48 arrested on weapons, narcotics and murder charges
Two rival gangs that terrorized area NYCHA complexes have been silenced as the result of a sting by the feds and the NYPD.
In all, 48 members and associates from the Young Gunnaz and 18 Park were charged in federal court with crimes ranging from racketeering to murder. Forty of the defendants are in custody.
The Young Gunnaz (YGz) operated since 2005, the indictment states, and 18 Park began in 2006, both out of Patterson Houses, but the violence extended to other local complexes, as well.
“Today’s charges incapacitate four dozen alleged gang members who have wreaked havoc on Bronx streets for years,” said Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara. “As alleged, these defendants are members of gangs that have engaged in all manner of mayhem – three murders, five attempted murders, racketeering, drug dealing, and gun charges.”
An official for the federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Delano A. Reid, labelled the bust “a large-scale arrest operation on two, Bronx based, violent street gangs who conducted their illegal narcotics and firearm trafficking operation in and around the Patterson Housing projects for several years.”
“As alleged, the 18th Park and YGz gangs routinely conducted their street level narcotics trafficking of crack cocaine, heroin, and marijuana and in the course of these activities, committed various acts of violence, to include approximately 30 non-fatal shootings, three homicides, assaults and stabbings,” Reid said.
In addition to selling crack cocaine, heroin and marijuana, the gangs frequently tried to rub out each others’ members, occasionally resulting in innocent bystanders getting hurt in the crossfire. The charges include numerous shootings between the rival gang members, including a November 2013 incident, in which a bystander near Courtlandt Ave. was wounded.
YGz members are also charged with stomping a 16 year old member of 18 Park, Moises Lora a/k/a “Noah,” to death in a courtyard in the Melrose Houses.
The charges contained in the Indictments are accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.