Feds Charge Gang Leaders with Racketeering, Narcotics, Firearms Offenses
NEW YORK- Members of a street gang that shot up a Bronx restaurant with an AK-47 assault were charged with a slew of federal charges including racketeering, narcotics and firearms offenses.
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that LATIQUE JOHNSON, a/k/a “La Brim,” a/k/a “Straight 2 Business,” a/k/a “Breezy,” a/k/a “Boss Dog,” BRANDON GREEN, a/k/a “Light,” a/k/a “Moneywell,” and DONNELL MURRAY, a/k/a “Don P,” were found guilty yesterday of racketeering conspiracy, narcotics trafficking conspiracy, and firearms offenses in connection with their membership in the “Blood Hound Brims” (“BHB”), a violent street and prison gang that operated in New York City, upstate New York, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.
In addition, JOHNSON and MURRAY were found guilty of committing assault in aid of racketeering for a 2012 shooting at a fast food restaurant in the Bronx involving an AK-47 firearm.
JOHNSON was found guilty of attempted murder in aid of racketeering for ordering a 2012 shooting of rival gang members in the Bronx.
The convictions followed a five-week trial before the Honorable Paul G. Gardephe.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Latique Johnson, Brandon Green, and Donnell Murray were leaders of the Blood Hound Brims, a ruthless gang, and were responsible for extensive narcotics trafficking and terrible violence.
“They now stand convicted of their crimes, and will no longer be able to inflict harm on the people of this city.”
According to court documents and the evidence at trial:
BHB was a criminal enterprise that operated principally in the greater New York area, from 2005 to 2016. BHB was a faction of the Bloods street gang, which operates nationwide, and is under the New York Blood Brim Army (“NYBBA”).
The BHB operated within and around various locations in New York, including New York City, Westchester County, Elmira, and in Pennsylvania, as well as within and outside federal and state penal systems.
The BHB used a hierarchical structure that was organized, in part, by geography, including New York City, and that was maintained, in part, through the payment of dues.
The founder and leader of the Gang was JOHNSON, and other members and associates of the BHB referred to JOHNSON as the “Godfather.”
The Gang was divided into several “pedigrees,” each of which had its own leadership structure which was approved by JOHNSON. Other leadership positions included, among others, treasurers who collected dues from members of a particular pedigree, and individuals who performed security and disciplinary functions for the pedigree.
In addition to JOHNSON, GREEN, and MURRAY all held leadership positions within the Gang at different times.
Members of the BHB had regular meetings, sometimes called “pow wows” or “9-11s,” at which members were required to pay dues. Some of the meetings were among members of a particular pedigree, and other meetings were for all members of the Enterprise.
Word of the meetings was disseminated via text message, word-of-mouth, and flyers. The BHB’s business, including rivalries with other gangs, shootings, the arrest of gang members, guns, and drugs, was regularly discussed at these meetings.
“Kitty dues” – money that paid for commissary funds, lawyers, guns, and drugs, and that served as tribute to JOHNSON – were collected at these meetings.
The BHB maintained its own rules and constitution that new members were required to learn. Members of the BHB also used code words and secret phrases to communicate with each other both while in prison and on the street in order to avoid detection by law enforcement.
One of the BHB’s principal objectives was to sell cocaine base, commonly known as “crack cocaine,” powder cocaine, and heroin, which members and associates of the BHB sold throughout the greater New York area and in Pennsylvania.
Members and associates of the BHB engaged in multiple acts of violence against rival gangs. These acts of violence included assaults and attempted murders, and were committed to protect the Gang’s drug territory, to retaliate against members of rival gangs who had encroached on the territory controlled by the BHB, and to otherwise promote the standing and reputation of the Gang vis-à-vis rival gangs.
These acts of violence also included assaults and attempted murders against members and associates of the BHB itself, as part of internal power struggles within the Gang.
For example, on January 28, 2012, in the Bronx, New York, JOHNSON, aided and abetted by MURRAY, used an AK-47 assault rifle to fire into a restaurant where rival gang members were gathered, injuring two individuals who survived the shooting.
The violence continued in fall of 2012 when JOHNSON ordered the shooting of two other members of a rival gang, who survived.