August 26, 2014
Contact: Public Information Officer
AUG 26 (BROOKLYN, N.Y.) - Earlier today at the Brooklyn federal courthouse, Dontae Sebbern and Dexter Waiters were sentenced to life in prison for, among other crimes, the racketeering-related murder of gang leader Jermaine Dickersen, also known as “Big Den.” The defendants, members of a set of the Bloods known by various names including the “Gorilla Bloods,” were convicted after trial in December 2012 of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, murder in-aid-of racketeering, narcotics trafficking, and other firearms charges.
The sentences were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and James J. Hunt, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division.
“The defendants turned the streets of Staten Island into a war zone to perpetuate their gang feud. These defendants were not commissioned soldiers, however, but common criminals who used gang allegiance as an excuse for murder and mayhem. This sentencing closes one chapter in this Office’s ongoing investigations into gang and narcotics-related violence on Staten Island,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “This Office and our federal and city law enforcement partners will not tolerate such senseless and heinous criminal conduct in our communities.” Ms. Lynch thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the New York City Police Department, and the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in the investigation.
In late 2009, a gang war erupted between the Gorilla Bloods and a rival criminal organization known as the “Arlington Crew,” comprised largely of Bloods gang members based in the Arlington neighborhood of Staten Island. Sebbern, Waiters, and their associate Earl Mangen sold drugs together and, prior to the war, were supplied by associates of the Arlington Crew. In the early morning of November 7, 2009, at a party on Arlington Avenue, a Gorilla Bloods leader started a fight with a member of the Arlington Crew. Dickersen, who at the time was one of the highest ranking Bloods on Staten Island, as well as Arlington Crew members Dion Nelson and Frankie Nelson joined in the fight. When a member of the Gorilla Bloods pulled out a knife, Dion Nelson drew a firearm and shot him in the lower back. About an hour after this shooting, Dickersen was shot and killed in a nearby parking lot. Moments later, Sebbern and Waiters were arrested jumping out of a car in possession of firearms, including the murder weapon, and wearing matching camouflage bullet-proof vests.
The sentencing proceeding of Sebbern and Waiters was held before United States District Judge Sandra L. Townes. The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Shreve Ariail and Kevin Trowel.
In April 2013, Dion Nelson was sentenced to 25 years in prison following his guilty plea to discharging a firearm in connection with a narcotics trafficking offense. One week later, Mangen was found dead outside his home, shot three times. Andre Collier, an associate of Dickerson’s and Mangen’s former drug supplier, subsequently pleaded guilty to premeditated homicide and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Overall, as a result of a series of investigations begun in 2008 into drug and gang-related activity on the North Shore of Staten Island, more than 30 defendants have been convicted of racketeering, murder, narcotics trafficking, and firearms offenses.
DEXTER WAITERS, also known as “Bugotti”
Staten Island, New York
DONTAE SEBBERN, also known as “K.D.”
Staten Island, New York