Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that DERRICK CASADO, a/k/a “Big Bank,” a/k/a “Papa D,” pled guilty today to conspiring to distribute 28 grams and more of crack cocaine and using, carrying, possessing, brandishing, and discharging a firearm in connection with a crime of violence—namely, the May 17, 2019 shooting of a rival gang member near Sheridan Avenue and Marcy Place in the Bronx. CASADO was the fourteenth defendant to plead guilty in the case and the second to admit his participation in an October 5, 2019 robbery near 20 East 116th Street in Manhattan, during which CARLOS ROSARIO, a/k/a “Baby Bottle,” shot and killed Jonathan Rodriguez, who tried to intervene in the robbery. On February 9, 2022, ROSARIO pled guilty to conspiring to commit assault with a dangerous weapon and murder in a gang-related incident on July 18, 2019, and two counts of discharging a firearm during gang-related incidents on July 20, 2019 and October 5, 2019. ROSARIO also admitted his role in causing Rodriguez’s death. All of the defendants pled guilty before U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken.
According to allegations in the Indictment and Superseding Indictments filed in this case, as well as statements by the Government and defense at plea proceedings in this case:
Between 2017 and 2019, DARRELL LAWRENCE, a/k/a “Capo,” and DAVON MCCULLOUGH, a/k/a “Yung,” a/k/a “Dayday,” were leaders and suppliers of a narcotics conspiracy that operated principally on and around East 176th Street and Anthony Avenue in the Bronx, as well as in Maine and Virginia. Many members of the conspiracy—including CASADO and ROSARIO—were also members of the Mac Ballers gang. Members of the conspiracy trafficked in significant quantities of crack cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and other dangerous drugs; and they routinely used, carried, and possessed firearms to protect their drug operations and advance their gang interests. For example, on May 17, 2019, CASADO traveled from the area of East 175th Street to Sheridan Avenue near East 169th Street and shot at a member of a rival gang who had insulted CASADO’s gang set on social media. On July 18, 2019, ROSARIO attempted to shoot at other rival gang members in the vicinity of East 178th Street and Anthony Avenue; and two days later, on July 20, 2019, ROSARIO fired shots into the courtyard of an apartment complex at 2000 Valentine Avenue. Then, on September 13, 2019, MCCULLOUGH drove two co-conspirators to commit a robbery of marijuana at a store near 2163 Second Avenue in Manhattan, knowing that at least one of the robbers would use a gun to commit the robbery. During the ensuing robbery, both co-conspirators brandished guns and stole marijuana and proceeds of marijuana sales, among other things. On October 5, 2019, CASADO, ROSARIO, and a third co-conspirator approached and robbed personal property from two individuals near 20 East 116th Street in Manhattan while ROSARIO brandished a firearm and assaulted one of the victims with the firearm. Jonathan Rodriguez attempted to intervene, and as he approached ROSARIO from behind, ROSARIO turned and fired a shot, causing Rodriguez’s death.
CASADO pled guilty today to conspiring to distribute 28 grams and more of crack cocaine and using, carrying, and possessing firearms in connection with a crime of violence, which carry a combined mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. ROSARIO pled guilty to conspiring to commit assault with a dangerous weapon and murder, and two counts of using, carrying, possessing, brandishing, and discharging a firearm during gang related incidents, which carry a combined mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Among the other defendants to plead guilty in this case, LAWRENCE pled guilty to conspiring to distribute 280 grams and more of crack cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, oxycodone, and marijuana, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison; and on February 14, 2022, MCCULLOUGH pled guilty to using, carrying, and possessing a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime; using, carrying, and possessing a firearm that was brandished in connection with a robbery on September 13, 2019, and conspiring to retaliate against a cooperating witness, which carry a combined mandatory minimum sentence of twelve years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The minimum and 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.
ROSARIO is scheduled to be sentenced at 11:30 a.m. on May 26, 2022. MCCULLOUGH is scheduled to be sentenced at 11:00 a.m. on June 30, 2022. LAWRENCE is scheduled to be sentenced at 12:00 p.m. on July 12, 2022. CASADO is scheduled to be sentenced at 11:00 a.m. on October 27, 2022. Each of the defendants will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding work of the New York City Police Department and Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Balsamello, Jamie Bagliebter, and Peter Davis are in charge of the prosecution.