Former High School Dean Convicted of 2010 Murder
Israel Garcia Led the GMG YGz, a Violent Street Gang, for Over a Decade Following the Murder of 21-Year-Old Alfonso McClinton in 2010
NEW YORK CITY – Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Israel Garcia, a/k/a “Shorty Rock,” the former leader of the Get Money Gunnaz set of the Young Gunnaz street gang (the “GMG YGz”), was found guilty at trial of the October 11, 2010, murder of Alfonso “Joey” McClinton in aid of racketeering. Garcia shot and killed McClinton on a residential street in the Bronx, New York, as part of a dispute over narcotics trafficking territory. Garcia was also convicted of engaging in a conspiracy to distribute narcotics, murder while engaged in a narcotics conspiracy, murder through the use of a firearm, possessing firearms in connection with narcotics trafficking, and attempted witness tampering. The verdict followed a seven-day trial before U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “On October 11, 2010, Israel Garcia shot and killed 21-year-old Alfonso ‘Joey’ McClinton on a residential street in the Bronx. Garcia was the leader of the violent street gang known as the GMG YGz, which had been warring with Joey McClinton’s family over drug territory in the Bronx. Garcia used this horrific murder to maintain his leadership role in the GMG YGz and solidify his hold over the GMG YGz drug-selling territory. For the next decade, Garcia led the GMG YGz’s reign of terror over the neighborhood, recruiting children and others into a drug trafficking enterprise that poisoned the community with crack cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl, and protecting his drug turf with firearms and violence. Over time, Garcia attempted to create the façade of a law-abiding citizen, becoming the dean of a local high school in order to mask that he was still running the GMG YGz’s violence and drug trafficking. Yesterday, a unanimous jury held Garcia accountable for his brutal killing of Joey McClinton and for ruining countless other lives.”
According to court filings and the evidence presented in court during trial:
For more than a decade, the defendant controlled the sale of narcotics in the vicinity of East 184th Street and Morris Avenue in the Bronx as the leader of the GMG YGz. As part of their narcotics operation, GMG YGz members carried firearms and engaged in back-and-forth shootings with neighboring, rival crews. This violence resulted in, among other acts, the 2010 murder of Alfonso “Joey” McClinton. The State of New York arrested and prosecuted GMG YGz member Joseph (“Juice”) Johnson for the killing. Ballistics, video evidence, and eyewitness testimony, however, revealed that there was a second shooter involved in McClinton’s murder. Garcia was that second shooter. When Garcia became concerned that Johnson might cooperate with law enforcement, Garcia took steps to prevent Johnson from identifying Garcia as the person with whom he committed the murder.
Garcia, 32, of the Bronx, New York, was convicted of (i) murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison and a maximum sentence of death or life in prison; (ii) narcotics conspiracy, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison; (iii) murder while engaged in a narcotics conspiracy, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of death or life in prison; (iv) murder through the use of a firearm, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of death or life in prison; (v) firearms use, carrying, and possession in connection with a drug trafficking crime, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, which must be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed, and a maximum sentence of life in prison; and (vi) attempted witness tampering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The minimum and maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.
Mr. Williams praised the investigative work of the Drug Enforcement Administration; the New York City Police Department; the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations; and the U.S. Marshals Service. This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (“OCDETF”) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jacob Gutwillig, Maggie Lynaugh, and Jonathan Bodansky, with the assistance of Paralegal Specialist Owen Foley, are in charge of the prosecution.