EIGHT MEMBERS OF VIOLENT BRONX GANG CHARGED WITH RACKETEERING, MURDER, AND NARCOTICS TRAFFICKING

United States Attorney
Southern District of New York

SEPTEMBER 27, 2011

MANHATTAN U.S. ATTORNEY CHARGES
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, DELANO A. REID, the Acting
Special-Agent-in-Charge of the New York Division of the United
States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
(“ATF”), and RAYMOND W. KELLY, the Police Commissioner of the
City of New York (“NYPD”), announced today the unsealing of an
Indictment charging eight members of a violent narcotics
trafficking crew with racketeering, murder, attempted murder,
narcotics trafficking, firearms possession, and other violent
acts.
In a coordinated strike earlier today, approximately
100 officers and agents from the ATF, NYPD, and the United States
Marshals Service, arrested five of the charged defendants. Two
of the charged defendants were already in federal custody on
separate charges. One of the charged defendants is still being
sought. The five defendants taken into custody today, as well as
the two defendants already in custody, are expected to be
presented in Manhattan federal court later this afternoon. In
connection with these arrests, federal and local law enforcement
officers recovered, among other items, a loaded .45 caliber
firearm, crack cocaine, and marijuana.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said: “For far
too long, narcotics trafficking and the violence it spawns have
threatened this Bronx community. With today’s Indictment, we
have taken another significant step toward cleaning up this
neighborhood so that residents no longer feel like they are
putting their lives and the lives of their children in jeopardy
when they walk out their front doors. Our commitment to working
with our law enforcement partners to eliminate the scourge of
violent gangs from the streets of New York remains unrelenting.”
ATF Acting Special Agent-in-Charge DELANO A. REID said:
“Today’s arrests are law enforcement’s second strike against this
violent gang terrorizing the Melrose section of the Bronx and
their blatant disregard for life is evident as detailed in the
charges. We will continue to launch an attack against this armed
violent gang, its drug dealers and murderers in order to give
back the streets to the Courtlandt Avenue residents, and ATF will
remain focused and steadfast on targeting violent crime in New
York City.”
NYPD Commissioner RAYMOND W. KELLY said: “I want to
commend our detectives and federal partners who restored some
measure of safety and comfort to neighborhood residents by
identifying the nexus between guns and drugs in this case, and by
making arrests that curtailed the retaliatory violence among
competing crews that plagued Melrose.”
According to the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan
federal court:
Eight individuals were charged for their participation
in a racketeering enterprise based in the Courtlandt Avenue area
of the Bronx, New York, (“Courtlandt Avenue Crew”). The
Courtlandt Avenue Crew sold retail quantities of crack cocaine
and marijuana, and defended its narcotics-distribution territory
with violence and threats of violence.
As alleged in Count One of the Indictment, the
Courtlandt Avenue Crew preserved and protected its own power and
that of its members and associates through murder, attempted
murder, and other acts of violence. The intended victims of
these acts included rival narcotics traffickers, rival gang
members, and individuals suspected of cooperating with law
enforcement against members and associates of the Crew. Many
members of the Crew were also members of a gang called “God’s
Favorite Children.”
Two members of the Courtlandt Avenue Crew, JOSHUA
MEREGILDO and MELVIN COLON are charged with committing murders in
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aid of the Courtlandt Avenue Crew’s racketeering enterprise, and
in furtherance of its narcotics trafficking organization.
Specifically, MEREGILDO is charged with the murder of Carrel
Ogarro, which occurred on July 31, 2010, in the vicinity of 300
East 158 Street, Bronx, New York, and COLON is charged with the th
murder of Delquan Alston, which occurred on or about August 27,
2010, in the vicinity of 285 East 156 Street, Bronx, New York. th
