Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Bronx Gang Member Convicted Of Shooting 12-Year-Old In Playground


 Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that a jury returned a guilty verdict today against NICHOLAS JOSEPH, a/k/a “Gotti,” a/k/a “Finesse,” on five counts in a Superseding Indictment, including charges of racketeering conspiracy, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, and firearms offenses.  JOSEPH is scheduled to be sentenced on January 5, 2022, by U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel, who presided over the seven-day trial. 

U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “Nicholas Joseph participated in a violent gang for years and carried out a shooting in a playground next to an elementary school, seriously injuring a 12-year-old child.  Now convicted of his crimes, Joseph will no longer be able to inflict harm on the people of this city.  We continue our daily work with our law enforcement partners to keep our communities safe by vigorously investigating and prosecuting acts of gang violence.”

According to the Superseding Indictment and the evidence at trial:

Between in or about 2014 and in or about December 2020, JOSEPH was a member and associate of the Castle Hill Crew, a racketeering enterprise that operated principally in the Castle Hill Houses in the Soundview neighborhood of the Bronx.  In order to enrich the enterprise, preserve and protect the power of the enterprise, and enhance its criminal operations, Castle Hill Crew members and associates committed, conspired, attempted, and threatened to commit acts of violence, including murder; distributed and possessed with intent to distribute narcotics; engaged in fraud; and obtained, possessed, and used firearms.

On or about November 19, 2015, JOSEPH and others stabbed a rival gang member in the head and back.

On or about April 28, 2017, JOSEPH shot at rival gang members in the vicinity of the Story Playground in the Bronx, New York, during which a 12-year-old child playing basketball in the park was injured.

In addition, on or about July 10, 2020, and in or around November 2020 and December 2020, JOSEPH illegally possessed firearms and ammunition. 

JOSEPH, 23, was convicted on five counts: (1) racketeering conspiracy, which carries a maximum prison term of 20 years; (2) attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering, which carries a maximum prison term of 20 years; (3) using and carrying a firearm during, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of, a crime of violence, which carries a mandatory consecutive prison term of 10 years and a maximum prison term of life; and (4) two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, each of which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.

The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York City Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and the New York City Department of Investigation.

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