Who Actually Pulled The Trigger?
Although neither police nor court officials are sure who actually pulled the trigger on the gun that killed drug dealer Joseph Azoro, 25, in front of 51-11 Almeda Avenue on April 2, seven men have been charged with acting in concert to set up and pull off his murder.
Police sources identify the seven as Jamal (Marley D/D) Eigner, 25, of Almeda Avenue; Jamar (NO) Pledger, 22, of Almeda Avenue; Jasper (Spade-O) Pledger, 19, of Almeda Avenue; Jonathan (Gun- Play) Pledger, of Almeda Avenue; Antoine (Money) Nance, 24, of Almeda Avenue; Jason (Smooth) Jones, 28, of Beach 46 Street and Lester (Ty) Carpenter, 28, of Mott Avenue. Court records supplied by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown say that a long-term court ordered wiretap investigation, which was begun after the 2008 murder of aspiring dancer Brandon Bethea in front of the Redfern Houses, revealed a “large scale firearms trafficking organization that included the seven defendants.”
All seven were members of the Wildmeda Set of the Flocc gang, which was an amalgam of both the Bloods and Crips, and included members who lived and sold drugs in all of the public housing complexes in Rockaway.
Records show that the wiretaps yielded conversations during which the defendants discussed and arranged a scheme in which Azoro would be lured to Almeda Avenue with a quantity of cocaine. He would then be robbed and “taken care of.”
Those wiretap records, released by Brown as part of a massive bust of more than 84 individuals, all belonging to sets of the Flocc gang, show that Carpenter and Jones first discussed luring Azoro to the Edgemere Houses so that the others could rob him of six ounces of cocaine at gunpoint and then “let him have it.”
Jones allegedly agreed and called Azoro several times, telling him to come to Almeda Avenue to engage in a drug transaction. Carpenter also called Azoro, urging him to show up.
Jones and Carpenter discussed where to get the weapons they would need and how to split up the cocaine once they had taken care of Azoro.
Jones discussed using members of the Wilmeda Set to do the actual robbery and murder.
Wiretap records show that approximately an hour prior to the murder, Jamal Pledger instructed his brother, Jonathan, to get a gun and bring it to Almeda Avenue, where Jamar was waiting with other members of the set.
A cell phone call from Jasper Pledger and other members of the set were hiding on Almeda Avenue, waiting for Azoro to show up with the drugs. About ten minutes before the shooting, Eigner called Nance to tell him that he was at Almeda Avenue “at the building” and told Eigner to be careful because some police officers, including “Sergeant Crozier” were around the area.
Eigner later called Nance to tell him that the victim had been shot.
Carpenter, Jones and Nance were later taped talking about the murder and whether or not somebody got the drugs after the shooting.
In fact, Azoro was not killed outright by the shots.
He refused to cooperate with police officers, reportedly refusing to provide his name or information about who shot him.
He was transported to Jamaica Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.
All seven were held without bail.