Former NYPD Officer Pleads Guilty In Connection With Obstructing A Federal Investigation And Helping A Gang Leader Evade Capture After Committing Murder
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that recording artist CASWELL SENIOR, a/k/a “Casanova,” was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Philip M. Halpern to 188 months in prison for racketeering and narcotics offenses arising out of his leadership role in the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation Bloods Gang (“Gorilla Stone”). As part of the racketeering conspiracy, SENIOR participated in a shooting in Florida on July 5, 2020, and a robbery in New York City on August 5, 2018, and conspired to traffic over 100 kilograms of marijuana.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Caswell Senior is not just a notorious recording artist, but he is also a high-profile leader of a vicious street gang and a magnet for gang violence. At a crowded Miami house party, Senior personally fired a gun that seriously injured and could have killed a victim, inciting a shootout. Further, Senior’s stature in the community was central to Gorilla Stone’s successful recruitment and nationwide expansion. Today’s sentencing — along with the other significant sentences that have been imposed in this case — shows once again that gang life is not worth it and will lead to many years in prison.”
According to the Indictment, public court filings, and statements made in court:
Since at least 2004, Gorilla Stone has been a brutally violent street gang with a national presence that was founded by SENIOR’s co-defendant Dwight Reid, a/k/a “Dick Wolf.” Gorilla Stone has many members across New York State, including throughout New York City, Westchester, and the New York State Prison System, and all over the country — such as in Florida, where SENIOR engaged in substantial criminal conduct. Gorilla Stone is comprised of various sets (or “Caves,” as they are called by gang members). Gorilla Stone is a highly organized and efficient street gang with an organizational commitment to violence that strictly enforces its internal laws.
SENIOR’s Gorilla Stone co-defendants were charged with a host of crimes committed in furtherance of their joint enterprise. Some of the charges against Gorilla Stone members include racketeering conspiracy, various frauds, a large-scale narcotics conspiracy that SENIOR actively participated in, myriad firearms offenses, and numerous acts of violence, including a daytime murder of a juvenile in the middle of a Poughkeepsie street; multiple attempted murders and shootings, including two in Florida in which SENIOR was involved; a gunpoint drug-related robbery; and a brutal slashing.
For over a decade, SENIOR participated in and was associated with the Gorilla Stone racketeering conspiracy. SENIOR was a powerful, respected, high-profile member of the gang. SENIOR admitted that he was an organizer or leader of a criminal activity that involved five or more participants. SENIOR joined the gang while incarcerated over a decade ago and has remained an active member ever since, including upon his release from custody from a prior case in 2013.
As part of the racketeering activity, on or about July 5, 2020, while in Florida for a gang member’s birthday, SENIOR shot a gun at a gang member with whom he was having a gambling dispute, hitting one gang member in the leg/calf area and a second, different gang member in the foot when the bullet ricocheted. A victim suffered serious bodily injury because of the shooting and was treated at a Miami-area hospital for a gunshot wound to the foot. Thereafter, other party attendees, including a member of Gorilla Stone, discharged multiple firearms.
Additionally, as part of an August 5, 2018, robbery at a Manhattan diner that SENIOR participated in, a victim was restrained and suffered serious bodily injury. The robbery started when SENIOR appeared to believe that a female victim took a photo of him from the booth where the victim was sitting. SENIOR then proceeded to forcefully take the victim’s cellphone. SENIOR’s gang member associate then came up behind the victim and put her in a headlock until she fell to the floor unconscious from lack of oxygen.
SENIOR further agreed to traffic at least 100 kilograms of marijuana. During an approximately nine-month period, SENIOR was responsible for distributing between 100 kilograms and 400 kilograms of his personally branded “2x” marijuana.
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SENIOR, 36, of Montville, New Jersey, previously pled guilty on May 11, 2022, before Judge Halpern to one count of conspiring to conduct and participate in the conduct of the affairs of a criminal enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity and one count of conspiring to distribute over 100 kilograms of marijuana. In addition to the prison term, SENIOR was sentenced to four years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $50,000.
SENIOR is the 12th defendant in the Gorilla Stone case to have been sentenced. The 11 other defendants who have been sentenced by Judge Halpern are:
Five additional defendants have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing: DESHAWN THOMAS, a/k/a “Don,” AHMED WALKER, a/k/a “Ammo,” BRANDON SOTO, a/k/a “Stacks,” ROBERT WOODS, a/k/a “Blakk Rob,” and BRINAE THORNTON, a/k/a “Luxury.”
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force, which is comprised of special agents and task force officers from the FBI, U.S. Probation, New York State Police, New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, New York City Police Department, Westchester County Police Department, Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Rockland District Attorney’s Office, and the Yonkers, New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Greenburgh, White Plains, Peekskill, Ramapo, and Clarkstown Police Departments.
This case is being prosecuted by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shiva H. Logarajah, David R. Felton, and Courtney L. Heavey are in charge of the prosecution.