September 27, 2018
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-3900
New York Gang Member recieves life in prison for murder, racketeering and other offenses
NEW YORK CITY - Special Agent in Charge James Hunt, New York Division, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that Donque Tyrell, a.k.a. “Polo Rell,” a member of a violent street gang in the Bronx called the “Big Money Bosses” “BMB”, was sentenced on racketeering, murder, and other charges. Tyrell was sentenced to the mandatory minimum sentence of life plus 55 years in prison for, among other crimes, aiding and abetting the June 22, 2014, murder of 17-year-old Keshon Potterfield. Tyrell was sentenced by United States District Judge Jed S. Rakoff.
“As a result of the BMB gang’s wave of violence, Keshon Potterfield – a teenager, just beginning his life – was senselessly killed," said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman. "Today, the defendant has been sentenced for his role in this terrible murder. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to prevent gang violence and keep our streets safe.”
Tyrell was convicted of murder in aid of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, and other offenses in connection with his membership in BMB after a six-day jury trial.
According to court documents, as well the evidence at trial and statements made during other public proceedings in this case:
BMB is a subset of the “Young Bosses,” or “YBz” street gang, which operates throughout New York City. Between 2007 and 2016, members and associates of BMB committed numerous acts of violence against rival gang members in the Bronx – including murders, attempted murders, and armed robberies – and sold crack cocaine, marijuana, and oxycodone.
Tyrell was a member of BMB. On June 22, 2014, Tyrell and other members of BMB attended a birthday party in the backyard of a residence on East 232nd Street in the Bronx. Tyrell obtained a gun from an associate at the party, pointed it in Keshon Potterfield’s direction, and then passed it to another BMB member who shot and killed Potterfield in connection with a gang rivalry. Tyrell celebrated Potterfield’s murder in public Facebook postings and in rap music videos posted on YouTube in which he taunted rival gang members and threatened future violence.
In addition to the murder in aid of racketeering conviction, Tyrell was convicted of conspiring to commit racketeering as a result of his membership in BMB, conspiring to sell narcotics, selling narcotics within 1000 feet of schools and playgrounds, using firearms in connection with the gang and drug offenses, an attempted assault with a firearm in connection with his BMB membership, and attempting to rob a livery cab driver in the Bronx by hitting him in the head with a firearm.
Tyrell was arrested in this case as a result of a multi-year investigation by the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York City Police Department’s Bronx Gang Squad, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Violent Gang Unit, and the Joint Firearms Task Force of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives into gang violence in the Northern Bronx.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding work of the NYPD’s Bronx Homicide Task Force, the NYPD’s 47th Precinct Detective Squad, the NYPD’s Bronx Gang Squad, HSI, DEA, and ATF.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Rachel Maimin, Hagan Scotten, Jessica Feinstein, Drew Skinner, and Allison Nichols are in charge of the prosecution.