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Press Release

Two Members Of Brooklyn Drug Crew Sentenced To 30 And 20 Years In Prison In Connection With April 2021 Murder Of A Rival Crew Member

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York
As Members of a Violent Drug Crew in the Bedford-Stuyvesant Neighborhood in Brooklyn, the Defendants Also Trafficked Drugs and Possessed Firearms

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that DANZEL MACKINS, a/k/a “Putt,” and DARRIN SAMUELS, a/k/a “Klepto,” were sentenced today to 30 and 20 years in prison, respectively, for trafficking drugs, possessing firearms, and participating in the murder of Felton Durant, Jr. on April 25, 2021.  MACKINS and SAMUELS were members of a drug crew based in Brooklyn that distributed crack cocaine on a regular basis from 2019 to 2022.  MACKINS and SAMUELS both carried firearms in connection with their drug trafficking and participated in the killing of Durant, who was shot to death when MACKINS and SAMUELS, together with other members of their drug crew, set off across Brooklyn for the purpose of hunting down and killing the leader of a rival drug crew.  MACKINS previously pled guilty to drug trafficking conspiracy and firearms possession on November 28, 2023.  SAMUELS previously pled guilty to drug trafficking conspiracy on November 21, 2023.  U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan accepted both guilty pleas and imposed today’s sentences.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “On April 25, 2021, Felton Durant was shot to death in broad daylight on a weekend afternoon over a drug dispute.  Both Danzel Mackins and Darrin Samuels participated in that brutal killing, which took place in the middle of a busy public housing development in South Brooklyn.  Because of the hard work of the NYPD and the career prosecutors of this Office, Mackins and Samuels have now both been held responsible for this heinous crime.  I remain committed to devoting every resource needed to target gun violence in this City.  To be clear, as I have said before and will now say again, we are not going to give up any neighborhood, anywhere in this City to drug violence.”

According to the charging instruments, public filings, and statements made in court:

From 2019 to 2022, MACKINS and SAMUELS were members of a drug crew that operated in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, selling large quantities of crack cocaine in retail transactions.  MACKINS and SAMUELS each carried firearms on multiple occasions in connection with their drug trafficking.  For example, in January 2020, MACKINS used a firearm to fire multiple shots at multiple fleeing persons on the street.  He later possessed additional firearms that the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) seized from him in October 2020 and October 2021.  In August 2020, SAMUELS possessed a firearm that the NYPD seized from him together with a quantity of crack cocaine.  In addition, in April 2021, both MACKINS and SAMUELS were carrying firearms as they traveled within Brooklyn from Bedford-Stuyvesant to Red Hook, where they planned to locate and kill the leader of a rival drug crew.  Together with other members of their drug crew, MACKINS and SAMUELS found Durant — a member of the rival drug crew, but not the leader — and Durant was shot and killed on sight.  Later, in January 2022, while members of the NYPD attempted to arrest MACKINS for the charges in this case, MACKINS tried to flee law enforcement in a car, an attempt which ended when MACKINS ran into a 77-year-old woman, causing her grievous injury.

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In addition to their prison terms, MACKINS, 32, of Brooklyn, New York, and SAMUELS, 36, of Brooklyn, New York, were sentenced to five years and three years of supervised release, respectively.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the NYPD and thanked the Kings County District Attorney’s Office for its assistance in this case.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas John Wright is in charge of the prosecution.


Nicholas Biase, Lauren Scarff, Shelby Wratchford
(212) 637-2600

Updated June 20, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-226