Mugshots: 18 alleged gang members nabbed in Westchester County drug trafficking bust

NEW ROCHELLE, Westchester County (WABC) -- Authorities announced Wednesday that 18 alleged gang members have been arrested in a Westchester County drug trafficking bust dubbed "Operation Crip Keeper."

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino and New Rochelle Police Commissioner Joseph Schaller unveiled two multi-count indictments as part of the yearlong investigation into violence and narcotics trafficking in New Rochelle.

Authorities say this is the largest gang takedown in a series of busts in the past two years, in terms of number of defendants. The ring reportedly netted hundreds of dollars a day in the sale of crack cocaine, and police used wire taps, electronic surveillance and social media as part of the investigation.

Police recovered five handguns, a stun gun, and an assault rifle, as well as an unspecified amount of cash.

The suspects are identified as:
--Evan DeYoung Adams, 22, aka "Emula"
--Brandon Brown, 25, aka "Bones"
--Gerardo Alvarez, 18, aka "EZ"
--Ebbin Croft aka "Dinero" (DOB 11/09/95) Yonkers
--Keyonnie Davis, 23, aka "Zeus"
--Kody Fudge, 27,
--Eduardo Gutierrez, 34, aka "Gio"
--Artez Jackson, 22, aka "Tez"
--Corey James, 23, aka "Curry" (named in both indictments)
--Ashley Jankowski, 29
--Jamie Martindale, 21
--Jahil Ricketts, 21, aka "Fat Boy" aka "Sheff"
--Jamier Starkes, 23, aka "Play"
--Sion Young, 27, aka "C Money"
--Eric Barnett, 38
--Anton Morrison, 24
--David Shelton, 62
--Miguel Tarrant, aka "Zee" or "Zelda"

Charges include conspiracy, attempted murder, robbery, burglary and a number of narcotics-related offenses.

"We value our safe quality of life here in Westchester, and as long as there are gangs pushing cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and other narcotics, and creating violent enterprises to protect their territory, that safety is in jeopardy," Scarpino said. "As today's arrests in New Rochelle and earlier arrests in other communities show, we are committed to putting an end to gang control and violence and, just as importantly, to stopping the insidious sale of drugs which, all too frequently, cause death."

Full press conference:

The indictment alleges that several of the defendants distributed cocaine from a residence on Washington Avenue, where Brandon Brown fielded calls from cocaine buyers and sent other gang members, including Artez Jackson, to make the sales on his behalf.

Authorities say the relationship between Brown and Jackson soured, however, when Brown was incarcerated at Rikers Island for a different case and Jackson began to sell directly to Brown's customers. They say this conflict culminated with Brown shooting at Jackson September 23, 2018, in the area of Walnut Street and Washington Avenue in New Rochelle.

According to the indictments, Brown, along with Jamier Starkes and Eduardo Gutierrez, also participated in an attempted murder October 10, 2017, on Fountain Place in New Rochelle, where they shot at a rival in an attempt to kill him. After that shooting, Brown sent videos of news coverage of the story to several people over Facebook private messaging, bragging about the shooting and comparing himself to Elmer Fudd.

Starkes, Gerardo Ernan Alvarez, Corey James, Jackson, and Jahil Ricketts were charged with attempted murder in relation to a May 8, 2018, shooting on May Street in New Rochelle, where authorities say the group fired at a rival. Afterward, Ricketts picked up the shell casings in an attempt to thwart the police investigation.

The gang often used coded language to communicate over the telephone and Facebook private messaging, according to the indictment.

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