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13 Gang Members Indicted in Deadly Uptown Turf War, DA Says

 A fatal shooting in Washington Heights last year was revenge for a previous killing, prosecutors said.
A fatal shooting in Washington Heights last year was revenge for a previous killing, prosecutors said.
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Flickr/s_falkow

MANHATTAN — Dozens of gang members were indicted Thursday for engaging in a "bloody feud" with rivals while seeking to avenge the death of a Harlem teen, leading to a fatal shooting last year in Washington Heights, prosecutors said.

Thirteen members of the two allied gangs — known on the streets as “Fast Money” and “Nine Block” — were charged with 83 crimes including second-degree murder, attempted murder, several conspiracy charges and weapons charges, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said.

The individuals were involved in a slew of violent incidents dating back to June 2015, including eight shootings, three slashings and stabbings, and two gunpoint robberies, among other crimes, authorities said.  

The two gangs were seeking revenge for the death of Jordan Barber, 18, who was fatally shot at a basketball tournament in June 2015 outside the Polo Grounds Houses, prosecutors said. Barber was shot in the neck while trying to break up a clash between rivals.  

The gangs were also pushing to “assert their dominance” over turf, with their territories  stretching from West 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard to near West 160th Street and Harlem River Drive, prosecutors said. “Fast Money” operated out of the Polo Grounds Towers while “Nine Blocks” operated out of the Rangel Houses.

Prosecutors said the two gangs engaged in a “bloody rivalry” with members of the “2 Deep” gang, based out of Harlem’s Drew-Hamilton Houses; the “OYG” gang, whose turf is based on Amsterdam Avenue between West 151st and 160th Streets, as well as East Harlem’s AK Houses and the West Harlem's Grant Houses. Officials previously charged members of those gangs.

Tavares "Tay Balla" Gaston, 19, Tyreke "Slo Mo" Singleton, 18, and Marques "Geachy" McGeachy, 18, were singled out on the murder and attempted-murder charges related to the shooting death of 41-year-old Dejon McInnis in Washington Heights last year.

Singleton and Tavares shot McInnis in the leg outside of 500 W. 157th St. on April 15, 2016, police said. The bullet that hit McInnis possibly struck an artery, police said.

The other individuals indicted were Andrew "Ace" Abdullah, 20, Amair "Audi" Bland, 20, John "Water" Delgado, 22, Shawn "Shomntey" Folks, 19, Christopher "Chris Cash" Holloway, 24, Devante "Pop" Howard, 21, Taivon "Tay" Johnson, 16, Khalif "Leaf" Ortiz, 23, Messiah "Siah" Ortiz, 20, and Matthew "Matt" Soto, 16.

“The numerous shootings, assaults, and robberies alleged in this indictment illustrate the deadly, downward spiral of retaliatory gang violence,” Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance said.

“No one was safe from the defendants’ attempts to exact revenge and assert their dominance, including innocent bystanders and NYCHA residents with no involvement in gang activity.”