4 arrested in connection with Brighton Beach drug-related murder

'Short Man' may face long prison term

June 22, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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A federal grand jury sitting in Brooklyn on June 15 returned a 14-count superseding indictment charging Marcus Ricketts, also known as “Blaise,” and Mark Goulbourne, also known as “Short Man,” with causing death through the use of firearms in connection with a Dec. 3, 2021 murder in Brighton Beach. 

The superseding indictment, which was unsealed Tuesday night, also charges Ricketts, Mark Goulbourne and four additional defendants — Jonathan Goulbourne, also known as “Bobcat,” Romeo Desmond Jonas, also known as “Tee,” Chevonne Williams, also known as “Chevy,” and Amari Webber, also known as “Smooth”— with Hobbs Act robbery, drug trafficking and firearms offenses, and one defendant, Juvanie Crossgill, also known as “Geo,” with serving as an accessory to the murder. 

The defendants are members and associates of an armed robbery crew, operating since at least July 2020, targeting marijuana trafficking businesses in Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

Ricketts, Jonathan Goulbourne and Jonas are in custody and will be arraigned at a later date. Crossgill was arrested on June 15, 2022, arraigned the following day and released on bail. On Tuesday, Williams and Webber were arrested in Georgia and will be removed to the Eastern District of New York to make their initial appearances. Mark Goulbourne remains at large. 

On Dec. 2, 2021 into the early morning of Dec. 3, the defendants convened at an Airbnb in Brighton Beach, which had been rented for one night by the victim and his nephew, with several of the defendants posing as buyers in a wholesale marijuana transaction. 

On Dec. 3, shortly after midnight, the victim’s nephew and two male associates carried in four very large duffel bags of marijuana, approximately the size of hockey equipment bags. 

Two hours later, a shootout ensued, leaving the victim fatally wounded and his nephew with a gunshot wound to the leg. During the exchange of gunfire, Jonas was also shot in the abdomen. 

Mark Goulbourne and Ricketts fled the scene with firearms in hand, and Ricketts with one of the duffel bags, which he transported on the handlebars of a stolen Citi Bike. Mark Goulbourne retreated to a neighboring intersection, where he called his brother Jonathan, moments before entering an approaching car. 

This photo allegedly shows one of the defendants fleeing the scene with a duffel bag. Photo courtesy of U.S. Attorney’s Office

The car quickly reversed back up the street to the Airbnb. Mark Goulbourne ran to the door with a firearm still in hand and peered inside before re-entering the car, which sped away. 

Inside the Airbnb, the NYPD found the victim’s body and recovered two firearms, 15 shell casings, a money-counting machine, a vacuum-sealing machine, a bag containing real and counterfeit U.S. currency, and a duffel bag, inside of which were smaller, vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana. 

In the vicinity, the NYPD recovered two additional firearms, as well as two duffel bags, inside of which were smaller, vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana. The approximate weight of the marijuana recovered is 140 pounds. The fourth duffel bag was not recovered. 

Breon Peace, United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Michael J. Driscoll, assistant director-in-charge, FBI, New York Field Office; and Keechant L. Sewell, commissioner, NYPD, announced the arrests and charges. 

“As alleged, the defendants’ robbery and drug trafficking activity exploded into violence with three persons shot, one of them fatally, demonstrating the lethal combination of guns and narcotics plaguing our communities,” said United States Attorney Peace. 

“The violence plaguing the streets of our city must be addressed by stopping the violent criminals who are killing each other over illegal drugs. Innocent people are being harmed by these rivalries, and fear now dictates how we go about our lives. It has to stop,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll. 

“Today, New York City is safer because of the exceptional effort and steadfast dedication of everyone involved in this investigation and indictment,” said NYPD Commissioner Sewell. “The NYPD and our law enforcement partners remain focused on the small number of people who are responsible for the crime and disorder in our city, and we are working tirelessly to identify them and get them off our streets.”

If convicted, Ricketts, Mark Goulbourne, Jonathan Goulbourne and Jonas all face up to life imprisonment. Ricketts, Mark Goulbourne and Jonathan Goulbourne face mandatory minimum sentences of 17 years’ imprisonment, and Jonas faces a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment. Williams and Webber each face sentences of up to 20 years’ imprisonment, and Crossgill faces a sentence of up to 15 years’ imprisonment. 

The charges are the result of an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the FBI. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations.

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