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Press Release

Three Gang Members Charged In Federal Court With Attempted Murder

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Peter C. Fitzhugh, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), today announced the unsealing of an indictment charging three members of the MacBallas street gang with attempted murder, arising out of their role in an assault and attempted murder against a fellow inmate inside a New York City jail in June 2017.

Two of the defendants, KALVIN THWAITES and ANDREW BURRELL, were taken into federal custody last week and presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott.  The remaining defendant, KENDALL NEWLAND, was taken into federal custody this morning and presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang.  The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero.  An initial pretrial conference is scheduled for September 20, 2019, at 2:00 p.m., before Judge Marrero.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said:  “As alleged in the Indictment, the defendants tried to kill a fellow inmate in order to promote their membership in the MacBallas street gang.  We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to end gang violence, wherever it occurs.”

HSI Special Agent-in Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh said:  “These MacBallas gang members were already serving time for their criminal acts when they tried to take the life of another inmate.  When it comes to maintaining power and position, these individuals have little regard for human life.  This is why law enforcement remains diligent in its gang enforcement both on and off the streets.”

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment[1] and statements made in court:

The MacBallas gang is a criminal enterprise that operates principally in and around the New York City area, including within city, state, and federal jails and prisons.  Members and associates of the MacBallas engage in, among other things, narcotics trafficking, as well as acts of violence, to preserve and protect the power of the gang. 

On June 7, 2017, the defendants, who were detained at the Vernon C. Bain Center, a New York City jail in the Bronx, New York, assaulted with a dangerous weapon and attempted to murder a fellow inmate in order to maintain or increase their position in the MacBallas.

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THWAITES, 26, of Queens, New York, NEWLAND, 25, of Mount Vernon, New York, and BURRELL, 28, of the Bronx, New York, are each charged with one count of assault and attempted murder in aid of racketeering activity, which carries a maximum sentence of  20 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is 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 HSI and the NYPD.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason Swergold and Adam Hobson are in charge of the prosecution.  The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


[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.

Updated September 17, 2019

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 19-301