DA VANCE AND COMMISSIONER BRATTON ANNOUNCE INDICTMENT OF 37 MEMBERS OF VIOLENT STREET GANGS IN EAST AND WEST HARLEM
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., and New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton today announced the indictment of 20 members of the East Harlem-based “East Army” gang, a/k/a “EA,” a/k/a “The Ryders,” and 17 members of West Harlem-based “600/Gutta Gang,” for engaging in a bloody rivalry in Harlem and Upper Manhattan. The violence in the indictments includes one homicide, 14 shootings and seven shooting victims. The allegations include the murder of 18-year-old Jordan Barber, who was fatally shot outside of the Entertainers Basketball Classic tournament in Rucker Park in June 2015, as well as a shooting on October 20, 2015, with separately-charged defendant TYRONE HOWARD, who was previously indicted for murdering NYPD Detective Randolph Holder later that night.
The two separate indictments charge 66 counts, including Conspiracy in the First Degree, a class A-I felony, as well as Conspiracy in the Second Degree, Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, Gang Assault and Attempted Gang Assault in the First Degree, Assault in the First and Second Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. The first- and second-degree conspiracy charges are based on conspiracies to commit Murder in the Second Degree. All 37 defendants are charged with Conspiracy to Commit Gang Assault in the First Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. The indictments follow an investigation led by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit and the NYPD’s Gun Violence Suppression and Manhattan Gang Units.
“While New York remains the safest big city in America, gang and gun violence still persist in certain pockets of our communities,” said District Attorney Vance. “Together with our partners in the NYPD, my Office is moving proactively and with precision to eradicate what violence remains. Today’s indictments will help do just that, by removing the individuals whose bloody rivalry resulted in more than a dozen shootings in just two years.”
“As alleged, the slew of bloodshed carried out by those apprehended in this takedown indicate a blatant disregard for human life,” said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton. “Harlem can breathe a sigh of relief in the wake of these indictments. One of these shootouts precipitated the murder, as alleged, of Detective Randolph Holder as Tyrone Howard encountered our officers while fleeing the latest dust-up. Not only have the investigators working this case targeted the most persistent offenders, they have worked closely with District Attorney Vance’s team to bring conspiracy charges. For this incredible collaboration, the investigators and prosecutors have my highest admiration.”
According to the indictments and statements made on the record in court, the defendants in both gangs assaulted and attempted to kill rival gang members, and bought and possessed illegal firearms and ammunition. The defendants sought to assert control over their territory through multiple shootings and gang assaults, and engaged in retaliatory acts in order to avenge shootings and murders committed by rival gangs. The defendants also conspired to provide each other with intelligence about police activity and law enforcement efforts, discourage members and associates from cooperating with law enforcement, and keep incarcerated members informed of ongoing criminal activities.
According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, “600/Gutta Gang” is a West Harlem street gang comprised of individuals from four distinct gangs: Get Money Boys, a/k/a “GMB;” 2Deep, a/k/a “2Mafia Family,” a/k/a “2MF;” Original Young Gangstas, a/k/a “OYG,” a/k/a “OY;” and Make It Happen Boys, a/k/a “MHB.” Between February 2014 and May 2016, the defendants conspired and attempted to kill members of rival street gangs, particularly members of East Army, associated with the East River Houses; “Fast Money,” associated with the Polo Grounds Towers; and “Columbus Avenue Gunners,” associated with the Frederick Douglass Houses.
Two of the “600/Gutta Gang” defendants, DEMETRIUS WASHINGTON, a/k/a “Meech,” 26, and ERROL MCLEAN, a/k/a “Shmoney,” 20, are charged with Conspiracy in the First Degree, in addition to Conspiracy in the Second, Third, and Fourth Degrees. WASHINGTON is further charged with Murder in the Second Degree for the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Jordan Barber on June 29, 2015, as well as Attempted Murder in the Second Degree for shooting a second victim that same night. WASHINGTON, MCLEAN and six other defendants are charged with Gang Assault in the First Degree for participating in the gang assault of Jordan Barber and his friend.
Further according to court documents and statements made on the record in court, East Harlem street gang “East Army” operated in the vicinity of East 102nd through 106th Streets, between FDR Drive and First Avenue. Beginning on approximately May 30, 2014, the defendants conspired and attempted to kill members of rival street gangs, particularly members of “600/Gutta Gang,” as well as members of All Bout Money, a/k/a “ABM,” associated with the Jefferson Houses; and the Broad Day Shooters, a/k/a “BDS,” associated with the George Washington Carver Houses.
Seven of the East Army defendants are charged with Conspiracy in the First Degree, in addition to Conspiracy in the Second, Third, and Fourth Degrees. The indictment charges various defendants with Attempted Murder in the Second Degree for six separate shootings in April, May, June, August, October, and December 2015. During one of the alleged shootings on October 20, 2015, four of the defendants are charged with engaging in a shoot-out with separately-charged defendant TYRONE HOWARD, who was previously indicted for murdering NYPD Detective Randolph Holder later that night.
Assistant District Attorneys Meghan Hast and Ayanna Sorett are prosecuting the cases under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Christopher Ryan, Chief of the Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit, as well as Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Assistant District Attorney Diego Diaz assisted with the investigation, as did VCEU analysts Jonathan Diver, Brendan Fallon, Michael Raccioppi, William Andrewes, Rosemary McGuirk, Stephanie Littell, Patrick Dwyer, and Ruby Cutolo.
District Attorney Vance thanked the NYPD’s Gun Violence Suppression Unit; the 23rd, 24th, 30th, and 32nd Precincts; Public Service Areas 5 and 6; the Manhattan North Detective, Gang, and Homicide Squads; and the Auto Crimes Division. In particular, District Attorney Vance thanked: Deputy Chiefs Kevin Catalina and Lori Pollock; Assistant Chief James Essig; Inspector Richard Green; Deputy Inspector Timothy Kelly; Captain Christopher Henning; Lieutenants Richard Zacarese and Steve Phelan; Sergeants Michael Melendez, Darren Melhado, Isaias Martinez, Alex Nivar, Ari Legin, Andrew Dunton, and Arthur Bryant; Detectives Julio LaSalle, Harry Arocho, Matthew Sgambati, Ferdinando Espindola, William Dunn, Michael Haverty, Thomas Fischer, Jason Miletic, and Carlos Habrahamshon; as well as the undercover detectives.
See attached document
1 The charges contained in the indictments are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court, including the indictments, and statements made on the record in court.