NEW YORK, April 28 (UPI) — Some 120 alleged gang members were arrested on charges that included racketeering, drug dealing and firearms offenses in what is being called the largest gang takedown in the city’s history.
Alleged members from two rival gangs in the Bronx — 2Fly YGz and Big Money Bosses — were arrested during raids Wednesday after a multi-year operation to stop street violence.
The operation was a joint effort of the New York Police Department, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Department of Homeland Security, Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“Today, we seek to eviscerate two violent street gangs – 2Fly and BMB – that have allegedly wreaked havoc on the streets of the Northern Bronx for years, by committing countless acts of violence against rival gang members and innocents alike,” Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said.
“We bring these charges today so that all New Yorkers, including those in or near [New York City Housing Authority] public housing, can live their lives as they deserve: free of drugs, free of guns, and free of gang violence. ”
Investigators said 57 members of 2Fly, affiliated with the national Young Gunnaz gang, were arrested. The group is based in the Bronx and allegedly operates out of the Eastchester Gardens housing development.
Prosecutors said members primarily sell marijuana and crack cocaine, but also powder cocaine and prescription pills such as oxycodone. Members stored guns at the housing development’s playground or in nearby apartments or cars, authorities said.
Another 63 members of Big Money Bosses, a subset of Young Bosses, were also arrested, investigators said. The organization primarily operates on White Plains Road from 215th Street to 233rd Street in the Bronx, a long stretch of road bordered by single-family homes near schools and playgrounds.
The gang’s narcotics operations ran an open-air drug spot that is referred to by gang members as the “Forts.”
Prosecutors said gang members were responsible for two deaths in the Bronx: Alex Walters in 2012 and Donville Simpson in 2013, both 17. The BMB gang has also been linked to the death of 92-year-old Sadie Mitchell, killed in her home by a stray bullet in 2009.
“The gangs of New York have returned to open air drug markets; brazenly selling marijuana, crack cocaine, powder cocaine and prescription pain medication to drug users in neighborhood parks, abandoned houses, and playgrounds, DEA Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt said.
“A decade-long rivalry between two of the Bronx’s most violent gangs has resulted in drug related violence, fatal stray bullets and daily intimidation felt by the law abiding residents living in their crosshairs.
“Law enforcement has come together again to identify and dismantle these gangs that have plagued our community for too long.”