Massive crackdown on East Harlem gangs

This map shows the territories the gangs were fighting over, included the locations of murders and shootings. (Courtesy of the Manhattan District Attorney.)
This map shows the territories the gangs were fighting over, included the locations of murders and shootings. (Courtesy of the Manhattan District Attorney.)

63 members of three of Manhattan’s most violent gangs were indicted today, announced Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.

The rival street gangs, known as Air It Out, True Money Gang, and Whoadey, have battled for control of an area in East Harlem, spanning from 106 Street to 116 Street and 5th Avenue to 3rd Avenue, since at least 2009. They are responsible for at least three murders and more than 30 shootings.

They have also been responsible for numerous assaults and nabbed on possession and trafficking of firearms. They are being charged now with conspiracy in the first degree, which is a Class A felony. Additional charges are for conspiracy in the second, third and fourth degree, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and attempted gang assault in the first.

The conspiracy charges are based on conspiracies to commit murder in the second degree.

Between October 2009 and March 2013, True Money Gang and Whoadey banded together against Air It Out to protect territory and avenge shootings and murders.

According to the indictments, the gang members used hundreds of Facebook and Twitter posts and direct messages, text messages, cell phone videos, and calls made from Rikers Correctional Facility to plot the deaths of rival gang members.

Social media and prison phone calls apparently were also used to traffic firearms and ammunition, and give warnings about law enforcement.

The indictments come after a three and a half year long investigation led by the DA’s Trial Division and Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit, as well as the NYPD’s Gang Division.

Since the DA established a Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit, there have been 10 indictments charging 11 different gangs.

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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