Three Brooklyn gang members from Coney Island plead guilty to racketeering conspiracy involving participation in murder

September 27, 2019 Jaime DeJesus
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CONEY ISLAND — Three Brooklyn men associated with Coney Island-based gang West End Enterprise have pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy in connection to the murder of Antwon Flowers, the United States attorney has announced.

Detailed in the superseding indictment, other public court filings and statements in court, the defendants, 28-year-old Tysheen Cooper, 33-year-old Michael Liburd and 30-year-old Maurice Washington, were members of the street gang comprised of people residing in and around the Sea Rise Apartments, the Gravesend Houses and Surfside Gardens, also known as the “Mermaid Houses.

The U.S. attorney said the gang committed various criminal acts, including narcotics distribution, robbery, extortion and murder between 2011 and October 2017. Then, on January 17, 2016, the three agreed to murder Flowers in retaliation for what they believed was his role in setting up the killing of a West End Enterprise leader the previous day.

Surveillance video showed that Liburd and Cooper followed Flowers as he walked out of the Mermaid Houses. They then took out guns and shot at Flowers, with Liburd’s shot striking Flowers in the head and killing him. Liburd and Cooper fled in a getaway car that Washington had parked nearby.

“Families living in apartment buildings and public housing deserve to feel as safe, and to be as safe, as those living in mansions,” said United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard Donoghue. “We and our law enforcement partners will continue to prosecute gang members who inflict mindless violence not only on one another, but on the community.”

Also making the announcement were Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney, Jr., and New York City Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime.

The guilty pleas were entered on Tuesday, Sept. 24 and Wednesday, Sept. 25.

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