“YGz” Gang Member Pleads Guilty To Bronx Murder And Other Crimes In Connection With Racketeering Conspiracy
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ANTHONY SCOTT, a/k/a “Tyson,” pled guilty today to involvement in a racketeering conspiracy in connection with his membership in the “Young Gunnaz” (“YGz”), a violent street gang that operated in and around several housing developments in the New York City Police Department’s 40th Precinct in the South Bronx. As part of his guilty plea, SCOTT admitted to his participation in two acts of violence in the 40th Precinct: (a) the murder of Darrel Ledgister on or about June 27, 2009, in which SCOTT shot and killed Ledgister during the course of an attempted robbery, and (b) aiding and abetting the aggravated assault of a rival gang associate on or about June 22, 2014, by helping another YGz member shoot the rival gang associate in the foot. SCOTT faces a maximum term of life in prison, and will be sentenced before United States District Judge Valerie E. Caproni later this year. The Ledgister murder is one of several previously unsolved 40th Precinct murders charged in this case.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Anthony Scott has admitted to his role in the murder of a 21-year-old man and a second gang-related shooting. Gang violence threatens the safety and security of all New Yorkers, and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to prevent it and to bring those who commit it to justice.”
According to the Indictment and other documents filed in the case, as well as statements made during the plea proceedings:
SCOTT was a member of the Bronx-based street gang known as the YGz and committed acts of violence with other gang members to further the interests of the gang. From at least 2005 to August 2016, members and associates of the YGz enriched themselves by selling drugs, such as “crack” cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, and committed acts of violence, including murder and attempted murder, against various people, including rival gang members, rival drug traffickers, and innocent bystanders. As part of this enterprise, members and associates of the YGz killed and attempted to kill other individuals.
As part of his involvement in the YGz gang, SCOTT participated in two shootings. First, on or about June 27, 2009, SCOTT attempted to commit a gunpoint robbery of the passenger of a vehicle parked on 140th Street near Willis Avenue in the South Bronx, in the vicinity of YGz-controlled territory in the Mott Haven Houses. During the course of the attempted robbery, SCOTT shot and killed Darrel Ledgister, the 21-year-old driver of the vehicle. Second, on or about June 22, 2014, SCOTT aided and abetted the commission of an aggravated assault of a rival gang associate in which one of SCOTT’s fellow gang members shot the rival gang associate in the foot in the vicinity of the Mott Haven Houses.
SCOTT was arrested in this case as a result of a multi-year investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”), the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), and the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) into gang violence in and around the 40th Precinct. In July 2014, SCOTT was initially arrested in the vicinity of the Mott Haven Houses for possession of a firearm following a felony conviction, and was prosecuted by this Office for that firearm offense, convicted, and sentenced to 30 months in prison. In December 2015, while SCOTT was in federal prison serving that sentence, SCOTT and more than 20 other members and associates of the YGz gang were charged with racketeering conspiracy, and some were charged with murders, attempted murders, narcotics trafficking, and firearms offenses. The racketeering indictment in this case was subsequently superseded twice, in June 2016 and August 2016, to charge more than 10 additional defendants, two additional murders, and other offenses. The controlling Indictment now charges various YGz members with four previously unsolved 40th Precinct murders: the June 27, 2009, murder of Darrel Ledgister; the January 24, 2011, murder of Dykeem Etheridge; the December 22, 2011, murder of Taisheem Ferguson; and the April 16, 2012, murder of Moises Lora.
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Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding work of the ATF, the DEA, and the NYPD in the investigation of this case. He also thanked the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office for their support in this case.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Samson Enzer, James McDonald, Andrew Adams, and Dina McLeod are in charge of the prosecution.