2011-06-24 / Top Stories

Massive Bust Sweeps Through Rockaway

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly have announced that 56 individuals have been arrested on attempted murder, weapons, drug and other charges as part of a large-scale narcotics investigation focused on narcotics and drug-based violence allegedly engaged in by the Gang of Apes (GOA) street gang based in Far Rockaway and other parts of Queens. It is alleged that this organization grossed more than $10,000 per week through their illegal operations.

GOA is formerly a sect of the Flocc street gang – an amalgamated alliance which consisted of four distinct Crips sets and individual Bloods members and associates – which was successfully dismantled by the NYPD’s Queens Gang Squad and the Queens District Attorney’s Office in April 2010.

To date, there have been 56 arrests – including 18 alleged members of the GOA – for crimes ranging from attempted murder, weapons and narcotics possession, burglary and robbery. Information developed during the investigation also led to arrests regarding gangrelated shootings and the seizure of six kilograms of cocaine, thirty grams of heroin, twelve handguns, a quantity of marijuana, a kilo press (a device commonly used to add adulterants to cocaine and re-package the cocaine back into a kilo brick), a bulletproof vest and approximately $35,000 in narcotics proceeds. Thirty of the cases have already resulted in conviction with approximately 40 percent of the defendants being sentenced to significant periods of incarceration.

“The 56 individuals arrested during this investigation include numerous career criminals who used violence to further their drug trade in Far Rockaway. Many of the individuals are also gang members who committed crimes ranging from attempted murder and weapons possession to burglary and robbery,” Kelly said. “I commend the NYPD Gang Division and the Queens District Attorney’s Office for their work in removing these violent drug dealers, and their illegal guns, from our streets.”

Among those arrested were numerous alleged GOA gang members – including 23-year-old Kerron “Bones” Dawkins – for the attempted murder of Taurean Ramsey, 28, an alleged member of the rival Outlaw set of the Crips gang on November 2, 2010. It is alleged that at 10:35 a.m. that day Dawkins pulled up to the intersection of New Haven Avenue and Beach 22 Street in a black Jeep Cherokee and, leaning out the passenger side window, fired a .22 caliber handgun multiple times at Ramsey who was seated in the driver’s seat of a black Infinity, striking him twice in the torso and twice in the upper thigh. Also, alleged Bloods gang member Barkim “Bar” Newson, 23, is charged with the August 29, 2010, attempted murder of alleged GOA leader Barry “Roach” Davis and Steven Albert outside a large party being held on Beach 21 Street.

Also arrested were alleged Far Rockaway narcotic suppliers Lester Olivencia and Victor Torres for storing cocaine at Torres’ residence. During a search warrant executed in August 2010, police seized two plasticwrapped blocks of cocaine and 41 ziplock bags of cocaine (with an approximate total weight of more than 3 kilograms), narcotics paraphernalia – including a notebook containing records of narcotics transactions – and approximately $7,900 in cash. Olivencia and Torres both pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and were sentenced to 3½ years and 2½ years, respectively, in state prison.

The investigation also led to the apprehension of Kashawn “Ammo” McLaughlin, a purported highranking member of GOA, for a September 17, 2010 burglary, which he allegedly committed with others at 31-10 Seagirt Avenue, in which a large flat screen television, credit cards, PlayStation and Xbox video game systems, and sneakers were taken.

Through the use of court-authorized eavesdropping and other investigative techniques, it was allegedly learned that Anthony Tenpenny, who is purportedly a member of the GOA, was obtaining cocaine from Puerto Rico and supplying the narcotics to a majority of the GOA gang members who, in turn, sold the drugs on the street. The Jefferson County (Kentucky) Sheriff’s Office seized approximately two kilograms of cocaine in Louisville that allegedly had been en route to Tenpenny’s Far Rockaway residence.

In another case, alleged GOA associate Joseph Martinez, a parole absconder, was apprehended on January 18, 2011, in the back of a livery cab with a defaced .380 caliber handgun. Martinez pleaded guilty to third-degree attempted criminal possession of a weapon and was sentenced to 1½ years to three years in prison.

In addition, in the course of executing sixteen courtauthorized search warrants, Christopher “Psycko” Pizarro was allegedly heard on an intercepted phone call at approximately 10:30 a.m. on June 13, 2011, telling another individual that he was afraid because the police were presently executing search warrants in his building and that he was going to dispose of contraband in the incinerator to avoid police detection. At 10:45 a.m. police allegedly recovered more than eight ounces of cocaine and an unloaded .380 caliber firearm from the garbage incinerator at Pizarro’s residence.

