Crackdown on the Crips with 8 indicted on racketeering and violent crimes
In a massive joint operation, law enforcement agencies have cracked down on a violent subset of the Crips street gang, the Insane Crip Gang (ICG), indicting eight members and associates on charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, firearms offenses, and fraud schemes.
The 59-count indictment unsealed in federal court on Thursday detailed the shocking violence and crime spree committed by the ICG in Hempstead, Long Island, from 2016 to 2022. The gang is accused of three murders, over a dozen shootings, and various other violent crimes, as well as defrauding the state unemployment system and COVID-19 relief programs.
“As of today, after three brutal murders, over a dozen shootings, hundreds of thousands of dollars of fraud, their chokehold of fear and violence over our community is finally over,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace.
The lengthy investigation and subsequent indictment reflect the extent of the ICG’s criminal activities. Akeem Chambers, one of the charged members, is alleged to have participated in over a dozen shootings and two homicides between 2020 and 2022. The indictment also highlights the November 19, 2016 murder of 19-year-old Joecephus Vanable in Hempstead, New York, by defendant Jonathan Vazquez.
The ICG’s criminal activities allegedly extended beyond violent crimes. Members and associates are accused of engaging in a wide array of fraud schemes to finance their operations and enrich themselves.
These schemes included defrauding state unemployment systems, the federal Covid-19 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), various forms of identity theft, and bank fraud. The frauds perpetrated by ICG members and associates netted the gang’s members and associates hundreds of thousands of dollars since early 2020. The ICG, for example, stole approximately $200,000 from the State of California by submitting fraudulent unemployment benefits applications.
The defendants regularly purchased and sold a wide array of firearms. The investigation linked a total of 26 guns to the defendants and their associates; 14 of the 26 guns were linked to multiple shootings committed by the defendants or other ICG members. Search warrants executed Thursday resulted in the recovery of a 9mm, fully-loaded semiautomatic pistol, and a .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol with an extended magazine and additional ammunition.
Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly commented on the difficulty of dismantling gang networks.“This Crips faction has wreaked havoc in the Hempstead area for nearly a decade, killing perceived rivals and innocent bystanders alike,” Donnelly said. She also emphasized the gang’s use of social media for recruitment and celebrating their violence.
If convicted, six of the defendants face up to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, while one defendant faces up to 20 years imprisonment.
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