THE BRONX — Nearly two dozen suspected gang members who have terrorized part of the South Bronx with shootings, assaults and drug conspiracies over the last decade were arrested as part of a massive sweep Wednesday morning, officials said.
The 23 members of the Yung Gunnaz ("YGz") and 18 Park gangs were arrested in an effort to quell violence mainly near the Patterson Houses, on Third Avenue and East 141st Street, and the surrounding blocks, federal prosecutors said.
They were charged Wednesday along with 17 others who were already in custody at the time of the bust, and eight members who are still on the run, a spokesman for Manhattan U.S Attorney said.
In total, 48 members and associates of the two rival Bronx street gangs were charged in federal court for engaging in mayhems including murders, racketeering and drug dealing.
"Today’s charges incapacitate four dozen alleged gang members who have wreaked havoc on Bronx streets for years," Manhattan U.S Attorney Preet Bharara said after the arrests, commending the ATF, DEA and the NYPD for their work on this case.
Between 2005 and 2015, these gangs enriched themselves by committing robberies, selling drugs — including crack and heroin — and engaging in act of violence such as murders, according to Bharara's office.
The suspects, many of them in their 20s with nicknames like "Too Fly Tay," "Black Gums" and "Mills Gunna," mostly acted near the Patterson, Melrose and Mott Haven houses, according to court documents.
They are connected to at least three murders, 30 shootings and several stabbings, prosecutors charged.
In one episode, Wali “Guy Fisher” Burgos, a member of 18 Park, shot several times at a member of a rival crew, striking the victim’s cap and knocking it off his head. An accomplice held a nearby lobby door open so Burgos could get away, prosecutors said.
And in April 2012, a large group of YGz members, including defendant Wendell Belle — who went by "Delly Dell" — and William Bracey, "stomped to death Moises Lora a.k.a 'Noah,' a 16-year-old associate of a rival gang, in a courtyard in the Melrose Houses in the Bronx," prosecutors said.
The 48 suspects face charges for murder, robbery and narcotics and sentences including 20 years to life in prison.