New York Man Pleads Guilty to Three Murders
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 29, 2013|
NEWPORT NEWS, VA—Phillip Michael Bryant, 25, of Brooklyn, New York, pled guilty today to three counts of murder in aid of racketeering activity. Bryant pled to the murder of Sean McCracken on or about November 1, 2009, and the murder of Johnny Avery on March 19, 2010. Both murders were committed on Lincoln Park Housing Development property in Hampton. In addition, Bryant waived venue in New York and pled guilty to the murder of Jeremy Kane, a New York State Corrections officer, who was killed on June 28, 2009, outside of a beauty salon in Brooklyn, New York.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Juan C. Molina, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Division; and Thomas Townsend, Acting Chief of Hampton Police, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Robert G. Doumar.
“Phillip Bryant used threats and murder to take over a Lincoln Park public housing development and turn it into the center of operations for his drug distribution network,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Thanks to the strong case developed by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and Hampton Police Division, Bryant admitted to murdering three men and will be held responsible for his reign of terror in our community.”
Bryant was indicted in March, 2012, on drug and firearm charges. A superseding indictment charging him with racketeering and murder charges was filed in May 2012. According to court records, the defendant and two others from New York were part of a criminal organization known as the “Miller Time Bloods,” a neighborhood set of the national gang known as “the Bloods.” Bryant and the others travelled to Virginia to operate a drug trafficking business and were known locally as the “New York Boys.” The members and associates engaged in trafficking cocaine base, cocaine, and marijuana brought from New York for sale in Lincoln Park. The alleged gang members protected the criminal enterprise and activities through the use of intimidation, violence, and threats of violence—including the murders of Sean McCracken and Johnny Avery. It is believed that Jeremy Kane was murdered as retaliation for Kane pressing charges against a gang member’s brother in New York. Bryant faces mandatory life in prison when he is sentenced on May 7, 2013.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force and Hampton Police Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Howard J. Zlotnick and Lisa R. McKeel are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.