Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

Raymond P. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge

March 19, 2020

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-2906

14 Defendants charged with racketeering, murder, firearms, and narcotics offenses

Alexander Arguedas is charged with the December 2012 murder of Gary Rodriguez

NEW YORK –  U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration New York Division Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan, Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Darcel D. Clark, District Attorney for Bronx County, Dermot Shea, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New York, and Cynthia Brann, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction, announced today the unsealing of an Indictment charging Alexander Arguedas, a/k/a “Reckless,” Michael Delaguila, a/k/a “Grizz,” Steven Justo, a/k/a “Riko,” Davonte Brown, a/k/a “Tae,” Jacobb Padin, a/k/a “Chino,” Edgardo Baranco, a/k/a “Slime,” Abbas Ozkurt, a/k/a “AB,” Jahvonne Chambers, a/k/a “JV,” Denise Bullock, a/k/a “Mocha,” Simone Cordero, a/k/a “Mixy,” Mathew Nieves, a/k/a “WB,” Tyerance Mickey, a/k/a “Hoodlum,” and Mark Brock, a/k/a “Rover,” with racketeering, firearms, and narcotics offenses, in connection with their membership and association with the Black Stone Gorilla Gang.  Arguedas is also charged with the December 9, 2012, murder of Gary Rodriguez.  Andre Curry a/k/a “Flex,” is charged with narcotics and firearms offenses.

Seven defendants were arrested today and will be presented this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron.  Three defendants were already in federal or state custody on other charges.  The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Jesse M. Furman.

“With deep rooted history of violence both in and outside of prison, the Black Stone Gorilla Gang is a fierce threat to New Yorkers,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan. “Today’s arrests have put an alleged murderer in jail along with 13 other gang associates allegedly embedded in racketeering, fraud, firearms, narcotics trafficking and/or assaults.  I thank our law enforcement partners for their collaboration and partnership.” 

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said “Today’s indictment charges members and associates of a violent gang that allegedly wreaked havoc in the Bronx for years, committing numerous acts of violence against rival gang members and innocent victims.  These charges are the product of a joint effort between our Office and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, whom we thank for their outstanding partnership, not only in this case, but in our ongoing, shared commitment to keeping the people of the Bronx safe from violence.  Because of that partnership, and thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the NYPD, DEA, Department of Correction, HSI, and Special Agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the defendants now face federal charges for their alleged crimes.”        

Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark said “This gang has allegedly brought violence, guns and illicit narcotics to Bronx streets, and my Office’s partnership with U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, the NYPD, the DEA, the Department of Correction, and HSI has now brought them to justice. We remain unrelenting in putting such violent criminal enterprises out of business.”

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said “The NYPD’s work to identify and dismantle gangs and crews, and prevent the violence so often associated with their activities, continues to be of paramount importance to the NYPD and all our law enforcement partners.  I thank the NYPD detectives involved in this case and our law enforcement partners for their hard work which resulted in these arrests.”

NYCDOC Commissioner Cynthia Brann said “Our Correction Intelligence Bureau works tirelessly to reduce violence and increase safety in our facilities, and we are proud of their hard work in this case, which involved many hours of collaboration with our fellow law enforcement partners.  Gang activity drives a disproportionate amount of violence in our city, in both the streets and the jails, and because of these efforts both communities are safer.”

HSI Special Agent in Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh said:  “HSI is always willing to assist our law enforcement partners in any criminal investigation where our resources, capabilities and personnel can be of value.  Bringing these dangerous individuals to face justice is why we invest in the specialized training and equipment we keep at the ready.  HSI and our law enforcement partners will continue to thrive in arresting those most dangerous because of the dedication and teamwork we put forward.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court[1]:

Alexander Arguedas, a/k/a “Reckless,” Michael Delaguila, a/k/a “Grizz,” Steven Justo, a/k/a “Riko,” Davonte Brown, a/k/a “Tae,” Jacobb Padin, a/k/a “Chino,” Edgardo Baranco, a/k/a “Slime,” Abbas Ozkurt, a/k/a “AB,” Jahvonne Chambers, a/k/a “JV,” Denise Bullock, a/k/a “Mocha,” Simone Cordero, a/k/a “Mixy,” Matthew Nieves, a/k/a “WB,” Tyerance Mickey, a/k/a “Hoodlum,” and Mark Brock, a/k/a “Rover,” are members and associates of the Black Stone Gorilla Gang, a racketeering enterprise that operates principally in the New York City metropolitan area and in the jails and prisons of New York City and the State of New York.  In order to enrich the enterprise, preserve and protect the power of the enterprise, and enhance its criminal operations, BSGG members and associates committed, conspired, attempted, and threatened to commit acts of violence, including murder and assaults; distributed and possessed with intent to distribute narcotics; committed robberies; engaged in bank fraud and wire fraud; and obtained, possessed, and used firearms.  BSGG members also evaded prosecution by law enforcement authorities through acts of intimidation and violence against potential witnesses to crimes committed by the gang. 

