BROOKLYN, New York City (WABC) -- Seventeen alleged members from three violent street gangs known collectively as YPF are variously charged in two indictments with conspiracy to commit murder, possess weapons and related charges, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell announced Tuesday.
Officials said the 118-count indictments include charges related to shootings that resulted in 14 victims, including four who died as a result of their injuries.
"This successful takedown is part of our ongoing strategy to reduce shootings and senseless deaths by targeting the most violent offenders in our communities," Gonzalez said. "A particularly troubling aspect of this case is that many of the defendants are teenagers, including an individual charged in connection with all three murders, allegedly committed when he was only 16."
The defendants are variously charged with first-, second- and fourth-degree conspiracy; second-degree murder; second-degree attempted murder; first- and second-degree assault; second- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon; and first-degree reckless endangerment.
The alleged purpose of the three-gang alliance was to form a large umbrella group to increase their numbers and territory as well as commit violence against their common enemies and maintain geographic dominance.
Other alleged benefits included access to more handguns and freedom to travel safely to their allies' neighborhoods and the ability to hunt down more rivals.
"The joint, long-term investigation took aim at the most violent elements of these criminal street organizations," Sewell said. "Once again, the NYPD focused on the few people willing to pick up a gun to harm those who live and work in our Brooklyn neighborhoods. By pursuing these kinds of cases together, our NYPD detectives and prosecutors in the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, work relentlessly to continue reducing this kind of violence - and our work goes on."
At the start of the alleged conspiracies, the defendants ranged in age from 14 to 20 years old, and many of the alleged acts of violence were captured on surveillance videos.
Furthermore, it is alleged that the defendants boasted about their criminal actions on social media, directing acts of violence and taking credit for shootings. One video also posted online shows one of the defendants allegedly forcing a gun into the mouth of a small dog.
It is alleged that YPF members committed 14 shootings during the course of the conspiracy, with 14 shooting victims, including nine innocent victims.
Four individuals died as a result of those shootings and the rest were injured.
According to the indictments, it is alleged that on October 28, 2020, at approximately 6:05 p.m., defendants Iquan Warlick and Nakhai Addison got off the train in East New York and walked over to a bodega on New Lots Avenue.
At that time, an alleged rival for whom were looking was inside the bodega waiting for food along with Sherard McKoy, an 18-year-old college freshman not affiliated with any gang.
The rival stepped outside, saw Warlick and Addison, and went inside to warn McKoy.
The two defendants then entered the bodega., where Warlick allegedly pulled out a gun and chased McKoy out of the bodega, then fired multiple shots, killing him.
Addison then allegedly took the gun from Warlick and returned to the bodega to fire additional shots towards the rear of the bodega where their target ran to hide.
On November 22, 2020, it is alleged, George Risher Jr., Warlick and at least two other unidentified individuals traveled to East New York from Fort Greene by car to a birthday party for a 16-year-old in which enemies of YPF would be in attendance.
One of the unidentified individuals allegedly shot at a group near the venue, striking someone in the leg.
The defendants and that individual then chased a group of perceived rivals around the corner, and Risher allegedly fired at them, causing property damage.
A short time later, Warlick, Risher and two unidentified individuals went to where the party had relocated in Crown Heights, in rival gang territory.
Risher and the third individual went to the third floor and allegedly fired multiple shots at partygoers there, striking and injuring five innocent victims and killing innocent victim, 20-year-old Daijyonna Long, who was visiting from Virginia.
Warlick and the fourth individual remained on the first floor where they each allegedly fired shots towards the group located there, striking and injuring two individuals who were in an elevator on the first floor.
On September 21, 2021, at approximately 3:05 p.m., it is alleged that several gang members entered the Metrotech Mall in Downtown Brooklyn.
Giovanni Bennett allegedly fired multiple shots at a former member who now belonged to a rival gang.
An innocent New York University student was shot in the arm.
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