Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, today announced that 12 alleged members of the Bushwick- based street gang True Bosses Only have been variously charged in a 59-count indictment with conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, weapons possession and other charges in connection with 10 separate shootings that left seven people injured.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This indictment describes a terrifying mix of deadly force and mindless obsessions with turf, leading to serious consequences for innocent bystanders. We will never stop fighting against gun violence and this kind of senseless disregard for the safety of our children and neighbors.
The Acting District Attorney further said, “Many of these territorial disputes, in this and other cases, revolve around New York City Housing Authority developments. To that end, I have recently launched a Public Housing Crime Suppression Unit that will work to reduce crime in housing developments using data-driven intelligence focusing on the drivers of crime. The Unit will work closely with resident associations, community members, NYCHA and the NYPD to proactively suppress crime and violence, maintain safety and develop trust.”
Commissioner O’Neill said, “Today’s charges allege a series of shootings in Bushwick, among other things, that left several injured. Today’s arrests and indictment will continue helping reduce violence that have helped make our City the safest big city in America.”
The Acting District Attorney said that nine of the defendants were arraigned last week and this week before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice William Miller and Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Guy Mangano and variously held on bail. Three of the defendants are awaiting arraignment. All of the defendants are charged with second- and fourth-degree conspiracy. They are variously charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree criminal use of a firearm, first- and second-degree attempted assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree assault, and first-degree reckless endangerment. The defendants face up to 25 years in prison on the top conspiracy count. (See defendant addendum).
The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, the defendants, who now range in age from 17 to 26, are alleged to be members of True Bosses Only (“TBO”). TBO is alleged to be a violent street gang operating within the confines of the 83rd Precinct, bordering the 73rd and 81st Precincts. TBO’s purported territory extends north and south approximately between Broadway and Wyckoff Avenue, and east and west approximately between Cooper Street and Madison Street.
Between July 2015 and the present, the indictment alleges, members of TBO have been feuding with three other violent street gangs: Elm Street Piru, which operates within the 83rdPrecinct just west of TBO territory, approximately between Palmetto Street and DeKalb Avenue; Loot Gang, which operates out of the New York City Housing Authority Ocean Hill Houses, to the south of TBO territory within the confines of the 73rd Precinct; and 900 Gang, which operates largely out of the NYCHA Sumner Houses within the confines of the 79thPrecinct.
During the course of the conspiracy the defendants allegedly agreed to commit crimes, including murder and assault, in order to maintain their dominance over their claimed geographic area. Gang members are accused of using social media to direct their acts of violence toward rival gang members, as well as take credit after crimes occurred. At other times the defendants taunted their rivals by taking photos and videos of themselves in rival territory and posting them on Facebook and YouTube. They allegedly made use of so-called “community guns,” which were made available to various TBO members for the purpose of shooting at rivals.
Furthermore, according to the indictment, in addition to the struggle for geographical control, much of TBO’s violent activity was driven by the desire to retaliate for prior shootings targeting TBO members, particularly the September 27, 2013 shooting death of TBO member Bashiek Reddick, a.k.a., Bless.
Among the acts of violence charged in the conspiracy are the following:
- On July 8, 2015, at approximately 9 p.m., Hector Lleras and other TBO members were in front of the Hi-Mango Market at 341 Knickerbocker Avenue, in Elm Street Piru territory, when Lleras allegedly fired shots across the street, missing his target. The bullet went through window of a car parked in the vicinity, narrowly missing a man sitting in the front seat.
- On October 30, 2015, defendant Gilbert Arciliares was in front of 180 Wyckoff Avenue, in Elm Street Piru territory, at approximately 2:40 p.m., when he allegedly fired three shots. One of the shots struck an MTA bus, shattering a window and narrowly missing a passenger, who suffered cuts to her forehead from the broken glass.
- On September 11, 2016, at approximately 9:30 p.m., in the vicinity of 290 Central Avenue, Gilbert Arciliares, who was with another TBO member, allegedly fired a .380 caliber pistol multiple times at rival Elm Street Piru members, striking instead two innocent women who were walking in the area.
- On March 1, 2017, at approximately 4:20 p.m., at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Harman Street, defendant Gilbert Arciliares allegedly fired shots down Myrtle Avenue at two Piru gang members on bicycles. Arciliares missed his targets, but struck an innocent bystander in the torso and sent passersby, including children, running to escape the gunfire.
Additionally, three alleged rival gang members were shot and injured during the course of the conspiracy.
The investigation was conducted by New York City Police Department Detectives Shane Maynard and Robert Nelson, of the Gun Violence Suppression Division, under the supervision of Sergeant Andrew Dunton and the overall supervision of Assistant Chief James Essig.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Owen Sucoff and James Slattery, of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jonathan R. Sennett, Deputy Chief of VCE and Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, Chief, and the overall supervision of Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division.
An indictment is merely an accusation and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.
- Carlos Lucas, a.k.a., Skrap, 22, of Ocean Hill, Brooklyn.
- Hector Lleras, a.k.a., Kash, 26, of Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
- Gilbert Arciliares, a.k.a., Gilly, 22, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
- Patrick Tucker, a.k.a., Holly, 25, of Canarsie, Brooklyn.
- Tyrece Findlay, a.k.a., Preme, 20, of West Farms, Bronx.
- Malik Cherry, a.k.a., Euros, 20, of Gravesend, Brooklyn.
- Anthony Gooding, a.k.a., Gunna, 21, of Bushwick, Brooklyn.
- Yasin Shearin, a.k.a., Ya-Ya, 19, of Graniteville, Staten Island.
- Jamar Lovander, a.k.a., Headache, 26, of Arverne, Queens