BRIDGET G. BRENNAN, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor and New York City Police Commissioner RAYMOND W. KELLY announced today the arrest and indictment of 10 leaders of a violent, drug dealing street gang, “WTG,” which has been engaged in a turf battle with rival groups in the Bronx. The indictment charges the defendants with six counts of conspiracy to commit murder, assault, weapons possession and sales, and narcotics possession, and 35 related substantive counts. Murder conspiracy and attempted murder charges stem from a near-fatal shooting of a member of a rival gang, “Dub City,” on Sept. 21, 2011. Seven shootings took place during the course of the conspiracy, which ran from January 2011 to November 2012, and police seized six firearms. The Bronx District Attorney’s Office offered substantial assistance during the investigation.
During the course of a long-term investigation, the Special Narcotics Gang Prosecution Unit, the NYPD’s 44th Precinct, Field Intelligence Sergeant and two Assistant Field Intelligence Officers learned that WTG operates under a structured hierarchy, with the “Top Five” at WTG’s uppermost level of leadership and the “Big Homies” as second tier of leadership. Beginning early this morning, police dismantled this hierarchy, as they made nine arrests in the Mount Eden section of the Bronx and one arrest in Duluth, Georgia. The defendants include all five members of the “Top Five,” SHAQUILLE HOLDER, TAURY WELLS, JOSHUA COLON, DOMINIQUE BOYD and RAIQUAN BRUNDIDGE, and five “Big Homies,” RONALD DAVIS, WINSTON WILLIAMS, JARRELL DANIELS, SHAUN DELEON and DARREN BIRD.
The 41-count indictment charges that members of the Top Five ordered shootings, assaults and other acts of retaliation, recruited new gang members, including juveniles, and controlled communal firearms. WTG made money by collecting cash payments from new recruits and by selling guns and drugs, including cocaine, PCP and marijuana. The Big Homies assisted the Top Five in all of their duties, although the admission of new members into the gang required final approval by the Top Five. Through these criminal activities, WTG secured control of an area between East 170th Street and East 174th Street from Grand Concourse to Jerome Avenue.
This morning, NYPD officers conducted eight court authorized searches of apartments used stash houses for narcotics. The searches yielded quantities of crack and PCP, as well as drug paraphernalia. In addition to the conspiracy charges, members of WTG also face 35 substantive charges, including Attempted Murder, Assault, Attempted Assault, Reckless Endangerment, Criminal Possession of a Weapon, Criminal Sale of a Firearm and Criminal Solicitation. Arraignments are scheduled to take place later this afternoon before Judge Arlene Goldberg in Part 56 at 111 Centre St.
WTG’s leadership made extensive use of social media and developed a distinctive “lingo,” or system of code words and phrases, to communicate with one another about their criminal activity in thousands of exchanges on Facebook. During the investigation, Special Narcotics prosecutors and analysts, and members of the NYPD, reviewed of Facebook messages from January 2011 to the present, as well as additional images and messages on Instagram. Facebook and Instagram messages and photos were obtained through court authorized search warrants.
“DubbTee” refers to a member of WTG, while “Fake Dub” describes members of the rival Dub City gang. Shootings, drug sales and firearms were routinely discussed in WTG leaders’ Facebook messages. “Grip, “glocc,” “swammy,” “slammer,” and “hammer” are all terms WTG members used to refer to firearms, while “floced” or “clapped” referred to a shooting. “Krills,” “grams,” “yams,” and “grizz” are terms used for narcotics.
Facebook also served as a primary means of gang recruitment. Messages and other intelligence reveal that WTG leadership required prospective gang members to provide money for the purchase of communal firearms, or to provide an actual firearm, in order to gain admission to the gang. New gang members were then placed “under” a leader, to whom they answered. WTG maintained readily available, loaded communal firearms for use by members. Gang leaders directed minors aged 14 and 15 to possess, transport and store the guns in order to avoid the arrest or detection of adult gang members.
In a May 2012 Facebook message, SHAQUILLE HOLDER, “aka Boogz,” wrote to another prospective WTG, saying, “If yuk an western union me 125 right now you can be WTG under me and b official.”
That same month, HOLDER received a Facebook message from an individual seeking to help another individual become a member of WTG. “My manzz want to be Dub Tee under u,” the message said, to which HOLDER replied, “Gotta send n glocc or 200 cash and mac wich ya guyuzz.”
The previous year, in an August 2011 message, WINSTON WILLIAMS, aka “Zeb,” told a prospective WTG member, “yu need 100 to put toward da pot for gloks n yu need to be approved by da top 5.” 3
In a March 2011 Facebook message, RONALD DAVIS, aka “Ron G,” directed a prospective WTG member, “Yo bro, I want u to be WTG but u gotta put up chipz on da glock dun u my bro,” adding, “100” when asked how much. A prospective gang member asked, “You gonna turn me dub tee or when I pay for the gun?” and DAVIS responded, “Friday but if u dnt give me dat den ugonna get parked. Parked = droped from WTG Imma teach u the lingo.” HOLDER, WILLIAMS and DAVIS face Criminal Solicitation charges in connection with these recruiting activities.