On or about December 9, 2012, Arguedas shot and killed Gary Rodriguez in the vicinity of 3089 Decatur Avenue in the Bronx, New York. 

In or around 2018, Arguedas and others conspired to murder a fellow BSGG member who had fallen out of Arguedas’ favor.  At Arguedas’ direction, another gang member shot at that individual. 

On or about August 27, 2018, at Arguedas’ direction, Chambers attempted to slash a rival gang member with a scalpel in the Bronx, New York.

On or about November 12, 2019, Arguedas and Mickey assaulted a fellow BSGG member with a chair in the vicinity of 3063 Hull Avenue in the Bronx, New York.

On or about November 12, 2019, Brock slashed an individual across the face in Manhattan, New York.

The defendants are also charged with participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, cocaine base, oxycodone, and marijuana from in or about 2011 through in or about March 2020.         

A chart containing the names, charges, and maximum and minimum 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 NYPD’s Gun Violence Suppression Division and Financial Crimes Task Force, the DEA, the NYCDOC Correction Intelligence Bureau, HSI, and the Special Agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Danielle R. Sassoon, Andrew K. Chan, and Brandon Harper, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Jaclyn M. Wood, 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.

______________________________

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment constitutes only allegations, and every fact described herein should be treated as an allegation.

 

COUNT

CHARGE

DEFENDANTS

MAX. PENALTY

Count One

Racketeering Conspiracy

18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)

ALEXANDER ARGUEDAS

MICHAEL DELAGUILA

STEVEN JUSTO

DAVONTE BROWN

JACOBB PADIN

EDGARDO BARANCO

ABBAS OZKURT

DENISE BULLOCK

SIMONE CORDERO

MATTHEW NIEVES

Life imprisonment

JAHVONNE CHAMBERS

20 years’ imprisonment

Count Two

Murder in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959 and 2

ALEXANDER ARGUEDAS

Death or life Imprisonment;

Mandatory minimum of life imprisonment

Count Three

Murder through the Use of a Firearm

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j) and 2

ALEXANDER ARGUEDAS

Death or life imprisonment;

Mandatory minimum of five years’ imprisonment

Count Four

Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Aid of Racketeering and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

ALEXANDER ARGUEDAS

10 years’ imprisonment

Court Five

Attempted Murder and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959 and 2

ALEXANDER ARGUEDAS

20 years’ imprisonment 

Count Six

Firearms offense

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c) and 2

ALEXANDER ARGUEDAS

Life imprisonment

Mandatory minimum of ten years’ imprisonment

Count Seven

Attempted Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959 and 2

ALEXANDER ARGUEDAS

JAHVONNE CHAMBERS

3 years’ imprisonment

Count Eight

Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959 and 2

ALEXANDER ARGUEDAS

TYERANCE MICKEY

20 years’ imprisonment

Count Nine

Maiming, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, and Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury in Aid of Racketeering

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959 and 2

MARK BROCK

20 years’ imprisonment

Count Ten

Narcotics Conspiracy

21 U.S.C. § 846

ALEXANDER ARGUEDAS

MICHAEL DELAGUILA

STEVEN JUSTO

DAVONTE BROWN

JACOBB PADIN

EDGARDO BARANCO

ABBAS OZKURT

DENISE BULLOCK

SIMONE CORDERO

MATTHEW NIEVES

ANDRE CURRY

Life

Mandatory minimum of 10 years’ imprisonment

Count Eleven

Firearms Offense

18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c) and 2

ALEXANDER ARGUEDAS

MICHAEL DELAGUILA

STEVEN JUSTO

JACOBB PADIN

EDGARDO BARANCO

ABBAS OZKURT

MATTHEW NIEVES

ANDRE CURRY

Life

Mandatory minimum of 5 years’ imprisonment

 


 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment constitutes only allegations, and every fact described herein should be treated as an allegation.

 

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