Brooklyn gang members, associates charged with multiple shootings, firearms offenses
A 20-count superseding indictment was unsealed on Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn charging Oluwagbenga Agoro, Lorenzo Bailey, Quincy Battice, Davon Brown, Hans Destine, Jean Fremont, Ricardo Hepburn, McKoy Lima, Triston Lawrence, Deryck Thompson and Michael Williams with violent crimes in-aid-of racketeering — including attempted murder and related firearms offenses.
As alleged in the indictment, the defendants are members and associates of the Folk Nation Gangster Disciples, also known as “GD.”
Bailey, Destine, Fremont, and Thompson are leaders of the No Love City (“NLC”) subset of GD, with Destine and Fremont serving on NLC’s five-member “Steering Committee” — its top leadership.
Additionally, during the execution of search warrants Tuesday morning, investigators recovered three firearms at Destine’s residence, one firearm at Lawrence’s residence, one from Thompson’s residence and one from Bailey’s residence in Georgia.
Destine, Fremont, Hepburn, Lawrence, Lima, Thompson and Williams were arrested Tuesday morning in Brooklyn and were arraigned Tuesday afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara. Bailey and Battice were arrested in Atlanta, Georgia, and are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Catherine M. Salinas at the federal courthouse in Atlanta. Agoro and Brown were already in federal custody on prior charges and are scheduled to be arraigned at a later date.
As alleged in the indictment and other court filings, the charges relate to seven non-fatal shootings committed in Brooklyn over the course of 2020 in which six individuals were wounded.
The March 14, 2020 Shooting
As alleged, on March 14, 2020, Brown was involved in the shooting of a victim for perceived disrespect towards GD. An individual with the victim threw a drink inside the Gold Room Restaurant and Lounge in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, splashing a person standing with Brown. An argument ensued, and the victim, a Crips gang member, flashed a gang sign known as “dropping the rake” — a gesture intended to be insulting to GD. The argument continued outside the bar, where Brown displayed a gun and fired a shot into the air. Brown then allegedly handed the gun to a co-conspirator who walked behind the victim and shot the victim in the buttocks at close range.
The July 24, 2020 Shooting–>
As alleged, on July 24, 2020, Michael Williams was involved in the shooting of two individuals in Prospect Park South. On the previous evening, a member of GD had been shot, and Williams and others took him to the hospital. After leaving the hospital, Williams and other members of GD retaliated against the Crips gang by driving to an area of Brooklyn they believed to be Crips territory, Williams and another gunman allegedly opened fire into a crowd of people, wounding two victims in the knee and chest.
The August 2, 2020 Shooting
On August 2, 2020, Lawrence allegedly shot at a Crips gang member in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Prior to the shooting, the intended target of the shooting had been walking through a part of Prospect-Lefferts Gardens known as GD territory while broadcasting himself on Instagram Live mocking GD. Immediately after the shooting, Lawrence sent an encrypted message to Brown using the Telegram encrypted application stating that he had just “boomed at” the intended target.
The November 2020 Shootings
As alleged, on Nov. 7 and 9, 2020, Agoro, Bailey, Battice, Destine, Fremont, Hepburn, Lima and Thompson engaged in four separate drive-by shootings in Canarsie, Prospect Park South and Brownsville, during which three victims were wounded. In the first Nov. 7 shooting, Agoro, Bailey, Battice, Fremont and Thompson drove to Canarsie, where they shot at a group of individuals. The defendants then drove back to Thompson’s residence before setting out again for a second shooting in Canarsie, during which two individuals were wounded in their legs. On Nov. 9, 2020, Agoro, Destine, Hepburn and Thompson drove to Prospect Park South, where they shot at a group of individuals but did not hit anyone. Later that same day, Agoro, Fremont, Hepburn, Lima and Thompson drove to Brownsville for another shooting, where one victim was shot in the shoulder and grazed in her back.
“As the indictment makes clear, violent street gangs like the Folk Nation Gangster Disciples can commit a shocking amount of violence and inflict a tremendous amount of harm, which endangers entire communities if left unchecked,” stated Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District Jacquelyn Kasulis. “This office and its federal, state and local law enforcement partners will spare no effort in targeting and prosecuting violent individuals and street gangs that intentionally wreak havoc in our communities by possessing and wantonly discharging loaded weapons with no regard for human life.”
“This important takedown is part of our multi-pronged and ongoing strategy of focusing on the most violent offenders in our community, who are largely responsible for the surge in shootings we experienced last summer. With today’s arrests, leaders of a dangerous street gang have been incapacitated, which I believe will have a positive impact on public safety in Brooklyn,” said Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
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