Ten alleged members of the Staten Island-based WB Savages street gang have been arrested after a yearlong investigation that included at least one shooting, intercepted phone calls, an escape from a deli and a car chase.
Beginning on Thursday morning, approximately 120 NYPD officers made arrests across Staten Island based on an investigation into two gang-related conspiracies, one centered on drug dealing and the other on guns, according to the office of Bridget G. Brennan, special narcotics prosecutor for New York City.
"This case reveals an inextricable link between narcotics trafficking and violence in New York City, and our response demonstrates our commitment to eradicating it," Brennan stated.
In August 2015, authorities launched a wiretap investigation into members of the West Brighton-based WB Savages gang, which operated under the direction of alleged ring leaders Jahiek Chunn, 32, and Travis Johnson, 20, the prosecutor’s office stated.
On September 28, 2015, Chunn was targeted in a shooting in which Yohance Eaton, 18, allegedly shot back at an individual shooting at Chunn, Brennan’s office stated.
"I started gonging at him … gong, gong, gong, gong, gong … he lucky he got away," Eaton described the shooting in a phone call recorded by authorities, who added that, on occasion, gang members posted photos of themselves holding weapons on social media.
On March 15, 2016, the prosecutor’s office said that Johnson and others led authorities on a car chase through West Brighton in which he was observed throwing over 15 grams of heroin from his vehicle.
Most recently, an April 8 tip led authorities to a Staten Island deli where Johnson and another individual were armed. As police attempted to make an arrest, the two men successfully fled, ditching their guns in the process, according to the prosecutor’s office, which added that intercepted phone calls eventually led police to recover the guns that had been tossed.
During Thursday’s arrests, authorities also conducted court-authorized searches of several Staten Island locations and seized numerous cellphones, according to the special prosecutor.