You are here

Justice News

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

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Mount Vernon Man Charged With August 2018 Murder

Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Shawn Harris, Commissioner of the Mount Vernon Police Department, announced the unsealing of a federal indictment charging BARRY JOHNSON, 26, with aiding and abetting the murder of David DeGrace, 36, on August 26, 2018, in furtherance of a marijuana distribution conspiracy.  JOHNSON was arrested this morning in Mount Vernon and will be presented this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Lisa M. Smith.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Last summer, David DeGrace was shot dead, the victim of senseless drug-related violence.  As alleged, Barry Johnson aided and abetted that murder.  Thanks to the work of our remarkable law enforcement partners, Johnson now stands charged in federal court for his role in this terrible crime.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “In addition to the scourge of addiction, the drug trade brings violence and fear to our communities.  As alleged, Barry Johnson aided and abetted the death of David DeGrace for no other reason than to further that drug trade. The FBI and our partners are committed to eradicating drugs and associated criminal activity from our streets.”

Commissioner Shawn Harris said:  “I anticipate the arrest and prosecution of Barry Johnson will bring some closure to the family of David DeGrace.  This case is another example of a successful inter-agency investigation that lead to the arrest of a violent offender.  I express thanks to U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman and FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. for their continued support to hold those accountable who engage in violent criminal activity.  The men and women of the FBI Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force and the Mount Vernon Police Department are endlessly working together to make Mount Vernon a safer city.”

*                      *                     *

According to the allegations in the Indictment[1]:

On or about August 26, 2018, JOHNSON aided and abetted the murder of David DeGrace in Mount Vernon, New York, in furtherance of a marijuana distribution conspiracy.

JOHNSON is charged with one count of aiding and abetting the murder of DeGrace through the use of a firearm during and in relation to a narcotics trafficking offense, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j) and 2.  This charge carries a maximum penalty of death or life in prison.  The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force, which comprises agents and task force officers from the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, United States Probation Office, New York State Police, New York City Police Department, Mount Vernon Police Department, Yonkers Police Department, Greenburgh Police Department, Peekskill Police Department, Westchester County Police Department, and Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.  Mr. Berman also thanked the Mount Vernon Police Department for its assistance in this matter.

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division and Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher Brumwell and Celia V. Cohen are in charge of the prosecution.


[1] As the introductory phase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
Updated December 20, 2018