Seven Members, Associates, and Leaders of Folk Nation Gang Indicted for Alleged Racketeering and Murder

February 1, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on January 31, 2012 released the following:

Additional Charges Include Robbery, Assault, Illegal Use of Firearms, and Related Crimes

A superseding indictment was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn this morning charging seven members, associates, and leaders of the violent Brooklyn street gang “Six Tre Outlaw Gangsta Disciples Folk Nation,” also known as the “Folk Nation.” The 16-count indictment charges the defendants with violent crimes including racketeering, murder in-aid-of racketeering, murder conspiracy, attempted murder, robbery, assault, and illegal use of firearms.[1] Two defendants will be arraigned later today before United States Magistrate Judge Marilyn D. Go at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn. The defendants face sentences up to life imprisonment if convicted.

The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office; and Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department. As detailed in the indictment and other court filings submitted by the government, a two-year joint investigation by the FBI and the NYPD revealed that since 2008, a violent set of the Folk Nation gang committed numerous crimes of violence including four murders, three attempted murders, two assaults, and six robberies. The gang was based in the Ebbets Field Houses, a New York City public housing community, although its criminal activities extended into the Tri-State area.

The gang is alleged to have used extreme and indiscriminate violence to further its objectives. The defendants’ victims include a 10-year-old girl, who was severely injured when she was shot in the neck by gang members while they were attempting to murder a rival. The gang is alleged to have committed four murders, in an effort to assert its power over the neighborhoods in which it operated. On at least two occasions, gang members missed their intended targets and hit innocent bystanders—after one murder at a teenager’s birthday party in an Ebbets Field apartment, gang members acknowledged that they had killed the wrong person.

In order to fund its illegal activities, members of the gang allegedly committed violent robberies of individuals and commercial establishments. Members of the gang are alleged to have robbed the Lee Perla jewelry store at the Riverside Square Mall in Hackensack, New Jersey, making off with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of luxury watches. According to the indictment, the gang also targeted individual robbery victims, whom they lured to secluded areas in Brooklyn, via Internet advertisements on Craigslist, and then robbed at gunpoint. According to a detention memorandum filed by the government, the charged murders and other acts of violence took place on public streets, in front of personal residences, and even on a playground, in Brooklyn neighborhoods.

The charges announced today are the latest in a series of federal indictments in this district charging members of violent street gangs with racketeering crimes.

“Motivated by greed, the Folk Nation employed indiscriminate violence to destroy the lives of their perceived enemies. But their violence spread beyond the gang world into the streets and playgrounds of Brooklyn, and innocent bystanders, including a child, were caught in the crossfire. Terrorizing a community, this gang claimed its turf by force and robbed from businesses and individuals alike leaving a trail of victims in its wake,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “We are steadfast in our commitment to dismantling street gangs that put at risk the members of our community, and the seriousness of today’s charges reflect that commitment.”

“The reason the FBI places such a high priority on gang investigations is the extreme violence gangs so often commit. Here, as charged in the indictment, the defendants’ ruthlessness was matched by their recklessness. They allegedly showed no apparent concern for bystanders, and bystanders were seriously hurt as a consequence,” said Assistant Director in Charge Fedarcyk.

NYPD Commissioner Kelly stated, “Through a variety of partnerships, including clergy, the Brooklyn District Attorney, and in this case United States Attorney Loretta Lynch, the police department is suppressing crime in Brooklyn to the point where last year for the first time since 1963 murder in the Borough fell below 200. As charged in the indictment, members of the Folk Nation have been responsible for multiple murders and shootings, and their apprehension and prosecution should have a continued salutary effect for the residents in and around the Ebbets Field Houses.”

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Zainab Ahmad and Seth DuCharme.

