Bushwick Drug Dealer Convicted of Orchestrating Two Contract Murders
Earlier today, following three weeks of trial, a federal jury in Brooklyn, New York, returned a guilty verdict against Shaun Taylor, also known as “S-Dot,” on charges of murder and narcotics trafficking. These charges arose from the defendant’s participation in a decade-long narcotics trafficking conspiracy in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, in connection with which the defendant orchestrated two contract murders. When sentenced by United States District Judge Dora L. Irizarry, the defendant faces a mandatory life term of imprisonment. Taylor’s co-defendant, Timothy Pinkney, pleaded guilty on August 6, 2014, to the murder of Terrance Barnett, and is also awaiting sentencing.
The verdict was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and George Venizelos, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI).
The evidence at trial showed that Taylor hired Pinkney to murder a man who had stolen Taylor’s “drug phone,” the cellular telephone Taylor used to conduct his lucrative narcotics business. Taylor paid Pinkney $1,500 to carry out the murder and mistakenly directed him to Terrance Barnett, who was visiting Brooklyn for the weekend and had no prior relationship with Taylor or Pinkney. On April 29, 2005, just before 10 p.m., Barnett was fatally shot as he stood with a friend on Putnam Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Two years later, Taylor hired two other men to kill Joseph Vargas. Taylor and his coconspirators targeted Vargas because they feared Vargas might turn against them after they stole a shipment of narcotics destined for Vargas. On June 20, 2007, at 6:20 p.m., at the direction of Taylor, one of the men hired by Taylor shot at Vargas and his brother on DeKalb Avenue in Bushwick. Vargas’s brother survived, but Vargas died at the scene.
“The defendant attempted to insulate himself by hiring young men to carry out brazen acts of violence at his behest, including the murders of Barnett and Vargas. We hope the victims’ families can take some measure of solace in knowing that the individual responsible for their sons’ murders has been brought to justice,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Drug Enforcement Administration, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Strike Force; and the New York City Police Department for their outstanding work in this case.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew Amatruda, David Pitluck, and Tali Farhadian.
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 10-CR-268