Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

Raymond P. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge

July 29, 2015

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-2906

No Stone Left Un-Turned: “Operation Black Stone” Targets Gang That Operated In Castle Hill & Co-Op City

BRONX, N.Y. - Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA), New York Division, and Bronx County District Attorney Robert Johnson announce the 217 count Grand Jury indictment of 23 alleged leaders and members of the Untouchable Gorilla Stone (UGSN) and the Black Stone Gorilla (BSGG) - a set of the Bloods gang and its affiliates that operated throughout the Bronx, with an emphasis on Castle Hill and Co-op City.

Dubbed Operation Black Stone, the NYPD, DEA and Homeland Security (under the El Dorado Task Force) made simultaneous arrests of most of those who are charged.  The most serious charges involve Attempted Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, and Enterprise Corruption, under the New York State statutes that target organized crime and activities of criminal enterprises.  

It is alleged that, at the top level, was the UGSN.  Under the jurisdiction of that umbrella organization were eight branches, known as “Kaves,” of which the Black Stone Gorilla (BSGG) was one.  Another was the GSG - Gorilla Stone Gangstas. 

Those alleged BSGG and UGSN leaders/members under indictment for Enterprise Corruption are:

RAHSAAN “Low Rider” SAMUELS, age 39, alleged to be the leader of UGSN
CORY “Angry” HICKSON, age 27, alleged to be the leader of the BSGG
LEON “L Murda” LEWIS, age 30, alleged to lead GSG
JHON “Tito” BERNABEL, age 21
DANIEL “D-Rock” DIAZ, age 24
KWESI “Beast”/”Rozay” FERGUSON, age 28
JOSHUA “Pookie” GARCIA, age 24
TYRELL “Rell” GRIFFIN, age 35
JUSTIN “Ram Rock” GUZMAN, age 25
BRANDON “Untouchable Dot” NIEVES, age 29
ANGEL “Ace” PAGAN, age 26
JEFFREY “Stacks”/”J.J.” PEREZ, age 25

Additionally, a number of BSGG and UGSN associates were indicted for a variety of related offenses, from conspiracy to commit murder to narcotics sales, committed over the course of the investigation. Those indicted for these related offenses are:

RANDY “Scrams” ALLEN, age 32
ASANTE “P.I.” BLAKE, age 33         
MICHAEL “Butt Naked” HAMILTON, age 23
DARIO “Dee O” MIRANDA, age 18
KELVIN “Kapo” MOSQUEA, age 24
AMAURY “Gotti” URENA, age 25
ANNETTE “Netty” ZABALA, age 26

A number of the defendants were arraigned in Bronx Supreme Court before Justice Steven Barrett.

Beginning in September of 2013, members of DEA, the NYPD Bronx Gang Squad, HSI, working with the Rackets Bureau of the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office, initiated an investigation into narcotics trafficking and violence perpetrated by members of The Black Stone Gorilla (“BSGG”) as well as other Kaves, all organized under the Untouchable Gorilla Stone (“UGSN”), a principal branch of the Bloods Gang. 

Starting in May of 2014, the investigation into the crimes of UGSN members included the use of court-approved wiretaps on an extensive number of cellular telephones belonging to a number of UGSN members.  Evidence developed over the wiretapped telephones established a wide reaching criminal enterprise that engaged in a multitude of illegal criminal activities to generate income and exert control over particular areas within Bronx County, as well as other jurisdictions.

The reach of UGSN, as determined during the course of the investigation, extended far beyond the borders of the Bronx.  Over the wiretapped telephones, defendants were intercepted allegedly directly contacting fellow UGSN members in other jurisdictions, coordinating ongoing illegal activities on behalf of the criminal enterprise.  It is also alleged they regularly discussed criminal activities of fellow gang members that had occurred in other New York counties or in other states. And, it is further alleged some members of the UGSN regularly traveled to Maryland to commit crimes.  The crimes perpetrated by UGSN members, amongst others, included an extensive number of illegal narcotics sales, possession and/or sale of illegal firearms, as well as violent criminal offenses and conspiracies to commit violent felonies.

As detailed in the indictment, the crimes committed by the defendants were crimes committed on behalf of, and in furtherance UGSN, a structured criminal organization with a defined hierarchy of leaders that demands strict allegiance by all its members.  In fact, the UGSN employed a rigid hierarchical structure, which included positions ranging from top-ranked members to street soldiers.

DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt stated, “Law enforcement’s collaboration and resources for nearly two years led to the indictments of these members of the Untouchable Gorilla Stone (UGSN) and the Black Stone Gorilla (BSGG) on charges ranging from enterprise corruption, narcotics sales, firearms possession and other violent acts.  Community members in the surrounding areas of the Castle Hill Projects and Co-Op City had been caught amid the violence associated with these entities.  The arrests are a definitive step in reclaiming the community from the carnage, crime and fear that are linked to the UGSN and BSGG operations.”  
Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson noted of today’s events, “With these arrests and indictments, we have been able to prevent further violence from occurring.  This is part of our ongoing drive to combat gun violence and drugs, to make the streets of the Bronx even safer for our deserving, hard-working citizens.”

“This operation is another example of the NYPD targeting a group of individuals responsible for a disproportionate amount of violence and narcotic trafficking,” said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton. “These alleged gang members who compromised the quality of life of Bronx residents were arrested and indicted thanks to the hard work of the Gang Squad Bronx, the prosecutors at the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners who continue to work together to protect our communities.”

“Today we dismantled a criminal organization responsible for flooding Bronx streets with large amounts of cocaine,” said Raymond R. Parmer Jr., special agent in charge Homeland Security Investigations New York. “New York City residents deserve communities free of dangerous drugs and the violence that comes with them, and HSI will continue working with our law enforcement partners to bring these offenders to justice."

District Attorney Johnson also wishes to especially recognize the following people and organizations for their invaluable part in this investigation: NYPD’s Bronx Gang Squad, Captain Louis DeCeglie, Sgt. Eugene McHugh, Lieutenant Michael Costello, Case Detectives Michael Roberts and Jaak Leino, officers and detectives of the 43rd Precinct and PSA 8, investigators with the NYC Department of Correction, investigators with the Office of Special Investigations of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Special Agents of Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations - El Dorado Task Force, the New York State Police and the Westminster, MD Police Department

The case against the Operation Black Stone defendants is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Daniel Haines, Maureen Grosdidier and Thomas Boyle of the Bronx D.A.’s Rackets Bureau, with the help of Assistant D.A.s Vladimir Kocheulov and Ann Lee, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Stuart Levy, Counsel to the Investigations Division Mary Jo Blanchard, and Executive Assistant D.A. Thomas Leahy.
The charges in this indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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