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June 03, 2017
Contact: Public Information Officer
Number: 212-337-2906

Bronx Gang Member Sentenced to 42 Years for Murder, Racketeering, and Drug Trafficking

JUN 03 (New York)  - James Capers, aka “Mitch,” was sentenced to 42 years in prison for the murder of Allen McQueen and participating in racketeering and narcotics conspiracies.  The charges were all in connection with a violent street gang known as the “Leland Avenue Crew,” which is based primarily in and around the New York City’s 43rd Precinct in the Bronx, New York.  The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge William H. Pauley III, after Capers was convicted following a jury trial in December 2016. James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division and Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and announced the sentencing.

“Gangs do enormous damage to our communities through drug dealing and the violence that often accompanies it.” said Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim.  “Today, James Capers, a gang member who sold drugs and participated in that violence, was sentenced to 42 years in prison for the horrific murder of a rival gang member, whom Capers shot and killed while the victim was holding his one-year-old daughter.  Our office remains committed to eradicating senseless violence from our city streets.”

According to the indictment and other documents filed in the case, as well as evidence presented at trial and statements made during the sentencing proceedings:
Capers was a member of the Leland Avenue Crew, which controlled the distribution of crack cocaine in and around Leland Avenue in the Bronx, New York.  As a member of the Crew, Capers sold crack cocaine and marijuana, carried weapons, and committed robberies of unsuspecting members of the public.  To protect its drug-selling turf, the Leland Avenue Crew engaged in a long-running dispute with members of a rival gang based two streets over on Taylor Avenue.  This dispute resulted in multiple shootings, some of which were fatal. 

On or about July 7, 2015, in connection with the ongoing dispute between Leland and Taylor, Capers went looking for Allen McQueen, a rival gang member on Taylor Avenue.  After finding McQueen, who was walking down the street holding his one-year-old daughter, Capers ran up behind McQueen and fired several shots, striking McQueen once and killing him. 

Mr. Kim praised the extraordinary investigative work of the New York City Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Homeland Security Investigations.  He also thanked the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office for their participation and support in this case.
This case is being handled by the office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Scott Hartman, Jessica Lonergan, and Jason Swergold are in charge of the prosecution.


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