNR members find and silence an eyewitness to the murder. RUDGE also continued his firearms use and violence in the days after the murder of Dubon, including through the pistol-whipping of a livery cab driver in a failed attempt to rob that person of his fares on or about January 25, 2016, in the Bronx.
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Mr. Berman praised the outstanding work of the NYPD and ATF for their investigative efforts and ongoing support and assistance with the case.
The prosecution of this case is being overseen by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew C. Adams and Sarah Krissoff are in charge of the case.