Additionally, MEREGILDO and a third member of the Courtlandt
Avenue Crew, EARL PIERCE are charged with the attempted murder of
a rival drug dealer which occurred on September 13, 2010, in the
vicinity of 321 East 153 Street, Bronx, New York. MEREGILDO, rd
COLON, and PIERCE also face firearms charges related to each of
these acts of violence. All eight defendants are charged with
racketeering conspiracy, narcotics conspiracy, and possession of
firearms in furtherance of their narcotics conspiracy, including
a .22 caliber firearm, a .380 caliber firearm, a nine millimeter
firearm, and a .45 caliber firearm, among others.
* * *
This case is assigned to United States District Judge
WILLIAM H. PAULEY III.
The charges against each defendant and the
corresponding maximum potential penalties are contained in charts
attached to this press release.
Mr. BHARARA praised the outstanding investigative work
of the ATF and the NYPD. He also thanked the United States
Marshals Service for their assistance, and added that the
investigation is continuing.
The prosecution is being overseen by the Office’s
Violent Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys NOLA B.
HELLER and ADAM FEE are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely
accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and
until proven guilty.
11-293 ###
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U.S. v. Joshua Meregildo, et al.
Ct Charge Defendants Maximum Penalties
1 Racketeering JOSHUA MEREGILDO
MELVIN COLON
EARL PIERCE
Maximum term of life
in prison
2 Racketeering
conspiracy
JOSHUA MEREGILDO
MELVIN COLON
EARL PIERCE
NOLBERT MIRANDA
LEBITHAN GUZMAN
AUBREY PEMBERTON
FELIPE BLANDING
JAVON JONES
Maximum term of life
in prison
3 Conspiracy to
commit murder
in aid of
racketeering
JOSHUA MEREGILDO Maximum term of ten
years in prison
4 Murder in aid
of racketeering
JOSHUA MEREGILDO Death penalty or
mandatory term of
life in prison
5 Conspiracy to
commit murder
in aid of
racketeering
MELVIN COLON Maximum term of ten
years in prison
6 Murder in aid
of racketeering
MELVIN COLON Death penalty or
mandatory term of
life in prison
7 Conspiracy to
commit murder
in aid of
racketeering
JOSHUA MEREGILDO
EARL PIERCE
Maximum term of ten
years in prison
8 Assault and
attempted
murder in aid
of racketeering
JOSHUA MEREGILDO
EARL PIERCE
Maximum term of
twenty years in
prison
-4-
9 Narcotics
conspiracy
JOSHUA MEREGILDO
MELVIN COLON
EARL PIERCE
NOLBERT MIRANDA
LEBITHAN GUZMAN
AUBREY PEMBERTON
FELIPE BLANDING
JAVON JONES
Maximum term of life
in prison; mandatory
minimum term of ten
years in prison
10 Murder in
furtherance of
a drug crime
JOSHUA MEREGILDO Death penalty or
maximum of life in
prison; mandatory
minimum of twenty
years in prison
11 Murder in
furtherance of
a drug crime
MELVIN COLON Death penalty or
maximum of life in
prison; mandatory
minimum of twenty
years in prison
12 Use of firearm
in violent
crime resulting
in death
JOSHUA MEREGILDO Death penalty or
maximum of life in
prison
13 Use of firearm
in violent
crime resulting
in death
MELVIN COLON Death penalty or
maximum of life in
prison
14 Discharge of
firearm in
connection with
attempted
murder in aid
of racketeering
JOSHUA MEREGILDO
EARL PIERCE
Maximum of life in
prison; for
MEREGILDO, mandatory
minimum of twentyfive
years in prison
to be served
consecutively to any
other term imposed;
for PIERCE,
mandatory minimum of
ten years in prison
to be served
consecutively to any
other term imposed
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15 Use, carrying,
and possession
of firearms in
connection with
narcotics
conspiracy
JOSHUA MEREGILDO
MELVIN COLON
EARL PIERCE
NOLBERT MIRANDA
LEBITHAN GUZMAN
AUBREY PEMBERTON
FELIPE BLANDING
JAVON JONES
Maximum of life in
prison; for
MEREGILDO, COLON and
PIERCE, mandatory
minimum of twentyfive
years in prison
to be served
consecutively to any
other term imposed;
for all others,
mandatory minimum of
five years in prison
to be served
consecutively to any
other term imposed
Defendant Residence
JOSHUA MEREGILDO Bronx, New York
MELVIN COLON Bronx, New York
EARL PIERCE Bronx, New York
NOLBERT MIRANDA Bronx, New York
LEBITHAN GUZMAN Bronx, New York
AUBREY PEMBERTON Bronx, New York
FELIPE BLANDING Bronx, New York
JAVON JONES Bronx, New York
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