Several of the defendants are variously charged with such non-drug offenses as second-degree attempted murder and first-degree robbery, both Class B felonies, each punishable by up to 25 years in prison; and second degree burglary and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, both Class C felonies, each punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Other defendants are variously charged with firstdegree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a Class A1 felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison; third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, both Class B felonies, each punishable by up to nine years in prison; and third-degree criminal sale of marijuana, a Class E felony punishable by up to 1½ years in prison

That same month, the Queens District Attorney’s Office and the NYPD turned their attention to the GOA gang which was seeking to fill the void left by the demise of the Flocc gang. Over the course of the 14- month investigation, dubbed “Operation: Zero Tolerance,” police and prosecutors utilized a combination of investigative means, including extensive physical surveillance, court-authorized electronic surveillance and search warrants.

“Police and prosecutors have put a virtual stranglehold on this highly unified and criminally active street gang by not only taking down their leaders and other high ranking members but their drug suppliers and customers – as well as other non-gang drug traffickers,” DA Brown said.

Davis, himself, was arrested, along with Ruben “Betta” Morales, a purported high-ranking GOA member, for allegedly stabbing Roberto Gonzalez in the back, shoulder and neck on October 2, 2010, in what is believed to have been a gang-related assault. Davis was also arrested for allegedly participating in a gunpoint home invasion on March 11, 2011, in which a large sum of money, watches, earrings and an Apple IPad were stolen.

Alleged High Ranking GOA Members and Associates:

Bryan Alicea, 19, of 333 Beach 32 Street; charged with third-degree criminal sale of marijuana.

Dayvon Battle, 25, of 1261 Central Avenue; pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and was sentenced to two years in prison and three years postrelease supervision.

Dyshaun Battle, 25, of 1261 Central Avenue pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to a conditional discharge.

Jaren Battle, 28, of 1261 Central Avenue; pleaded guilty to fourthdegree criminal possession of a weapon and was sentenced to nine months in jail.

Christopher Cruz, 20, of 81-05 Beach Channel Drive; charged with thirddegree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Barry Davis, 29, of 22-51 Dix Avenue; charged with first-degree robbery and second-degree gang assault.

Dwight Davis, 46, of 15-02 Mott Avenue; charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Kerron Dawkins, 23, of 136 Beach 27 Street; charged with attempted second degree murder.

Kirk Ettienne, 23, of 333 Beach 32 Street; charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Tymeek Ikard, 22, of 18-15 Everdell Avenue; charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Keion Johnson, 20, of 14-31 McBride Street; charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Joseph Martinez, 32, of 9-10 Dinsmore Avenue; pleaded guilty to attempted third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and was sentenced to 1 ½ to 3 years in prison.

Kashawn McLaughlin, 21, of 331 Beach 31 Street; charged with seconddegree burglary.

Ruben Morales, 23, of 30-08 Dwight Avenue; charged with second-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and second-degree gang assault.

Bruce Mungin, 41, of 556 Briar Place; charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Enrique Rodriguez, 34, of 167 Beach 27 Street; pleaded guilty to seventhdegree criminal possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to six months in jail.

Anthony Tenpenny, 40, of 20-30 Elk Drive; charged with first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Shaun Wheeler, 22, of 146 Beach 59 Street; pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to a conditional discharge.

Alleged Narcotics Suppliers:

Terrence Buggs, 41, of 432 Beach 25 Street; pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 3½ years in prison and two years post-release supervision.

Alexis De Los Santos, 32, of 50 Barbey Street in Brooklyn; charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Gabriel Eldridge, 25, of 172-06 202nd Street in St. Albans; charged with firstdegree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Philip Erdaide, 40, of 331 Beach 32 Street; charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Lasheen Eubanks, 36, of 321 Beach 57 Street; pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 1½ years in prison and one year postrelease supervision and forfeited $1,068.

Stephen King, 51, of 14-15 Mott Avenue; charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Lester Olivencia, 38, of 14-50 Gateway Boulevard; pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 3½ years in prison and two years-post-release supervision.

George Sohl, 44, of 415 Beach 63 Street; pleaded guilty to third- and seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to a Queens treatment program.

Felix Taveras, 39, of 19 Cheshire Road in Inwood, New York; charged with second-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Victor Torres, 25, of 14-10 New Haven Avenue; pleaded guilty to thirddegree criminal possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 2½ years in prison and two years post-release supervision.

Hissa Valentin, 30, of 19 Seville Street in Elmont, New York; charged with firstdegree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

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