The Defendants:

YASSA ASHBURN, also known as “Indio,” “Swirls,” and “Swerve”
Age: 28

HAILE CUMMINGS, also known as “Ruger” and “Rugah”
Age: 20

GERALDO ELAINOR, also known as “Gunny” and “Geraldo Casimir”
Age: 21

DANIEL HARRISON, also known as “Bones,”
Age: 24

RICKY HOLLENQUEST, also known as “Dancer”
Age: 20

JAMAL LAURENT, also known as “Tails” and “Gunner”
Age: 22

TREVELLE MERRITT, also known as “Tiger”
Age: 19

[1] The charges contained in the superseding indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”


Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at or at one of the offices listed above.

Roy Christopher West Sentenced by U.S. District Judge Victoria A. Roberts on Murder-for-Hire

August 27, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 26, 2011 released the following:

“Akron Man Sentenced to Life for Ordering Murder-for-Hire

Roy Christopher West, 36, of Akron, Ohio, was sentenced late yesterday on charges of Conspiracy to Use Interstate Commerce Facilities in the Commission of Murder-for-Hire, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced.

U.S. Attorney McQuade was joined in the announcement by Andrew G. Arena, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

West was sentenced by United States District Judge Victoria A. Roberts to life in prison without parole. West was found guilty on April 15, 2011, by a federal jury in Detroit, Michigan following a 10-day trial.

The jury found that West conspired to murder Leonard Jermone Day in retaliation for stealing approximately $100,000 in cash and $250,000 worth of jewelry from Roy West.

During the trial, the jury listened to wiretaps which revealed that, after the theft, West began calling his family and associates, saying that he would give money to anyone who found Day. On December 20, 2005, Detroit Police found Day sitting in his truck after being ambushed by gunfire.

A separate jury found co-defendant Marcus Freeman guilty for his participation in the conspiracy. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 20, 2011. Michael Bracey pled guilty to the murder conspiracy on October 25, 2010, and Alvino Cornelius pled guilty to a superseding information that charged him with drug trafficking on October 21, 2010. Bracey and Cornelius are awaiting sentencing. One remaining defendant, Christopher Scott, is scheduled to begin trial on October 17, 2011.

United States Attorney McQuade thanked the Detroit office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Detroit Police Department, the Greater Akron Area HIDTA Initiative, which is a task force led by the Akron offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency for their efforts that lead to this successful prosecution.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth A. Stafford and Michael C. Leibson.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at or at one of the offices listed above.

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Nearly 130 Alleged Mobsters Arrested in FBI Sweep

January 20, 2011

According to a press release issued by the Department of Justice, ninety-one alleged members and associates of seven organized crime families of La Cosa Nostra (LCN), including the New England LCN family, all five New York-based families and the New Jersey-based Decavalcante family have been charged with federal crimes in 16 indictments returned in four judicial districts. Another 36 individuals also have been charged for their roles in alleged associated criminal activity.

Individuals have been charged in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Newark, and Providence. Most were arrested before 8:00am this morning.

More than 110 of the 127 charged individuals have been arrested, and will appear in federal court in the districts in which they are charged. The charges relate to a wide range of alleged illegal activity, including murder, murder conspiracy, loansharking, arson, narcotics trafficking, extortion, robbery, illegal gambling and labor racketeering, in some cases occurring over decades. The indictments charge alleged leaders of these criminal enterprises, as well as mid-level managers, numerous soldiers and associates, and others alleged to be corrupt union officials.

Among those charged are Luigi Manocchio, 83, the alleged former boss of the New England LCN; Andrew Russo, 76, alleged street boss of the Colombo family; Benjamin Castellazzo, 73, alleged acting underboss of the Colombo family; Richard Fusco, 74, alleged consigliere of the Colombo family; Joseph Corozzo, 69, alleged consigliere of the Gambino family; and Bartolomeo Vernace, 61, an alleged member of the Gambino family administration. In total, more than 30 alleged official members of the LCN were charged in the indictments unsealed today.

The charges carry a variety of maximum penalties, up to life in prison on certain charges.

The indictments are available here.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at or at one of the offices listed above.

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