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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 6, 2021

Seven Members Of Violent Gang Charged With Racketeering And Firearms Offenses

Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Dermot Shea, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), Raymond P. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), and Kevin P. Bruen, Acting Superintendent of the New York State Police (“NYSP”), announced today the unsealing of an eleven-count Indictment charging JAYQUAN SMITH, a/k/a “Six,” RASHIEN JACKSON, a/k/a “Pop,” JAMES BELL, a/k/a “Dex,” DAQUAN MURPHY, a/k/a “Fritz,” JONATHAN ODENTHAL, a/k/a “White Boy,” HASSAN SIMMONS, a/k/a “Hart,” and DERICK MURPHY, a/k/a “Yogi,” with racketeering and firearms offenses, as well as violent crimes in aid of racketeering, in connection with their membership and association with the 800 YGz gang (the “800 YGz”).  DAQUAN MURPHY was taken into custody yesterday.  DERICK MURPHY and SMITH were already in federal custody on separate charges.  BELL and JACKSON were in state custody on separate charges. The defendants will be presented this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker in Manhattan federal court.  SIMMONS and ODENTHAL remain at large.  The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan.

U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “As alleged in today’s indictment, members and associates of a violent street gang wreaked havoc in the Bronx for many years, committing numerous acts of violence against rival gang members.  Thanks to the hard work of our law enforcement partners, the defendants now face federal charges for these serious crimes.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Raymond P. Donovan said:  “These defendants are charged with participating in the activities of the 800 YGz gang and committing numerous acts of violence.  Their alleged criminal conduct has been a scourge on communities in the Bronx for years. I applaud the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force and U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York on their teamwork and diligence throughout this impactful investigation.”

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said:  “The kind of street violence these defendants were allegedly willing to carry out threatens the fabric of life for everyone in our city. This federal prosecution puts an end to it, strengthened by the joint work of our NYPD officers, federal partners and prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York.”

New York State Police Acting Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said:  “This case involves members of a gang that engaged in numerous alleged acts of violence, with absolutely no regard for the consequences of their actions. I want to commend our partners for their cooperation and hard work to hold these subjects accountable and remove this threat from our neighborhoods.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court[[1]]:

JAYQUAN SMITH, a/k/a “Six,” RASHIEN JACKSON, a/k/a “Pop,” JAMES BELL, a/k/a “Dex,” DAQUAN MURPHY, a/k/a “Fritz,” JONATHAN ODENTHAL, a/k/a “White Boy,” HASSAN SIMMONS, a/k/a “Hart,” and DERICK MURPHY, a/k/a “Yogi,” are members and associates of the 800 YGz, a racketeering enterprise that operates principally in the New York City metropolitan area.  In order to enrich the enterprise, preserve and protect the power of the enterprise, and enhance its criminal operations, 800 YGz members and associates committed, conspired, attempted, and threatened to commit acts of violence; distributed and possessed with intent to distribute narcotics, including crack cocaine and marijuana; engaged in wire fraud; and obtained, possessed, and used firearms. 

On or about July 8, 2019, BELL shot at rival gang members, injuring two individuals, in the Bronx, New York.

On or about March 27, 2020, JACKSON shot at rival gang members in the Bronx, New York.

On or about September 16, 2020, JACKSON slashed a rival gang member in the Bronx, New York.

On or about November 21, 2020, SMITH shot at rival gang members in the Bronx, New York.

On or about December 21, 2020, SMITH shot at rival gang members in the Bronx, New York.

On or about August 28, 2020, JACKSON possessed a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense.

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 information purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding work of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, comprising agents and officers of the DEA, NYPD, and NYSP.  Ms. Strauss also thanked the NYPD’s 48th Precinct for its assistance with the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Jim Ligtenberg and Alexandra Rothman 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.

COUNT

CHARGE

DEFENDANTS

MAX. PENALTY

Count One

 Racketeering Conspiracy

 

 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)

 

All defendants

Life imprisonment

Count Two

Attempted Murder and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

 

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959 and 2

 

JAMES BELL

Twenty years’ imprisonment

Count Three

Firearms Offense

 

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c) and 2

JAMES BELL

Life imprisonment

 

Mandatory minimum of ten years’ imprisonment

 

Count Four

Attempted Murder and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

 

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959 and 2

 

RASHIEN JACKSON

Twenty years’ imprisonment

Count Five

Firearms Offense

 

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c) and 2

RASHIEN JACKSON

Life imprisonment

 

Mandatory minimum of ten years’ imprisonment

 

Count Six

Attempted Murder and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

 

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959 and 2

 

RASHIEN JACKSON

Twenty years’ imprisonment

Count Seven

Attempted Murder and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

 

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959 and 2

 

JAYQUAN SMITH

Twenty years’ imprisonment

Count Eight

Firearms Offense

 

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c) and 2

JAYQUAN SMITH

Life imprisonment

 

Mandatory minimum of ten years’ imprisonment

 

Count Nine

Attempted Murder and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

 

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959 and 2

 

JAYQUAN SMITH

Twenty years’ imprisonment

Count Ten

Firearms Offense

 

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c) and 2

JAYQUAN SMITH

Life imprisonment

 

Mandatory minimum of ten years’ imprisonment

 

Count Eleven

Firearms Offense

 

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c) and 2

RASHIEN

JACKSON

Life imprisonment

 

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.

Contact: 
James Margolin, Nicholas Biase (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number: 
21-108
Updated May 6, 2021