April 25, 2018
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-3900
"18 Park" Gang Leader Gets 35-year Sentence
NEW YORK - Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement (DEA), New York Division, announced that one of the leaders of the violent Bronx gang known as “18 Park,” Marquis Wright was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer to 35 years in prison for firearms offenses in connection with two murders that he helped to commit on behalf of the gang. Wright, 30, had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing and using firearms in connection with his role in the September 28, 2008, murder of Brandon Howard, 18, and the May 29, 2011, murder of Johnny Moore, 16. Wright’s co-defendant, Jonathan Rodriguez, who also participated in the murder of Brandon Howard, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 24, 2018.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “The tragic and senseless murders of Brandon Howard and Johnny Moore reflect the dangers of gang- and drug-related violence in our city. While nothing can bring back Brandon Howard and Johnny Moore, Marquis Wright’s sentence means he will spend decades in prison and not pose a threat to others in the Bronx. I want to thank our law enforcement partners for their tremendous work on this important investigation.”
According to the allegations in court documents, including the Information and a previously filed criminal complaint, and statements made during court proceedings:
From 2006 to 2016, the 18 Park gang operated primarily in and around the Patterson Houses, a New York City public housing development in the Mott Haven area of the Bronx. Members of 18 Park sold crack cocaine and marijuana on a near-daily basis, turning the area in and around the Patterson Houses into an open-air drug market. 18 Park members used firearms and violence to assert the gang’s control over the area. Wright served as one of the leaders of 18 Park, and played an integral role in running the gang’s drug trade.
On September 28, 2008, Wright accompanied Rodriguez to a house party at 315 East 143rd Street in order to confront 18-year-old Brandon Howard, whom Wright and Rodriguez regarded as a rival. Rodriguez brought a gun to the party. Upon arriving at the party, Wright served as a lookout for Rodriguez as Rodriguez confronted Howard in the hallway immediately outside the party and shot Howard to death.
On May 29, 2011, Wright drove another 18 Park member, Wali Burgos, to the vicinity of 2625 Third Avenue so that Burgos could shoot and kill a member of a rival gang. Burgos did not shoot a rival gang member, but instead fired his gun into a crowd and killed 16-year-old Johnny Moore. After the shooting, Wright drove Burgos away from the scene of the crime. Burgos previously pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy and admitted to his role in the murder of Johnny Moore. On January 13, 2017, Burgos was sentenced to 262 months in prison.
Mr. Berman thanked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the New York City Police Department for their work in this investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Max Nicholas, Jordan Estes, Dina McLeod, and Samson Enzer are in charge of the prosecution.