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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Six Members Of The “Rollin’ 30s” Crips Street Gang Charged With Racketeering, Narcotics, And Firearm Offenses

Charges Include the March 26, 2015, Murder of Innocent Bystander Victor Chafla

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New York City (“HSI”), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the unsealing of a Superseding Indictment charging WALSTON OWEN, a/k/a “Purpose,” RICHARD FELIZ, a/k/a “Dirt,” SHAQUILLE BAILEY, a/k/a “Shaq,” a/k/a “Jefe,” MIGUEL CABA, a/k/a “Miggs,” and NATHANIAL RODRIGUEZ, a/k/a “Cook,” with various crimes relating to racketeering, narcotics, and firearms offenses, including charges against FELIZ for the March 26, 2015, murder of Victor Chafla, an innocent bystander.  The defendants are charged as a result of their membership in the “Rollin’ 30s,” a subset of the nationwide Crips street gang.  Another individual, LEWIS TURNBULL, a/k/a “Lew,” was charged solely with a narcotics offense.  OWEN and COOK were arrested on these charges yesterday; FELIZ, BAILEY, TURNBULL, and CABA were already in federal custody on other charges.  OWEN and COOK will be presented in Manhattan federal court today before Chief Magistrate Judge Deborah Freeman.  The case is before United States District Judge Victor Marrero, and the defendants will be arraigned before Judge Marrero on September 14.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “As alleged in the superseding indictment, these defendants brought drugs and violence to the streets of our community, including the tragic murder of an innocent bystander, Victor Chafla. We commend the extraordinary efforts of our law enforcement partners to bring these defendants to justice, and express our hope that Mr. Chafla’s family and friends find some measure of justice in today’s charges.”

HSI Special Agent in Charge Angel M. Melendez said:  “These gang members are purported to have committed acts of violence, including murder and robbery, just to fund and protect its criminal enterprise, with one crew member alleged to have shot and killed an innocent bystander. These street gangs plague our community and HSI, with its longstanding partnership with the NYPD, will continue its efforts to rid our neighborhoods of such tormenters and ensure it’s known that they are not welcome.”

NYPD Commissioner O’Neill said:  “These alleged members of a Crips crew have been indicted on racketeering, narcotics and firearms-related charges.  One of the defendants is accused of shooting and killing an innocent bystander during a dispute with a rival gangmember in the Soundview section of the Bronx. These are serious offenses, and the type of violence we remain focused on that has led to significant reductions in crime.  I want to thank the members of the NYPD, the Southern District, and Homeland Security Investigations who have been working on this case.”

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment[1] and other documents in the public record, and statements made in court:

From 2013 to 2017, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, WALSTON OWEN, RICHARD FELIZ, SHAQUILLE BAILEY, MIGUEL CABA, and NATHANIAL RODRIGUEZ were members or associates of a racketeering enterprise known as the “Rollin’ 30s.”  In order to fund the enterprise, protect and expand its interests, and promote its standing, members and associates of the Rollin’ 30s committed, conspired, attempted, and threatened to commit acts of violence, including murder and robbery; they conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute narcotics; and they obtained, possessed, and used firearms, including by brandishing and discharging them.  LEWIS TURNBULL also conspired with certain members of the Rollin’ 30s to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine and marijuana.

During a dispute with a member of an opposing crew, on March 26, 2015, FELIZ fired a gun in an attempt to kill that individual.  FELIZ instead hit an innocent bystander, Victor Chafla. Chafla died from his wounds a few days later.

*              *             *

The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided in the attached table for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants will be determined by a judge

Mr. Kim praised the investigative work of the NYPD and HSI.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Jessica Fender and Max Nicholas 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

Charges

Defendants

Maximum Penalties

1

Racketeering Conspiracy

WALSTON OWEN,

RICHARD FELIZ, SHAQUILLE BAILEY, MIGUEL CABA, and NATHANIAL RODRIGUEZ

Life in prison (all defendants except FELIZ)

 

Life in prison or death (FELIZ)

2

Conspiracy To Commit Murder in Aid of Racketeering

RICHARD FELIZ

Life in prison

3

Murder in Aid of Racketeering

RICHARD FELIZ

Life in prison or death

4

Use of a Firearm Resulting in Death

RICHARD FELIZ

Life in prison or death

5

Using, Carrying, Possessing, Brandishing, and Discharging Firearms

WALSTON OWEN,

RICHARD FELIZ, SHAQUILLE BAILEY, MIGUEL CABA, and NATHANIAL RODRIGUEZ

Life in prison

 

Mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison

6

Narcotics Conspiracy

WALSTON OWEN,

RICHARD FELIZ, SHAQUILLE BAILEY, and LEWIS TURNBULL

Life in prison

 

Mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison

 

 

[1] As the introductory phrase 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.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
17-293
Updated September 13, 2017