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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Seven High-Ranking Members Of Violent Trinitarios Gang Charged With Murder, Racketeering, And Firearms Offenses

Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Raymond P. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), Keith M. Corlett, Superintendent of the New York State Police (“NYSP”), Dermot F. Shea, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), and  Margaret Garnett, Commissioner, New York City Department of Investigation (“DOI”), announced the unsealing of a federal indictment charging EDIBERTO SANTANA, a/k/a “Flaco Veneno,” MIGUEL GENAO, a/k/a “Sombra,” CARLOS RAMIREZ, a/k/a “Guerra,” DARINSO MARTE REYES, a/k/a “Cibao,” ANGEL CRISPIN, a/k/a “Secreto,” JOSE MARICHAL, a/k/a “Menor,” a/k/a “El Menol,” and ENIEL VASQUEZ, a/k/a “Dominican Flow,” with participating in a racketeering conspiracy as members of Sunset, a violent set of the Trinitarios gang.  SANTANA and RAMIREZ are charged with the October 23, 2013, murder of Michael Beltre, and SANTANA is also charged with the November 17, 2013, murder of Rafael Alam.  Six defendants were arrested today and were presented this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker.  The seventh defendant was already in federal custody on separate charges.  The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Paul A. Crotty.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged in the indictment, the defendants in this case include high-ranking members of a violent set of the Trinitarios gang known as Sunset.  The violence perpetrated by Sunset members is exemplified by the two murders charged in today’s indictment.  Thanks to the efforts of our partners at the DEA, HSI, NYPD, NYSP, and DOI, the defendants now face federal charges for these most serious of crimes.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Raymond P. Donovan said:  “Today’s arrests reemphasize that the Trinitarios have put New Yorkers in the cross hairs of gang violence and crime.  Throughout this investigation, two murders and numerous violent crimes including assaults, robberies, and drug trafficking were uncovered.   I applaud our law enforcement partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York, New York City Police Department, New York State Police, Homeland Security Investigations, and New York City Department of Investigation for their diligent work.”

HSI Special Agent in Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh said:  “With today’s arrest of seven members of the Bronx Sunset Trinitarios, a violent sub-set of the Trinitarios National Gang, HSI New York has helped to make the Bronx safer for everyday New Yorkers.  Those arrested today used violence and intimidation to carry out their illegal activities which led to today’s charges, including racketeering, firearms offenses and murder.  HSI, along with its Federal, State and Local law enforcement partners, remain vigilant in our fight against violent gangs and are committed to ridding our city of them.”

DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett said:  "The charges in this case demonstrate the significant threat that street gangs continue to pose to the safety of New York City neighborhoods. DOI is proud to work with our law enforcement partners on this investigation, holding accountable those whose criminal activity undermines New Yorkers' right to live in safe communities."

As alleged in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court and statements made in court[1]:

EDIBERTO SANTANA, a/k/a “Flaco Veneno,” MIGUEL GENAO, a/k/a “Sombra,” CARLOS RAMIREZ, a/k/a “Guerra,” DARINSO MARTE REYES, a/k/a “Cibao,” ANGEL CRISPIN, a/k/a “Secreto,” JOSE MARICHAL, a/k/a “Menor,” a/k/a “El Menol,” and ENIEL VASQUEZ, a/k/a “Dominican Flow,” are members and associates of a racketeering enterprise known as “Sunset,” which operates in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, New York, among other locations.  Sunset is a set or chapter of the nationwide Trinitarios gang.  In order to enrich the enterprise, protect and expand its criminal operations, enforce discipline among its members, and retaliate against members of rival gangs, Sunset members and associates committed, conspired, attempted, and threatened to commit acts of violence, including murder; distributed and possessed with intent to distribute narcotics; committed robberies; engaged in fraud; and obtained, possessed, and used firearms.

On or about October 23, 2013, SANTANA and RAMIREZ participated in the murder of Michael Beltre in the vicinity of Jerome Avenue and 193rd Street in the Bronx, New York.

On or about November 17, 2013, SANTANA participated in the murder of Rafael Alam in the vicinity of Jerome Avenue and 174th Street in the Bronx, New York.

*                      *                     *

A chart containing the names, charges, and maximum and minimum penalties for the defendants is set forth below.  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.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA, HSI, NYPD, NYSP, and DOI.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Celia V. Cohen and Jaqueline C. Kelly are in charge of the prosecution.

 

COUNT

CHARGE

DEFENDANTS

MAX. PENALTY

Count One

Racketeering conspiracy

 

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)

SANTANA

RAMIREZ

Life imprisonment

GENAO

MARTE REYES CRISPIN MARICHAL VASQUEZ

20 years’ imprisonment

Count Two

Murder in aid of racketeering

 

 

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959 and 2

SANTANA

RAMIREZ

Life imprisonment, or death

 

Mandatory minimum of life imprisonment

Count Three

Murder through use of a firearm

 

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j) and 2

SANTANA

RAMIREZ

Life imprisonment, or death

 

Mandatory minimum of five years’ imprisonment

 

Court Four

Murder in aid of racketeering

 

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959 and 2

SANTANA

 

Life imprisonment, or death

 

Mandatory minimum of life imprisonment,

Count Five

Murder through use of a firearm

 

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j) and 2

SANTANA

 

Life imprisonment, or death

 

Mandatory minimum of five years’ imprisonment

 

 

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

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Jim Margolin, Nicholas Biase (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number: 
20-016
Updated January 14, 2020