Murderous Crack Gangs Busted
BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- Residents are relieved that members of two rival gangs who battled it out for control of the crack trade in Soundview are now behind bars thanks to the feds and NYPD.
Law enforcement officials announced the unsealing of two indictments charging a total of 17 members and associates of two Bronx-based street gangs, the Taylor Avenue Crew and the Leland Avenue Crew, with various racketeering and narcotics offenses, including two murders of rival gang members.
Twelve of the 17 defendants, James Capers, Tommy Brown, Jesse Irvin, Edwin Moye, Unique Christopher, Dante Rodgers, Irvin Ortiz, Elijah Davila, Ricardo Garcia, Pablo Chevere, Gladys Morals, Kenneth Mercado and Andrea Bell were taken into federal custody.
Four of the defendants, Marquise Rochester. Christian McKnight, Samuel Serrano and Messiah Perry are currently incarcerated in state custody on other charges, and will be presented at a later date.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Members of the Taylor Avenue and Leland Avenue Crews allegedly wreaked havoc on the community through the sale of crack cocaine and a wave of violence on the streets of the Bronx. On two occasions, that violence allegedly ended in the murders of rival gang members.”
HSI Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Glenn Sorge said: “Today’s arrests deal a serious blow to two gangs that allegedly used the streets of New York City to sell drugs and commit acts of violence including murder. HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to rid the streets of these dangerous criminal organizations that instill fear in our communities.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt said: “Drug trafficking inevitably leads to further crime and violence, as depicted in the alleged charges against the members of the Leland Avenue and Taylor Avenue Crews. Through a common goal, law enforcement pooled resources to investigate and arrest those who converted their Avenues into their own private battlefields.”
Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said: “These indictments and arrests are the result of the collaborative power of law enforcement to address narcotics sales and street level shootings, crimes which are often committed by just a few individuals but affect a great many more. I would like to thank the NYPD investigators and our federal law enforcement partners who worked tirelessly to protect this Bronx community and bring justice to those responsible for this scourge of drugs, death and violence.”
As alleged in the Indictments unsealed in Manhattan federal court:
The Taylor Avenue Crew was a criminal enterprise that operated principally in and around the Bronx from at least 2012 up to and including 2015. One of the Taylor Avenue Crew’s principal objectives was to sell cocaine base, commonly known as “crack cocaine,” primarily in and around Taylor Avenue in the Bronx. The Taylor Avenue Crew controlled crack cocaine sales within this area by prohibiting and preventing non-members, outsiders, and rival narcotics dealers from distributing crack cocaine in the area controlled by the enterprise.
Members and associates of the Taylor Avenue Crew engaged in acts of violence against the Leland Avenue Crew, a rival gang that sold crack cocaine primarily in and around Leland Avenue, which runs parallel to Taylor Avenue and is located two blocks east. These acts of violence included assaults, attempted murder, and murder, and were committed to protect the Taylor Avenue Crew’s drug territory, to retaliate against members of rival gangs who had encroached on the territory controlled by the Taylor Avenue Crew, and to otherwise promote the standing and reputation of the Taylor Avenue Crew amongst rival gangs.
The violence perpetrated by the Taylor Avenue Crew turned deadly in March 2015. On or about March 3, 2015, Elijah Davila and Allen McQueen, a now deceased member of the Taylor Avenue Crew, murdered Pablo Beard, a member of the Leland Avenue Crew, by shooting Beard in the vicinity of 1512 Leland Avenue in the Bronx. As alleged in the Ortiz Indictment, Davila committed this murder to maintain and increase his position in the Taylor Avenue Crew.
Counts Two, Three, Six, and Eight charge Davila with conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering activity, murder in aid of racketeering activity, murder in connection with a drug crime, and a related firearms offense in connection with the March 2015 murder of Pablo Beard.
Count Four of the Ortiz Indictment charges Mercado with assault and attempted murder in aid of racketeering activity in connection with the August 2015 shooting of members of the Leland Avenue Crew.
The Leland Avenue Crew was a criminal enterprise that operated principally in and around the Bronx, New York, from at least 2012 up to and including 2015. One of the principal objectives of the Leland Avenue Crew was to sell crack cocaine, primarily in and around Leland Avenue in the Bronx. Members and associates of the Leland Avenue Crew engaged in acts of violence against the Taylor Avenue Crew. These acts of violence included assaults, attempted murder, and murder intended either to protect the Leland Avenue Crew’s drug territory, retaliate against members of rival gangs who had encroached on the territory controlled by the Leland Avenue Crew, or to otherwise promote the standing and reputation of the Leland Avenue Crew among rival gangs.
The violence perpetrated by the Leland Avenue Crew also turned deadly in July 2015. On or about July 7, 2015, James Capers murdered Allen McQueen, a member of the Taylor Avenue Crew, by shooting McQueen in the vicinity of 1531 Taylor Avenue in the Bronx. As alleged in the Capers Indictment, Capers committed this murder to maintain and increase his position in the Leland Avenue Crew.
Counts Two, Four, and Five charge Capers with murder in aid of racketeering activity, murder in connection with a drug crime, and a related firearms offense, in connection with the July 2015 murder of Allen McQueen.
#Taylor Avenue Crew, #Leland Avenue Crew, #Drug Gangs #Crack, #NYPD