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Eight Members And Associates Of Bronx Street Gang Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Racketeering, Narcotics, And Firearms Offenses

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Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), today announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging eight members of a Bronx-based street gang, the Beach Avenue Crew, with various racketeering, firearms, and narcotics offenses, including the attempted murders of a rival gang member and rival drug trafficker.

Five of the eight defendants, JEAN BAPTISTE LESSAGE, DAVID BUCKHANON, JAMMAL LINDO, JALEEL BARON, and KYLE MULLINGS, were taken into federal custody yesterday or this morning and will be presented and arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis today. ALI HAMILTON, is currently incarcerated in federal custody on related charges, and was arraigned today before Judge Ellis. NORMAN EDWARDS was taken into federal custody this morning in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and will be presented later today before a magistrate judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. MAURICE SIMMONS remains at large. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain.             

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As alleged, through the sale of crack cocaine and their violent conflict with rival crews, the Beach Avenue Crew wreaked havoc on the streets of Bronx. We and our law enforcement partners are determined to combat alleged gang and drug violence in Bronx through charges like those brought today.”

HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Angel M. Melendez said: “The Beach Avenue Crew has allegedly tormented our city streets for nearly a decade. These arrests mean there are fewer alleged gang bangers wreaking havoc, dealing drugs and committing crimes in our communities. HSI is committed to working closely with its law enforcement partners to keep violent street gangs at bay and our neighborhoods safe.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt said: “Shootings, turf wars and murders are means to an end for drug crews controlling their distribution strongholds. Allegedly, the Beach Avenue Crew were the bullies of the neighborhood selling crack and imposing domineering threats on rival drug gangs and innocent neighbors in Bronx. These arrests have taken more violent criminals off the streets in order to make our communities safe from drug and gun violence.”                                         

Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said: “The defendants attempted to control their drug turf through gun violence allegedly carried out across the Bronx, endangering the lives of everyone around them, as alleged in the indictment.  We will be relentless in pursuing those who carry out violence. I commend the detectives, agents and prosecutors whose work resulted in these arrests and the unsealing of this indictment.”

As alleged in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court1:

The Beach Avenue Crew was a criminal enterprise that operated principally in and around Bronx, New York, from at least 2009 up to and including February 2017.  One of the Beach Avenue Crew’s principal objectives was to sell cocaine base, commonly known as “crack cocaine,” primarily in and around Beach Avenue in Bronx. The Beach Avenue Crew controlled crack cocaine sales within this area by prohibiting and preventing non-members, outsiders, and rival narcotics dealers from distributing crack cocaine in the area controlled by the Enterprise.

Members and associates of the Beach Avenue Crew engaged in acts of violence against rival gang members from nearby crews, and rival drug dealers who encroached on the Beach Avenue Crew’s territory. These acts of violence included assaults and attempted murder, and were committed to protect the Beach Avenue Crew’s drug territory, to retaliate against members of rival gangs who had encroached on the territory controlled by the Beach Avenue Crew, and to otherwise promote the standing and reputation of the Beach Avenue Crew amongst rival gangs.

The violence perpetrated by the Beach Avenue Crew included at least two attempted murders. On or about August 2, 2016, Jammal Lindo, Jean Baptiste Lessage, and Jaleel Baron shot at a rival drug trafficker and another individual (“Victim-1”), resulting in bodily injury to Victim-1. On or about May 5, 2015, ALI HAMILTON shot at a member of a rival crew on Leland Avenue in the Bronx, causing bodily injury to another individual standing nearby. 

Count One of the Indictment charges Ali Hamilton, Jean Baptiste Lessage, David Buckhanon, Jammal Lindo, Maurice Simmons, Norman Edwards, Jaleel Baron, and Kyle Mullings with participating in a racketeering conspiracy.

Counts Two charges Hamilton with assault and attempted murder in aid of racketeering activity in connection with the May 2015 shooting at a member of a rival crew.

Count Three charges Lindo, Lessage, and Baron with assault and attempted murder in aid of racketeering activity in connection with the August 2016 shooting at a rival drug trafficker.

Count Four charges Hamilton, Lessage, Buckhanon, Lindo, Simmons, Edwards, Baron, and Mullings with participating in a narcotics conspiracy, in connection with their distribution of crack cocaine in and around Beach Avenue.

Count Five charges Hamilton, Lessage, Buckhanon, Lindo, Simmons, Edwards, Baron, and Mullings with a firearms offense in connection with the racketeering conspiracy charged in Count One and the narcotics conspiracy charged in Count Four.

Count Six charges Hamilton with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

 

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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 HSI, the DEA, and the NYPD. 

This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Jessica Lonergan, Scott Hartman, and Jason Swergold are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

COUNT

CHARGE

DEFENDANTS

MAX. PENALTIES

1

Racketeering conspiracy

 

18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)

ALI HAMILTON

JEAN BAPTISTE LESSAGE

DAVID BUCKHANON

JAMMAL LINDO

MAURICE SIMMONS

NORMAN EDWARDS

JALEEL BARON

KYLE MULLINGS

 

20 years in prison

2

Assault and attempted murder in aid of racketeering activity

 

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(3) and 1959 (a)(5)

ALI HAMILTON

20 years in prison

3

Assault and attempted murder in aid of racketeering activity

 

18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(3) and 1959 (a)(5)

JAMMAL LINDO

JEAN BPATISTE LESSAGE

JALEEL BARON

20 years in prison

4

Narcotics conspiracy

 

21 U.S.C. § 846

ALI HAMILTON

JEAN BAPTISTE LESSAGE

DAVID BUCKHANON

JAMMAL LINDO

MAURICE SIMMONS

NORMAN EDWARDS

JALEEL BARON

KYLE MULLINGS

Life in prison

 

Mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison

5

Using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to, or possessing a firearm in furtherance of, a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime

 

924(c)(1)(A)(iii)

ALI HAMILTON

JEAN BAPTISTE LESSAGE

DAVID BUCKHANON

JAMMAL LINDO

MAURICE SIMMONS

NORMAN EDWARDS

JALEEL BARON

KYLE MULLINGS

Life in prison

 

Mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison

6

Felon in possession of a firearm

 

18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1)

ALI HAMILTON

10 years in prison

 

 

DEFENDANT

AGE

RESIDENCE

ALI HAMILTON

a/k/a “Smiley”

24

Bronx, NY

JEAN BAPTISTE LESSAGE

a/k/a “Usher”

35

Bronx, NY

DAVID BUCKHANON

a/k/a “Mase”

30

Bronx, NY

JAMMAL LINDO

a/k/a “Poppy,” a/k/a “Ghost”

23

Bronx, NY

MAURICE SIMMONS

a/k/a “Momoneybagz”

24

Bronx, NY

NORMAN EDWARDS

a/k/a “Hollywood”

25

Lehigh County, PA

JALEEL BARON

a/k/a “Jah,” a/k/a “Youngin”

24

Westchester County, NY

KYLE MULLINGS

a/k/a “Kase”

22

Bronx, NY

 

 _______________

1As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment, and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

 

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Lulaine Compere

graduated from St. John's University in 2007. Since then he has been freelancing for different magazines and newspapers. He also has radio experience when he worked at WBAI (99.5) in New York. Some of the publications he has written for include the Norwood News, a community newspaper, The Bronx News Network, a community website, The Source Magazine, Urban Latino Magazine, Latin Trends Magazine, Financial Planning Magazine and On Wall Street Magazine to name a few.