Saturday, June 17, 2017

Twenty Defendants Charged in White Plains Federal Court with Racketeering, Narcotics, and Firearms Offenses in Connection with the Southside Gang in Newburgh

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, David M. Hoovler, the Orange County District Attorney, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Ashan M. Benedict, the New York Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”), and Joe Cortiz, the Chief of the City of Newburgh Police Department, today announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging a total of 20 defendants with various racketeering, narcotics, and firearms offenses in connection with a street gang known as “Southside,” in Newburgh, New York.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim stated:  “The defendants, members of the Southside gang, allegedly pumped dangerous drugs into their community and controlled their Newburgh neighborhoods with violence.  Some of the defendants allegedly protected their drug territory with shootings.  Today’s arrests stand as a testament to cooperation among our federal, state, and local partners and our shared commitment to stamping out gang violence and the drug trade in Newburgh.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. stated:  “As alleged, evidence in this case shows the gang members arrested today by the FBI Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force used shooting other people as a way to maintain their standing in the gang.  These gangs show no respect for human lives, and they have a direct impact on our communities.  Our goal as law enforcement is to take out the leaders of these gangs, and make sure they can't recruit more members.”

ATF New York Special Agent in Charge Ashan M. Benedict stated:  “The Southside gang and its members are alleged to be a criminal organization which spread poison on the streets of Newburgh.  Some members are also alleged to have used firearms, with reckless and dangerous abandon, to protect their criminal operations, and to have engaged in other acts of violence.  This investigation highlights how criminal gangs peddle violence and fear along with their narcotics.  Thanks to the outstanding cooperative efforts of ATF, FBI, NPD, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the District Attorney’s Office, the City of Newburgh is safer today than it was yesterday.   Targeting and dismantling violent street gangs remains one of ATF’s top priorities, and today’s arrests should serve as a clear warning to the gangs and criminals that we in law enforcement know who you are, and that it is only a matter of time before you face the same fate as the defendants in this investigation.”

District Attorney David M. Hoovler stated:  “Narcotics is the number one driver of all types of crimes, particularly those involving weapons and violence.  It is only through the coordinated efforts of police and prosecutors, on both the federal and local level, that violent street gangs can be effectively eliminated.  I am pleased that we were able to coordinate our efforts with the United States Attorney's Office on this operation, and look forward to working with our Federal and local law enforcement partners, as we continue to combat violent street gangs and the opioid epidemic.”

As alleged in the Indictment filed today in White Plains federal court:

From at least 2014 through June 2017, SKYLAR DAVIS, a/k/a “S-Dot,” ARDAE HINES,  a/k/a “Young Money,” a/k/a “YM,” DAVONTE HAWKINS, a/k/a “Dirty D,” MICHAEL SIMMONS, a/k/a “LoSo,” DEMETRICE MCLEAN, a/k/a “Blocks,” a/k/a “Demit,” CHRISTOPHER DAVIS, a/k/a “Whitebread” DIAMANTE FRAZIER, a/k/a “Bro God,” DITAVIOUS WILLIAMS, a/k/a “Glock Doc,” DONTE NUGENT, a/k/a “Wildman,” CALVIN LEMBHARD, a/k/a “Forty,” and PARADISE BRANCH, a/k/a “Bigga,” a/k/a “Petey,” were all members of the Southside gang, whose territory centered around the intersection of South Street and Chambers Street in an area of Newburgh known as the “Southside.”  In order to fund the gang, protect its territory, and promote its standing, members of Southside engaged in, among other things, narcotics trafficking, robbery, and acts involving murder.  Southside members sold heroin, crack cocaine, and marijuana in the gang’s territory, promoted their gang affiliation on social media sites such as Facebook, possessed firearms, and engaged in shootings as part of their gang membership.

One of those shootings took place on or about December 11, 2015, when SKYLAR DAVIS, a/k/a “S-Dot,” shot at a car in which members of a rival Newburgh gang, known as the Yellow Tape Money Gang, or “YTMG,” were driving.  Those shots caused the car to crash, which injured those YTMG members in the vicinity of South Street and Liberty Street in the City of Newburgh, New York.

Several members of the Southside gang also participated in conspiracies to distribute narcotics in and around Newburgh.  In particular, HINES, FRAZIER, WILLIAMS, DONTE NUGENT, and BRANCH participated in a conspiracy with WILLIAM FENELL, a/k/a “Mills,” DAVANTE NUGENT, a/k/a “Trap God,” a/k/a “Tay Tay,” WILFREDO RUIZ, a/k/a “Pop,” and ROBERT ZUCHOWSKI to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin and/or more than 280 grams of crack cocaine from at least in or about 2012 up to and including in or about June 2017.  TEVON ADAMS, a/k/a “Cooj,” DWIGHT McCARDLE a/k/a “Ike,” TRISTAN HILGERS, SETH BLAIN, and KYLE BLAIN participated in the same conspiracy, agreeing to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin and/or more than 28 grams of crack cocaine.  Meanwhile, HINES and CHRISTOPHER DAVIS participated in separate a conspiracy to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine from at least in or about 2014 up to and including in or about June 2017.
Between in or about 2015 and in or about May 2017, MCLEAN, FRAZIER, and LEMBHARD also possessed firearms in furtherance of the Southside racketeering conspiracy in which they all participated and the narcotics conspiracy in which FRAZIER participated.

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Eighteen defendants were taken into federal custody this morning.  The defendants will be presented in White Plains federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison.  MICHAEL SIMMONS and DWIGHT MCARDLE remain at large.  The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel.
Charts containing the names of the defendants who were charged today, and the charges and maximum penalties they face, are attached.  The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants would be determined by the respective judges.

Mr. Kim praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, ATF, and the City of Newburgh Police Department.  Mr. Kim thanked the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for its invaluable ongoing assistance in the case.  Mr. Kim also thanked the Town of Newburgh Police Department, the New York State Police, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Town of New Windsor Police Department, and the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision for their assistance in the case.

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Maurene Comey, Jacqueline Kelly, and Allison Nichols are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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