Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Janice K. Fedarcyk, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charles Gardner, the Commissioner of the Yonkers Police Department, and George N. Longworth the Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, announced today the unsealing of three separate indictments charging a total of 22 defendants with a series of crimes, including the distribution of narcotics and the use of firearms in Yonkers, New York.
A two-count indictment, United States v. Mark David et al., charges 20 members and associates of the Strip Boyz street gang with conspiring to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, crack cocaine and marijuana, and the use of firearms in relation to that conspiracy. Two additional indictments charge two Yonkers residents with conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine as well as substantive counts of distribution of, and possessing with intent to distribute, crack cocaine.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated, “Violent street gangs are a blight on our neighborhoods, and our crackdown against them continues unabated. We cannot and will not allow them to cast the shadow of guns and drugs over our streets and jeopardize the safety of our residents. Today’s arrests once again underscore our commitment to solving this problem. ”
FBI Assistant Director in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk stated, “Violent gangs, such as the Strip Boyz, wreak havoc in our communities by selling narcotics, possessing weapons, and being in violent disputes with rival gangs. As alleged in the complaint today, the Strip Boyz were no different in their operating procedures, except that some of their members took to social media to brag about their illegal and often brutal activities. The FBI, along with our law enforcement partners, is committed to investigating and getting gangs like the Strip Boyz off our streets.”
Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner stated, “These indictments involving members of the Strip Boyz—a local drug distribution network, will remove several violent individuals from our community and improve the quality of life for the residents of this northwest Yonkers neighborhood. This investigation is a prime example of the value of joint federal and local law enforcement agency initiatives and how these collaborative efforts can make a difference in improving public safety. The Yonkers Police Department is very grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of NY and the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force for partnering with us in addressing this violent criminal activity occurring in our city.”
Commissioner George N. Longworth of the Westchester County Department of Public Safety stated, “Gang activity and the crime and violence associated with it will not be tolerated in Westchester County. The Department of Public Safety is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to eradicate gang activity wherever it occurs.”
The following allegations are based on the Indictments unsealed today in White Plains federal court:
The Strip Boyz is a drug trafficking organization/gang whose members have, since at least 2001, sold crack cocaine and, to a lesser extent, marijuana, in and around the Schlobohm Housing Project on Schroeder Street in Yonkers, New York. Members and associates of the Strip Boyz worked together to ensure that they all profited from the gang’s drug sales. They also shared firearms and used them to protect their territory from encroachment by rival gangs. The Strip Boyz and members of other gangs from Locust Hill Avenue have been engaged in a long-running, violent dispute with other Yonkers street gangs, including the “Elm Street Wolves,” the “Cliff Street Gangsters,” and “Two Guns U” from Riverdale Avenue. Certain members of the Strip Boyz committed acts of violence, including beatings, stabbings, and shootings, to protect their drug territory. Certain members of the Strip Boyz also created, performed, recorded, and distributed—including on social media websites such as Facebook and YouTube—rap music that celebrated their illegal activities.
Twenty members and associates of the Strip Boyz—MARK DAVID, 23; CALVIN BAILEY, 21; LAQUAY COKLEY, 20; JOSE CRUZ, 26; WAYNE CUSTIS, 21; MELVIN DIAS, 25; TREMAINE GARRISON, 21; DAIQUAN HENDERSON, 22; MICHAEL HENDERSON, 23; LEANELL HINES, 21; DAWONE HODGES, 28; ERIC LOCKHART, 28; DARRYL McFADDEN, 22; HARRY QUINTANA-CRUZ, 21; JOHN SLADE, 27; AKEEM SMITH, 21; PAU.S.INSON, 39; JOEL URENA, 24; JOSHUA VILIAN, 27; and GREGORY WILLIAMS, 26—are charged with conspiring to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, crack cocaine, and marijuana from 2001 up to June 2012. Twelve of these defendants are also charged with using, carrying, possessing, and discharging firearms during the narcotics conspiracy.
TYRONE HALL, 23, is charged with conspiring to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, crack cocaine in Yonkers from January 2012 up to June 2012, and with possessing crack cocaine with the intent to distribute the crack cocaine on several occasions during that time period. Finally, JONATHAN MILES, 23, is charged with possessing crack cocaine with the intent to distribute it in April 2012.
The indictments are the result of a long-term investigation conducted by federal, state, and local law enforcement officers working with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. As part of that investigation, in March 2009, this office obtained indictments charging three members of the Elm Street Wolves—Gregory Fuller, Davon Young, and Thomas Chambliss—with the January 2008 murder of a narcotics dealer in northern Yonkers. Fuller, Young, and Chambliss were each convicted after trial of murder, conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, robbery, and firearms offenses and were sentenced to 100, 65, and 45 years of imprisonment, respectively.
In August 2011, 66 Yonkers gang members—47 members and associates of the Elm Street Wolves, 12 members and associates of the Cliff Street Gangsters, and 7 other individuals—were charged with narcotics trafficking and firearm offenses. Four of the Elm Street Wolves defendants were also charged with the murder of Christopher Cokley, a leading member of the Strip Boyz. Twenty of these defendants, including all 12 of the charged members and associates of the Cliff Street Gangsters, have pled guilty, and 15 of them face mandatory minimum sentences of between 10 and 17 years of imprisonment. The remaining cases are not yet resolved, and the charges against them are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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Nineteen of the defendants charged in the indictments unsealed today were arrested today or have previously been taken into custody. Three others were still being sought as fugitives. The defendants arrested today and presented in White Plains federal court this afternoon. The Strip Boyz case is assigned to United States District Judge Edgardo Ramos. The charges against each defendant and the corresponding maximum potential penalties are outlined in the charts attached to this press release.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and the Yonkers Police Department. He added that the investigation is continuing.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Bauer and Ilan Graff are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictments are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.