East New York ‘Bamalife’ crew members nabbed for conspiracy, violent crimes, firearms
A 35-count, superseding indictment was unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn charging Darrius Sutton, also known as “Blizz Meecho”; Trava Selby, also known as “Stoney”; Andrew Simpson, also known was “Drewski”; Tyshawn Sumpter, also known as “GT”; Ronnie Warren, also known as “Bossman Horse”; and Corey Williams, also known as “Moncler Mellz,” with racketeering conspiracy, violent crimes in-aid-of racketeering, firearms offenses, drug-dealing and fraud.
As charged in the indictment, the defendants, most of whom are Brooklyn residents, were members and associates of a violent East New York gang called “Bamalife” that has ongoing and violent rivalries with other gangs in East New York and elsewhere in Brooklyn.
Simpson and Warren were arraigned Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara, EDNY. Selby, who is presently in New York State custody, and Sutton, Sumpter and Williams, who are already in federal custody on related charges, will be arraigned at a later date. During Simpson’s arrest in Edison, N.J., members of law enforcement recovered a Glock handgun with an extended ammunition clip from his pants.
The defendants are charged in connection with six non-fatal shootings in East New York and elsewhere in Brooklyn that wounded 12 individuals. The defendants allegedly financed their violent shooting spree through drug-dealing and various forms of fraud, including bank fraud and unemployment benefits fraud.
On Aug. 11, 2019, Sutton accosted a member of a rival gang after a party in East New York. According to the charges, Sutton demanded to know if the victim was a member of the rival gang and then began shooting and pursuing the intended victim as the victim attempted to flee. Sutton struck and seriously injured his intended target and also struck an innocent bystander in the leg.
On April 20, 2020, according to the charges, Sutton ambushed a male victim near 375 Sheffield Ave. in East New York. Surveillance video shows Sutton approaching the victim undetected from behind, drawing his weapon, firing several shots and striking the victim in the chest, thigh and wrist before fleeing the scene. After Sutton’s arrest on federal charges for this shooting, Warren took images of Sutton shooting his victim that were part of a court filing and posted them to Instagram with the message: “MY BOY GREAT.”
On May 16, 2020, according to the indictment. Sutton and Sumpter, together with others, shot and seriously injured a member of a rival gang in the vicinity of 2211 Pitkin Ave. in East New York. Surveillance video of the shooting shows two cars pulling up to a location approximately four blocks from the shooting. Sutton allegedly exited one of the cars and approached the building, where members of a rival gang are known to congregate, while Sumpter and other co-conspirators waited in the vehicle. Surveillance video from inside the building shows Sutton in the lobby holding a firearm. Moments later, the rival was shot in the courtyard.
On July 14, 2020, according to the indictment Sutton, Sumpter, and others opened fire on a member of a rival gang member in the vicinity of 620 Vermont Ave. Video surveillance footage of the shooting shows Sutton, Sumpter and others arriving at the scene in two cars. Sutton and Sumpter exited one of the vehicles and began shooting, striking the rival gang member and seriously injuring him.
As alleged in the indictment, on Feb. 6, 2021, Sumpter shot at a group of individuals outside a 6-year old’s birthday party in the vicinity of 1093 Putnam Ave. after a member of Bamalife had an altercation with the people at the party. Video surveillance footage shows Sumpter outside the entrance to the party as guests, including young children, were leaving. The surveillance footage shows a group of individuals running from the scene, with Sumpter chasing after them while firing several shots.
The indictment also charges that on Aug. 16, 2021, Simpson and at least two accomplices shot into a crowd outside of 927 DeKalb Ave., striking eight individuals. Video surveillance of the incident shows Simpson and his accomplices double-parking near the scene of the shooting, after which two of the conspirators approached the large crowd gathered in the courtyard and began firing.
In addition to the shooting incidents, from 2014 to the present, Sutton, Simpson, Sumpter and Williams allegedly conspired to murder members and associates of another East New York gang. Beginning in 2016, Sutton, Selby, Simpson, Warren and Williams conspired to murder John Doe 1, in part in retaliation for an incident in which Warren was shot. In the course of the conspiracy, Warren released a rap song and accompanying video in which Warren and other members of Bamalife can be heard shouting that John Doe 1 and his girlfriend are “going to die together.”
As charged in the indictment, members of Bamalife also earned money through illicit means, including various fraud schemes. In June 2019, Warren and Williams engaged in a scheme to create and deposit fraudulent checks drawn on bank accounts of unwitting victims. Warren and Williams used information from victims’ bank accounts to create fraudulent checks, which they deposited into the account of co-conspirators in order to obtain funds.
Williams bragged on social media about the proceeds of his fraud schemes. For example, on July 9, 2021, he posted the following to his Instagram account with the username “darealmonclermellz”: “I just spent 80k last week like it was nothing.”
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, FBI, New York Field Office; Jonathan Mellone, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, New York Region (DOL-OIG); and Keechant L. Sewell, Commissioner, NYPD, announced the arrests and charges.
“As alleged in the superseding indictment, the defendants wreaked havoc in East New York and nearby neighborhoods, with innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire as members of Bamalife carried out senseless violence directed against rival gangs,” said Peace. “This office, together with our law enforcement partners, are working tirelessly to protect our communities by dismantling criminal enterprises that are engines of a broad range of crimes, taking the violent gang members off the street and stopping the cycle of gun-related violence.”
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.
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