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Seven alleged members of a violent Bronx street gang were busted Thursday on racketeering conspiracy charges that could land them in the slammer for life, authorities said.
The suspects, members of the 800 YGz gang, brandished weapons, shot at and slashed rivals on their turf in the Bronx between summer 2019 and summer 2020, according to an indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court Thursday.
The alleged gangbangers — Jayquan Smith, Rashien Jackson, James Bell, Daquan Murphy, Jonathan Odenthal, Hassan Simmons and Derick Murphy — also sold drugs and committed wire fraud to enrich themselves and gain power and notoriety for the gang, the indictment alleged.
They each face a maximum of life in prison for the alleged racketeering conspiracy, a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office in the Southern District of New York said in a statement.
Two of the suspects, Odenthal and Simmons, are at large, while the additional suspects were already behind bars on separate charges and will be presented in Manhattan federal court later Thursday.
The gang members allegedly sold drugs in the Crotona section of the Bronx near East 180th Street and Mapes Avenue and beefed with rival crews, including the MacBaller Bloods and Crips Monteray, law enforcement sources said.
Members of the gang also netted some $80,000 by fraudulently collecting unemployment benefits, including through COVID-19 protection programs, the sources said.
“These defendants are charged with participating in the activities of the 800 YGz gang and committing numerous acts of violence. Their alleged criminal conduct has been a scourge on communities in the Bronx for years,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Raymond P. Donovan said in a statement after the bust.
“Members and associates of a violent street gang wreaked havoc in the Bronx for many years, committing numerous acts of violence against rival gang members,” US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss added. “Thanks to the hard work of our law enforcement partners, the defendants now face federal charges for these serious crimes.”
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