Thirteen Members and Associates of Violent Yonkers Street Gang Charged in White Plains Federal Court with Racketeering, Violent Crimes, Narcotics Conspiracy, and Firearms Offenses
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, George Venizelos, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Charles Gardner, the Commissioner of the Yonkers Police Department, announced today the unsealing of a Superseding Indictment charging 13 members and associates of a Yonkers-based street gang, the “Grimy Motherfuckers” (“GMF”), with racketeering, violent crimes, narcotics conspiracy, and firearms offenses. The original Indictment, filed in July 2014, alleged that GMF operated as a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) and charged three GMF affiliates with offenses related to the murder of Tyrone Arthur on December 27, 2013. Today’s Superseding Indictment charges 10 additional GMF members and associates (as well as the three defendants previously charged) with a variety of crimes, including charges related to the March 27, 2010, maiming of a rival gang member.
Eleven of the 13 defendants charged in the Superseding Indictment unsealed today were arrested today or have previously been taken into custody. The defendants arrested today were presented in White Plains federal court this afternoon. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “As alleged, this Yonkers-based gang plagued the community of the Schlobohm Housing Projects with drug dealing and lethal violence. With today’s Indictment and arrests, we are another step closer to making the streets and citizens in this neighborhood safer.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos stated: “As alleged, this investigation targeted violent individuals who used murder, threats and intimidation to further their criminal agenda. The charges demonstrate our continued effort to work closely with our law enforcement partners to strike at gang-related criminal enterprises and to eliminate the terror these groups inflict on our communities. Dismantling violent gangs remains a priority for the FBI.”
Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner stated: “Once again we have worked with our federal partners the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of NY to target violent gang members who choose to do business here in Yonkers. These particular suspects failed to recognize our determination in ridding our community of violence. They will now be held accountable for their actions and I would like to thank all of the investigators who were involved in this morning’s arrests.”
According to the allegations in the Superseding Indictment and other documents in the public record:
From at least 2008 through 2014, the GMF has been a criminal enterprise operating in and around the Schlobohm Housing Projects in Yonkers, New York. At its inception, GMF was aligned with the Strip Boyz, a different street gang that was likewise based in the Schlobohm Housing Project in Yonkers and was made up of members one generation older than most GMF members. GMF and the Strip Boyz controlled crack cocaine and marijuana sales in and around the Schlobohm Housing Project and were allied in disputes with rival gang members, including members of the Cliff Street Gangsters and the Elm Street Wolves, two gangs from the east side of Nepperhan Avenue in Yonkers. In late June and early July 2012, law enforcement authorities arrested 20 members of the Strip Boyz on charges of narcotics distribution and/or firearm offenses in a federal case captioned United States v. Mark David, S1 12 Cr. 214 (ER). All 20 defendants have pled guilty in connection with those charges.
The 2012 arrests of the Strip Boyz left GMF the dominant gang in the area around the Schlobohm Housing Project, and GMF members have continued to engage in acts of violence and intimidation to preserve their dominance of the Schlobohm Housing Project and the surrounding areas that they previously shared with the Strip Boyz. In order to protect their territory and enhance the reputation of the gang, GMF members have committed numerous acts of violence, including murder, attempted murders, stabbings, and assaults.
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The 10-count Superseding Indictment, United States v. Da’Quan Johnson, et al., charges DA’QUAN JOHNSON, JAMES JOHNSON, KENNETH MOORE, JAMEKE BROWN, DAQUAN COUCH, DARIN FIELDS, ANTHONY FORD, FLOYD GILHAM, CHRISTOPHER GREBINGER, RONNIE KING, GERALD MARTIN, JAMES MCCALLUM, and WILBUR RANDOLPH with conspiring to violate the RICO statute and with using, carrying, possessing, and discharging firearms during and in relation to their participation in the conspiracy. As in the initial Indictment, DA’QUAN JOHNSON and MOORE are also charged with racketeering murder, conspiracy to commit the same, and a firearms offense in connection with the December 27, 2013, shooting death of Tyrone Arthur. JAMES JOHNSON is charged with serving as an accessory after the fact to the December 27, 2013, murder and with attempted murder, maiming, and a firearms offense in connection with the March 27, 2010, shooting of a rival gang member that left the victim paralyzed. Defendants DA’QUAN JOHNSON, JAMES JOHNSON, BROWN, COUCH, GILHAM, KING, MCCALLUM, and RANDOLPH are also charged with conspiring to distribute marijuana.
Charts containing the names, ages, residences, charges, and maximum penalties for the defendants are set forth below. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI’s Westchester Violent Crimes Task Force, which comprises agents and detectives of the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the City of Yonkers Police Department, the Westchester County Police, and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. He also thanked the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. He added that the investigation is continuing.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott Hartman and Douglas Zolkind are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Superseding Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.