Planned Hit from Inside Prison
Stalking on Social Media
Used Instagram to Find Potential Robbery Victims
BRONX– Being behind bars didn’t stop a violent Bronx Gang. Members of the ‘Mac Balla’ gang ran drugs, slashed inmates and planned violence as well as robberies outside Rikers Island all will being locked up.
Prosecutors announced that 29 people have been indicted in an enterprise of violence emanating from Rikers Island to the city’s streets, as well as other crimes.
District Attorney Clark said, “The defendants allegedly stoked the violence inside the jails by smuggling in scalpels and meting out slashings to inmates. They allegedly stalked robbery victims they saw wearing jewelry on social media, and allegedly ran a crack cocaine business. In a cold-blooded incident, two defendants allegedly set out to shoot a man who had an altercation with the mother of a jailed gang member. Fortunately, investigators on this case got the information, the shooting was thwarted and a loaded firearm was recovered.
“This case illustrates the ongoing fight to dismantle the brutal criminal network which has its hub in Rikers Island, and shows how dangerous this battle can be for our law enforcement officers. I thank them for their dedication and diligence.”
NYPD Commissioner O’Neill said, “Today’s indictments are another product of the close partnership between the NYPD and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, which continues to make New Yorkers even safer. The people we serve will never stand for gang activity or the violence it foments, either on our streets or inside our jails. Together, we are relentless in our pursuit of true public safety in every corner of New York City.”
DOC Commissioner Cynthia Brann said, “This investigation and the resulting indictments send a very clear message to anyone who attempts to bring weapons, violence, and drugs into our jails. You will be prosecuted if you commit crimes in custody, and if convicted you will face prison time, even if you beat the charges that originally got you here. Our Correction Intelligence Bureau works tirelessly to keep our officers and those in our custody safe, and that work takes place not only in the jails, but out on the streets, in partnership with our fellow law enforcement agencies.”
DOI Commissioner Garnett said, “Today’s indictments reflect how vitally important law enforcement partnerships are to proactively addressing crime in our City’s jails and protecting the safety of staff and inmates. This investigation successfully targeted the gang and drug activity which fuels violence on Rikers. DOI provided foundational assistance in this investigation, monitoring recorded inmate phone calls and identifying individuals attempting to engage in contraband smuggling and other dangerous criminal activity. DOI thanks the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, the New York City Police Department and the Department of Correction for their valuable partnership and commitment to pursuing crimes that threaten to undermine our City’s jail system.”
District Attorney Clark said 13 of the 29 defendants were arrested during a takedown on December 6-7, 2018, and one was arrested on December 10, 2018. They were arraigned before Bronx Supreme Court Justice Lester Adler. Six are not yet apprehended and the remaining nine are currently incarcerated. They were variously charged in seven indictments. The defendants are due back in court on March 15, 2019.
The investigation by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, NYPD Bronx Gangs, NYPD Gun Violence Suppression Division, NYC Department of Correction and the NYC Department of Investigation began a year ago and involved wiretapping and electronic surveillance.
According to an indictment, defendants Donte Joe and Michael Winn are charged with second-degree Conspiracy, Attempted Murder second-degree, and Attempted Assault and Criminal Possession of Weapon charges in the June 29, 2018 incident.
The two defendants allegedly set out to kill an individual who had an altercation with defendant Althea Michelle Hogan, mother of defendant Michael Robinson. They drove to Harlem in search of the individual, and when they could not find the target they said in a phone call that they saw the target’s brother, and would “just do him in.”
Police officers on patrol apparently unnerved the defendants and they headed back to the Bronx, where they were stopped by members of the investigative team and a loaded .357 Magnum revolver was recovered. If convicted of the charges, the two defendants could face up to 25 years in prison.
According to an indictment, Jamar Williams, alleged member of the “Mac Balla” set of the Bloods who was incarcerated in Rikers Island, allegedly directed assaults on three inmates. Defendants Earin Sistrunk, Edwin Toussaint, Keith Rawlins, Jacob Ramirez, Davell Marthone and Michael Hunt allegedly slashed the faces of two “Mac Ballas” who broke gang rules, and sliced open the cheek of a Trinitarios member. He required about 26 stitches for the 8-inch gash. If convicted of Attempted Assault first-degree, they could face up to 15 years in prison. Jacob Ramirez also is charged with Attempted Assault second-degree for trying to slash a Correction Officer.
The indictment also charges inmates and two women on the outside with conspiring to smuggle 30 scalpel blades and marijuana into the George R. Vierno Center and the Otis Bantum Correctional Center on Rikers Island and the Vernon C. Bain Center jail barge.
According to an indictment, defendants Tashawn Murray and Rodelle Murray allegedly scoured Instagram for photos of people wearing expensive jewelry to develop potential robbery victims.
In one incident, on October 12, 2018, they had a female accomplice arrange to meet a man in a hotel, and planned to rob him in the room, then go to the man’s home to steal additional valuables. Investigators alerted the man and he did not meet with the woman. A second robbery was also pre-empted.
According to an indictment, two defendants are charged with smuggling Suboxone strips into an upstate prison. Suboxone strips are prescribed to treat heroin addiction but are misused to get high. They sold for in excess of $100 each inside Southport Correctional Facility, an ultra-maximum security prison in Pine City, NY.
Other indictments charge defendants with operating crack cocaine operations in the 42nd Precinct in the Bronx, near East 169th Street and Boston Road; and in the 46th Precinct, on Morris Avenue between East 181st Street and Burnside Avenue; and with counterfeiting twenty, and fifty and hundred dollar bills.