Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that WILLIAM BRACY, a/k/a “Rel,” was sentenced yesterday to a prison term of 396 months for his crimes as a member of the “Young Gunnaz” or “YGz” gang, including the April 16, 2012, murder of Moises Lora, a/k/a “Noah,” 16, during which BRACY and several other YGz gang members stomped Lora to death in a courtyard in the Melrose housing projects in the Bronx. BRACY was sentenced in Manhattan federal court by United States District Judge Valerie E. Caproni, before whom he previously pled guilty. For purposes of the sentencing, Judge Caproni found, following an evidentiary hearing held yesterday, that BRACY was one of the YGz members who kicked Lora while he lay on the pavement during the attack that resulted in Lora’s death.
Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “William Bracy and his fellow gang members stomped 90-pound, 16-year-old Moises Lora to death a few yards from a playground in a South Bronx housing complex. While we cannot bring Moises Lora back, we hope that his family finds justice, and a measure of solace, in today’s sentence. Together with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to aggressively prosecute all those who inflict this deadly violence on our communities.”
According to the charging and other documents filed in the case, as well as the evidence presented at BRACY’s presentencing hearing and statements made during BRACY’s guilty plea, sentencing proceedings, and other court proceedings in this case:
BRACY was a member of the Bronx-based street gang known as the YGz. From at least 2005 to 2016, members and associates of the YGz enriched themselves by committing robberies and by selling drugs, such as crack cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, and committing acts of violence, including the murder of rival gang members, rival drug traffickers, and innocent bystanders. As part of his involvement in the YGz gang, BRACY participated in numerous acts of violence, as well as crack cocaine distribution, in the South Bronx.
For example, as part of his involvement in the YGz gang, BRACY and several other YGz gang members murdered Moises Lora, a member of a rival gang, on April 16, 2012, in the South Bronx. On the date of the murder, a group of YGz members, including BRACY, got drunk, and began arguing among themselves about who had done the most violence for the YGz. This group of YGz members went to the territory of a rival gang in the Melrose housing projects to settle their dispute. Upon arriving at the Melrose projects, BRACY and other members of the YGz saw Lora and attacked him. During the attack, Lora’s skull was fractured in several places. BRACY and the group left Lora to die. Following the stomping, BRACY and several of his confederates bragged to fellow YGz members about what they had done.
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BRACY, 23, of the Bronx, is the fourth defendant to be sentenced this year by Judge Caproni for participation in a YGz-related murder. Judge Caproni sentenced BRACY’s co-defendant Anthony Scott, a/k/a “Tyson,” to 23 years in prison primarily for Scott’s role in shooting and killing Darrel Ledgister on June 27, 2009, in the South Bronx during an attempted robbery. Judge Caproni sentenced BRACY’s co-defendant Paul Gilbert, a/k/a “2Fly Tay,” to more than 30 years in prison primarily for Gilbert’s role in the murder of Cody Dubose on September 27, 2014, near the Taft Houses in Manhattan during an attempted robbery. Finally, Judge Caproni sentenced BRACY’s co-defendant Terrance Williams, a/k/a “TA,” to more than 33 years in prison primarily for Williams’s role in the murder of Curtis Smith on July 3, 2011, near the Jackson housing projects in the South Bronx.
Mr. Kim praised the outstanding work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the New York City Police Department in the investigation of this case. He also thanked the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office for their support in this case.
This case is being handled by this Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Samson Enzer, Gina M. Castellano, and Andrew C. Adams are in charge of the prosecution.