Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

Acting Special Agent in Charge Keith Kruskall , Special Agent in Charge

September 04, 2018

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-3900

Five gang members charged with racketeering and narcotics offenses

Three defendants are charged in connection with the 2009 murder of Derrick Moore

NEW YORK  - Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, today announced the unsealing of a superseding indictment charging five defendants with various racketeering and narcotics offenses.  Three defendants are charged in connection with their roles in the Aug. 2, 2009, murder of Derrick Moore, 22, in the Bronx.

One of the defendants, Luis Ortiz, 41, was presented last week before United States Magistrate Judge Barbara C. Moses.  Two of the defendants, Hector Marrero, 27, and Peter Gonzalez, 29, were arrested this morning and will be presented later today before United States Magistrate Judge Henry B. Pitman.  The remaining two defendants, Steven Brown, 39, and Rafael Reyes, 37, are already in federal custody on other charges, and will be presented at a later date.  The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Katherine Polk Failla.

DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt said:  “This investigation linked a brutal crime to members of a drug gang, which exemplifies the relationship between drug trafficking and violence.  I commend our law enforcement partners on their hard work and collaboration.” 

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said:  “As alleged in the superseding indictment, members of the Taylor Avenue and Creston Avenue Crews wreaked havoc on the streets of New York.  On Aug. 2, 2009, that violence resulted in the murder of Derrick Moore.  He was 22 years old.  Today, thanks to the dedication and perseverance of the NYPD, the DEA, and HSI, the defendants face charges for their alleged crimes.”

HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Angel M. Melendez said:  “The members of these two crews are alleged to have been in involved in a slew of illegal activity ranging from drug trafficking to committing murder.  We have seen the violence of street gangs bleed out into our communities, pushing their deadly drugs and committing violent acts. Strong collaborative efforts and information sharing are the foundation for law enforcement in New York to be more effective in ridding the streets of these alleged criminals.”

According to the allegations contained in the superseding indictment[1] and statements made in court:

The Taylor Avenue Crew was a criminal enterprise that operated principally in and around Taylor Avenue in the Bronx, New York, from at least 2007 up to and including 2015.  Members of the Taylor Avenue Crew sold crack cocaine and committed acts of violence in that area.

The Creston Avenue Crew was a criminal enterprise that operated principally in and around Creston Avenue in the Bronx, New York, from at least 2003 up to and including 2011.  Members of the Creston Avenue Crew sold cocaine and marijuana, and committed acts of violence, in that area.

Members of the Taylor and Creston Avenue Crews associated with each other and assisted each other by, among other things, carrying out acts of violence on each other’s behalf upon request by the leaders of the respective crews.  One such act of violence was the murder of Derrick Moore on Aug. 2, 2009.  This murder was committed by Creston Avenue Crew members Rafael Reyes and Ortiz to assist Taylor Avenue Crew member Brown.

Count One of the Indictment charges Brown with murder in aid of racketeering activity.  Count Two of the Indictment charges Reyes and Ortiz with murder in aid of racketeering activity.  Count Three of the Indictment charges Brown, Reyes, and Ortiz with murder in connection with a drug crime.  Count Four charges Brown, Reyes, and Ortiz with murder through the use of a firearm.  Counts One through Four all relate to the murder of Derrick Moore.

Count Five of the Indictment charges Marrero and Gonzalez with participating in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.

A chart containing the names, charges, and penalties for the defendants is set forth below.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA, HSI, and the NYPD.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maurene Comey, Jessica Lonergan, and Jason Swergold are in charge of the prosecution.  The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 


[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

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