Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges 24 Members Of Bronx Street Gang With Racketeering Conspiracy, Narcotics Trafficking, And Firearm Offenses
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, James T. Hayes, Jr., the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE”) Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), James J. Hunt, the Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), William J. Bratton, the Commissioner of the Police Department for the City of New York (“NYPD”), and Thomas J. Cannon, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”), announced charges against 24 members of a criminal organization, known as “Murda Moore Gangstas” (“MMG”), who controlled the area in and around the Moore Housing Projects, near East 149th Street and Jackson Avenue, in the Bronx, New York. The MMG gang members are charged with racketeering, narcotics, and firearm offenses.
Twenty-one of the defendants, including those taken into custody today and five of the defendants who were in state or federal custody on other charges, will be presented in Manhattan federal court this afternoon.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Keeping our neighborhoods safe and secure from gang violence remains one of this Office’s highest priorities. Cases like this one, where we worked closely with our local and federal law enforcement partners to charge 24 leaders and members of a violent gang that allegedly terrorized the Moore Housing Projects in the Bronx, can make a big difference. All New Yorkers have the right to the peaceful enjoyment of their neighborhoods, whether they live in Mott Haven or Riverdale. That requires the combined efforts of law enforcement to make and prosecute cases like this one.”
ICE HSI Special Agent-in-Charge James T. Hayes said: “This organization’s alleged illicit activities of narcotics and weapons trafficking created a nightmare of crime and violence in the neighborhoods where they operated,” said James T. Hayes Jr., special agent in charge of HSI New York. “Only through continuous law enforcement cooperation can these criminals be taken off the streets and allow law-abiding citizens to reclaim their communities.”
DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt stated, “Law enforcement’s collaboration and resources over the past two years led to the indictments of 24 members of the Murda Moore Gangsta crew on charges ranging from racketeering, narcotics and firearms felonies. Law abiding residents in surrounding areas of the Moore Housing Projects had been caught in the crossfire of violence associated with drug trafficking. Today’s arrests are the second wave of an investigation focused on reclaiming the Mott Haven community from the carnage, crime and fear that are linked to the MMG drug operations.”
NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton said: “The NYPD will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to track down street crews that commit violent crimes amongst law abiding citizens. The Mott Haven community and residents in the Moore and Saint Mary Park Houses will hopefully feel safer knowing that their children can now play in the area that these crew members once used as their own personal battle ground, and that these crews have been removed from their midst. I want to thank the members of the NYPD's Bronx Gang Squad, 40th Precinct, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, for their efforts in bringing these criminals to justice.”
ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Thomas J. Cannon said: “Today’s arrests are convincing indicators that this investigation is far from over. We are pleased to be working with our fellow agencies to ensure that all of our respective resources are being utilized as efficiently as possible. In this way, this organization will be swiftly eradicated. The people of New York deserve nothing less.”
According to the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
From 2006 through 2014, MMG has been a criminal enterprise consisting of over 20 gang members who were involved in street robberies, assaults, and sales of crack cocaine, marijuana, and other drugs. MMG was started by five individuals – including TEVIN MIZELL, a/k/a “Tev Gunz,” KEVIN MIZELL, a/k/a “Kev Gunz,” EDWIN SMITH, a/k/a “Ed Black,” and JOSHUA FLADGER, a/k/a “Millz,” the defendants – who are known, within MMG, as the “Top Five.” Later, other individuals, including RICHARD SHACKLEFORD, a/k/a “Sha,” and AMAR TAYLOR, a/k/a “Capo MMG,” the defendants, also grew into leadership roles within the enterprise. MMG members protected and controlled its territory in and around the Moore Housing Projects through violence, and committed various crimes within and around that territory, like shootings, robberies, assaults, and narcotics trafficking.
In particular, MMG members have been embroiled in a continuing violent feud with several rival crews and gangs located nearby in the Bronx, such as gangs from the following areas: (1) the Betances Houses (the “Lookin’ Real Good,” or “LRG,” gang); (2) the Riverpark Towers Houses (the “RPT” gang); (3) Millbrook Housing Project (the “Killbrook Up” and “Killbrook Down” gangs); and (4) Highbridge Gardens Houses (the “Young Flybridge” gang).
In addition, as stated, certain MMG members also sold narcotics in the Moore Houses, and prohibited and prevented outsiders and rival gang members from doing so in their territory. Similarly, many members of MMG committed street-level robberies, either of drug dealers or law-abiding citizens, in and around the Moore Houses. In furtherance of the gang’s activities – namely, the violence, the narcotics distribution and the robberies – members and associates of MMG obtained, possessed, and used firearms.
TEVIN MIZELL, a/k/a “Tev Gunz,” KEVIN MIZELL, a/k/a “Kev Gunz,” EDWIN SMITH, a/k/a “Ed Black,” JOSHUA FLADGER, a/k/a “Millz,” RICHARD SHACKLEFORD, a/k/a “Sha,” AMAR TAYLOR, a/k/a “Capo MMG,” RONATHAN FLADGER, a/k/a “Jeezy,” NOEL BIDO, a/k/a “Bigga,” HENNISON CURRY, a/k/a “Henny,” JOSEPH OTERO, a/k/a “Triple-H,” SHAWN ARNOLD MCFADDEN, a/k/a “Weezy,” DEQUAN BROWN, a/k/a “Dada,” TYRE DAVIS, a/k/a “Tye,” KAYMAR FRANCIS, a/k/a “Kayo,” JOSEPH HUNTLEY, a/k/a “Goonie,” ODANIS OZUNA, a/k/a “Jose Ozoria,” a/k/a “O,” JAMES ANDERSON, MARK GRAYSON, a/k/a “Biscuit,” MICHAEL JAMES, MALIK MCCOLLUM, a/k/a “Dot,” ROBERT WANNAMAKER, EDWARD BINYARD, a/k/a “E,” a/k/a “E-Wreck,” TAYVON KILPATRICK, a/k/a “Trayvon Wilson,” NICHOLAS ROSARIO, a/k/a “Nico Gunz,” the defendants, are all charged with conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise, the Murda Moora Gangstas street gang. In addition, 11 of these defendants are charged with one count of conspiring to distribute crack cocaine, marijuana, and MDMA, and 19 of these defendants are charged with using, carrying, possessing, and discharging firearms during the racketeering and narcotics conspiracies.
A chart containing the names, ages, residences, charges, and maximum penalties for the defendants is attached to this release. 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.
The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Richard J. Sullivan.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the HSI New York El Dorado Task Force DEA group, the NYPD Bronx Gang Squad, the ATF, and DOCCS. He added that the investigation is continuing.
The Office’s Violent Crimes Unit is overseeing the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan P. Poscablo, Santosh Aravind, and Andrew Bauer 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.