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Brooklyn gang members plead guilty to murders, other charges

December 16, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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On Wednesday, in Eastern District federal court in Central Islip, Dylan Cruz and Richard Michel, members of the Red Lane Gorillas set of the Bloods street gang, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert to racketeering charges.  

Cruz admitted his roles in two murders committed on Long Island, an attempted murder and conspiring to murder rival gang members in Brooklyn.  Both defendants live in Brooklyn.

Michel admitted his role in a murder committed with Cruz, a kidnapping and an attempted murder of a disloyal Bloods member.  When sentenced, Cruz and Michel each face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. 

According to statements made by the defendants at the guilty plea proceedings, Cruz and Michel, along with other members of the Red Lane Gorillas, engaged in a violent gang war against rival gangs, including the Crips and the 5-9 Brims set of the Bloods, in Nassau County and Brooklyn.  Additionally, Cruz and Michel engaged in extreme violence against anyone suspected of disloyalty or disrespecting their gang.

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Cruz and Michel admitted their roles in the July 15, 2012 murder of Anthony Richard, who they wrongly suspected of assisting the Crips in the 2010 murder of a member of their gang.  

Cruz and Michel, together with fellow gang members and associates to locate the victim, obtained a firearm and followed the victim’s vehicle to Baldwin Harbor, Long Island.  

When Richard victim parked his vehicle, Cruz left the vehicle he was travelling in, walked up to the victim’s car and fired approximately 15 shots into the victim’s vehicle at close range.  Richard was killed and a passenger in the vehicle was wounded.  

In addition, Cruz admitted to Nov. 17, 2010 shooting of a rival gang member in Roosevelt, Long Island, as well as conspiring to kill members of the 5-9 Brims, including the Feb. 20, 2016 shooting of a rival gang member in Queens.  

Michel also admitted to the Oct. 13, 2011 kidnapping and assault of a gang member in Hempstead, Long Island, and the Sept. 9, 2016 attempted murder of a disloyal fellow Bloods member in Uniondale, New York.

Cruz also admitted to committing the Oct. 15, 2014 murder of Ehrik Williams in Hempstead, Long Island.  Cruz wrongly believed that Williams had robbed an associate of his.  Cruz walked up behind Williams in broad daylight and fired multiple shots at him, killing him.

Breon Peace, United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Michael J. Driscoll, assistant director-in-charge, FBI New York Field Office; Patrick J. Ryder, commissioner, Nassau County Police Department; and Dermot F. Shea, commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the guilty pleas. 

“With today’s guilty pleas, the defendants have admitted their involvement in a slew of senseless violent crimes, including murders, committed in furtherance of a criminal enterprise, the Bloods gang,” said United States Attorney Peace.  

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  As part of the program, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and their local communities to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

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