During the course of the conspiracy, members of WTG engaged in violent confrontations with members of rival street gangs, including Dub City, which operates in the area between East 175th Street and East 177th Street from Walton Avenue to Jerome Avenue in the Bronx, and the “Eden Boyz”, whose territory covers 170th Street from Mount Eden Avenue to Jesup Avenue.
The indictment charges JARRELL DANIELS, aka “Rell,” with Conspiracy in the Second Degree with intent to conduct the crime of Murder in the Second Degree, Attempted Murder in the Second Degree and Assault in the First and Second Degrees for the near-fatal shooting of Dub City member DRAMEL ELLIOTT, aka “Fats,” on Sept. 21, 2011 outside 1517 Walton Ave. The attempted murder took place during an altercation between members Dub City and WTG. In the course of the altercation, one of ELLIOTT’s fellow Dub City members slashed the face of WTG member JARRELL DANIELS, aka “Rell.” DANIELS retaliated by shooting ELLIOTT at point blank range in the chest and leg. ELLIOTT survived following a lengthy hospital stay.
In a message later that day, HOLDER told another member of WTG that he needed his help in the wake of the shooting. “Look I need ju on deeeezie wit me bro now we gotta stop this beef and si & really grip up.”
On Sept. 23, 2011, JOSHUA COLON, aka “Hov,” wrote message to RAIQUAN BRUNDIDGE, aka “Snub,” indicating he was prepared to retaliate against Dub City using a gun that was stashed in HOLDER’s apartment. “We a go,” wrote COLON, “Grip in boogz set fully loaded like a BB.” In another message, COLON told BRUNDIDGE that WTG had control over all of Walton Avenue, including the area claimed by Dub City. “Isaid we run the whole Walton.”
ELLIOTT was among 15 Dub City members arrested in connection with a 35-count indictment that the Special Narcotics Gang Prosecution Unit filed in August 2012. That case was investigated by the same team Field Intelligence Sergeant and officers with the NYPD’s 44th Precinct that is handling the WTG prosecution.
In late June, 2011, WINSTON WILLIAMS, aka “Zeb,” sent a message to another individual inquiring about the location and availability of communal firearms in preparation for the July 4th holiday, when festivities have been seen by gang members as opportunities for retaliation. “Yo wassaup for dem glocks 4 july right around da corner,” the message stated.
The indictment charges two WTG members with Attempted Assault, Reckless Endangerment and Criminal Possession of a Weapon charges in connection with another potentially deadly shooting that took place in the early evening hours of Sept. 25, 2012. WTG members engaged in a shootout with members “Eden Boyz” on a busy stretch of 171st Street and Jerome Avenue. Multiple private surveillance cameras captured the incident. Video shows WTG member DOMINIQUE BOYD, aka “Domo,” exchanging gunfire with members of the Eden Boyz. Members of WTG can be seen running down the street as BOYD fires a weapon back in the direction of the rivals. No one was shot, despite numerous pedestrians and vehicles in the area. TAURY WELLS, aka “Wellz,” was also present for the shooting and faces charges stemming from the incident.
Facebook messages show that members of WTG also waged an ongoing turf battle against the “280” gang, which stakes claim to as area between East 167th Street and East 170th Street from Morris Avenue to Clay Avenue, although this rivalry was not always WTG’s top priority. On Sept. 23, 2011, two days after the ELLIOTT shooting, BRUNDIDGE sent a message to HOLDER asking, “Wat chu wanna do wit these 80 guys real tee?” HOLDER replied, “Trufulley we shot 2 of them they shot 2 of us we kan kall it even 4 now.” BRUNDIDGE agreed the dispute with 280 was “irrelevant” and said they should “be smart about it and squash” it to avoid “havin beef comin from all angels whoa!” The dispute with 280 continued, however, as subsequent messages refer to shootings between the two gangs.
BRIDGET G. BRENNAN stated, “For too long, this community has been terrorized by gang members whose primary allegiance is to their guns. They steal, sell drugs, and take initiation fees from young recruits - all with the goal of buying more guns, which they use with reckless disregard for human life. When WTG was settling a dispute on Jerome Avenue, no one was safe – from innocent passersby to neighborhood shopkeepers. With today’s arrest of the gang hierarchy, those who stoked the violence have been taken off the street. ”
BRIDGET G. BRENNAN thanked the NYPD’s 44th Precinct and Field Intelligence Sergeant, as well as the office of Bronx District Attorney ROBERT T. JOHNSON.
Police Commissioner RAYMOND W. KELLY stated, “The suspects apprehended today recruited gun-toting accomplices using social media apps. The violence that resulted went just as viral until the members of the NYPD 44th Precinct field intelligence unit and strategic enforcement teams stepped in. I commend them and their partners in the office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for their outstanding work.”