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DA Busts 12 Bushwick Gang Members For String of Turf War Shootings

By Gwynne Hogan | June 8, 2017 5:29pm
 Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced the conspiracy indictment on Thursday.
Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced the conspiracy indictment on Thursday.
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DNAinfo/Gwynne Hogan

BUSHWICK — A street crew quarreling with rivals over turf turned crowded neighborhood streets into a shooting gallery, sending innocent bystanders ducking for cover and wounding three in the crossfire in a string of shootings dating back to 2015, prosecutors charged.

Twelve members of the True Bosses Only Crew, a Bushwick-based gang who hold down territory east of Putman Street between Wyckoff Avenue and Broadway, are facing conspiracy, attempted murder and weapons charges in a 59-count indictment unsealed last week, prosecutors said Thursday, following a nearly year-long joint investigation with the NYPD's Gun Violence Suppression Unit.

The 12 accused gang members are thought to be behind a string of 10 shootings dating to July 2015, in which three innocent bystanders were shot — one woman was injured by shattering glass when a bullet pierced the window of an MTA bus a few inches from her head, and two other men narrowly escaped injury. Two rival gang members were also wounded in the gunfire, prosecutors said.

"They will fire their guns in the middle of the day next to young children," said Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, announcing the indictment to a crowd of reporters on Thursday. "They don't seem to care who's on the streets."

"We simply cannot tolerate this kind of brazen violence anywhere in Brooklyn," he said.

Most of shootings took place in the turf of rival crew Elm Street Piru who control parts of Bushwick bounded by Wyckoff Avenue and Broadway and by Dekalb and Gates avenues, prosecutors said, though one occurred in the Sumner Houses controlled by the 900 Crew and another happened in Ocean Hill run by the crew Loot, prosecutors said.

Combing Facebook pages of suspected gang members, they'd found members “spitting the block,” or posting pictures of themselves in the turf of rival crews shortly before or after shootings, Gonzalez said.

And some of the gun violence is believed to have been in retaliation for the 2013 killing of True Bosses Only crew member 22-year-old Bashiek Reddick, said Gonzalez. They'd intercepted communications between crew members who said "Do it for Bless," leading up to shootings, Gonzalez said.

No one had been charged for Reddick's death as of Thursday, prosecutors confirmed.

The string of shootings began on July 8, 2015 on Knickerbocker Avenue in front of Hi-Mango Market at 341 Knickerbocker Ave. at 9 p.m. where prosecutors said Hector Lleras, 26, fired shots across the street, missing the man he was aiming at, though a bullet pierced the window of a parked car nearly hitting a man sitting in the front seat.

Bed-Stuy resident Gilbert Arciliares, 22, is thought to be behind three of the shootings, where he hit three women and narrowly shot another woman, prosecutors said.

On Oct. 30, 2015 at 2:40 p.m., a bullet pierced the window of an MTA bus traveling on Wyckoff Avenue, narrowly missing a rider's head, Gonzalez said. The woman was scratched by the shattering glass from the window.

"If it was 20 minutes later all the kids would have been out of school and on that bus," Gonzalez said.

Arciliares struck again on Sept. 11,  2016, at 9:30 p.m. on Central Avenue, prosecutors said, where he shot two women who were walking by while aiming at members of the Elm Street Piru gang, prosecutors said.

The most recent shooting Arciliares is charged with, took place on March 1 at 4:20 p.m., where he shot a woman in the back while he was aiming at two Piru gang members who were riding bikes down Myrtle Ave. Arciliares, 22, fired shots down Myrtle Avenue. 

"That bullet is still inside her to this very day," Gonzalez said.

While making arrests, police and prosecutors confiscated seven guns, five of which they connected to 13 different shootings by ballistic evidence, police said.

While police have identified around 62 members of True Bosses Only Crew, the men arrested were thought to have direct involvement with the string of shootings, police said.

The men charged are between 17 and 25 years old and are from all over the borough and the city. Two men, whose names were not released, were awaiting arraignment as of Thursday, and another was still at large, prosecutors said.

Here are the men who face charges in "Operation New Boss"

►Carlos Lucas, 22, "Skrap" is charged with conspiracy. His attorney didn't return a request for comment immediately.

►Hector Lleras, 26, "Kash" from Fort Greene was charged with attempted assault, weapons and conspiracy charges, records show. A judge set bail at $1 million, which he did not post and he’s due back in court on Aug. 8. Information about his attorney was not immediately availably. His attorney didn't return a request for comment immediately.

►Gilbert Arciliares, 22, dubbed "Gilly," from Bed-Stuy is charged with attempted murder, assault, weapons and other charges. His Brooklyn Defender attorney Stuart Rubin declined to comment on the case. He’s being held at $1.5 million bail which he hadn't posted and was due back in court on Aug. 8.

►Patrick Tucker 25, from Canarsie nicknamed "Holly," was charged with weapons possession. A judge set bail at $1.5 million and he’s due back in court on July 13. His attorney declined to comment immediately.

►Tyrece Findlay, or "Preme" from the Bronx, is charged with criminal use of a firearm, attempted assault and weapons charges. A judge set bail for the 20-year-old at $1 million. He’s due back on July 13. His attorney didn't respond to a request for comment immediately.  

► Gravesend resident Malik Cherry, 20, known as "Euros" is charged with conspiracy, attempted assault and reckless endangerment. A judge set bail at $750,000 and he’s due back in court on July 13. His attorney Hermann Walz declined to immediately comment on the case.

►Anthony Gooding, 21, nicknamed "Gunna" of Bushwick, was charged with criminal use of a firearm, attempted murder and other charges. A judge set bail at  $100,000 he’s due back in court on Thursday. His attorney didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

► Yasin Shearin Yasin Shearin was charged with conspiracy, remanded due in court on July 13. His lawyer couldn't immediately be reached for comment. 

►Jamar Lovander "headache" 26 of Averne, Queens was charged with conspiracy. A judge set bail at $500,000, he's due back in court on July 13. His attorney didn't immediately return a request for comment.