August 08, 2013
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-3900
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges 23 Members Of Bronx Drug Trafficking Crew With Distributing Crack Cocaine, Cocaine, Marijuana, MDMA And Oxycodone
(MANHATTAN) - Brian R. Crowell, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement (DEA), Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Raymond W. Kelly, the Commissioner of the Police Department for the City of New (NYPD), Joseph Anarumo Jr., the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and (ATF), James T. Hayes, Jr., the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’(ICE) Homeland Security (HSI), and Anthony J. Annucci, the Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community (DOCCS), announced charges today against 23 members of a criminal organization known as the Burnside Money (BMG) for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, cocaine, marijuana, (commonly known as ecstasy), and Oxycodone. The defendants allegedly controlled the areas from West Burnside Avenue to West Tremont Avenue and from Sedgwick Avenue to Jerome Avenue, in the University Heights neighborhood of the Bronx, New York.
Of the 23 defendants named in the Indictment, 22 were taken into custody as part of a coordinated operation involving federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, two were in state custody on other charges, and one defendant, Jonathan Cruz, remains at large. The defendants who were taken into custody today were presented in Manhattan federal court this afternoon. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell said: “Known throughout the West Bronx as the ‘light side’, ‘dark side’ and ‘D block’, the Burnside Money Getters bullied community members and residents living in the vicinity of the gangs’ daily criminal activity. As evidenced in this investigation, drug trafficking was the main source of profit for this gang which employed violence, threats and the use of guns in the course of their lives of crime. The residents within the 46th precinct will benefit from this joint federal, local and state law enforcement initiative bringing 23 alleged gang members to justice and giving families and residents a quality of life without fear or exposure to drugs and the violence associated with the drug trafficking of this gang.”
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Today’s takedown is the fourth our Office has announced of a Bronx drug trafficking crew this year alone. Alleged drug trafficking gangs like the Burnside Money Getters not only pollute the neighborhoods they infiltrate with poisonous drugs and guns, but they also strike fear into the residents living in those neighborhoods. I want to thank our law enforcement partners for continuing to work with this Office in our efforts to pursue and prosecute those who think they can carry out illegal drug activity and inject violence into our communities in the process.”
NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: “Drugs kill those it addicts, destroy families, and ruin entire neighborhoods. It’s always a good day when its traffickers are brought to justice. I want to commend the agents, prosecutors, and, of course, our detectives particularly, for the dangerous but crucial job they performed in going undercover to penetrate these narcotics crews.”
ATF Special Agent in Charge Joseph Anarumo Jr. said: “This investigation demonstrates the outstanding achievements that can be reached when local, state and federal law enforcement agencies work together for a common goal, which is to protect the public.”
ICE HSI Special Agent in Charge James T. Hayes said: “The BMG gang members arrested today allegedly peddled a wide variety of illegal drugs throughout the Bronx and violently and relentlessly defended their “turf.” HSI continues to work to rescue communities affected by transnational gang crime and violence.”
NYS DOCCS Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci said: “The critical commission of helping keep our communities safe and secure is our highest priority. I acknowledge and greatly appreciate the work carried out today by the various law enforcement agencies, including our own Community Supervision officers. This cooperation will always be key in the effectiveness of these joint efforts.”
According to the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
From 2007 through August 2013, BMG had over 20 members who were engaged in the sale of crack cocaine, cocaine, marijuana, MDMA, and Oxycodone. During the course of the investigation, undercover officers with the NYPD made several purchases of crack cocaine and other narcotics from drug dealers in the area controlled by BMG. During the buys, officers were able to purchase significant street level quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine. In addition, BMG members possessed and discharged firearms during the course of the conspiracy to secure and enforce their drug territory. Several defendants were also intercepted on Title III court-authorized wiretaps discussing the sale of various narcotics and the use and purchase of firearms.
During the arrests and searches, agents and officers seized what is believed to be crack cocaine, MDMA and marijuana, as well as $14,000 in cash, ammunition, and counterfeit money.
Keyewanie Blackledge, Abdul Rahm Abdullah, Kwame Anderson, Clement Boateng, Frank Boateng, Troy Carter, Malik Crocker, Shondell Crocker, Jonathan Cruz, Jovan Fields, Mark Frierson, Glen Gilliard, Daivon Henry, Larrington Henry, Markeen Jordan, Mario Martinez, Maurice Martinez, Nathaniel Medina, Robert Pizarro, Raymond Rodriguez, Joshua Torres, Benjamin Townes, and Shaquan Wilson, are each charged with one count of conspiring to distribute and possessing with intent to distribute crack cocaine, cocaine, marijuana, MDMA and Oxycodone. Each defendant faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA, the NYPD, the ATF, ICE HSI, and DOCCS. He added that the investigation is continuing.
The Office’s Violent Crimes Unit is overseeing the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Bauer and Jessica Ortiz 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.