Twenty alleged gang members have been indicted and law enforcement recovered some 18 firearms in a massive investigation that the Bronx district attorney announced Thursday.
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark joined top police officials to reveal the culmination of a 10-month investigation that resulted in the mass takedown of alleged G-side — also known as Drilly — gang members.
A subset of the Bloods Sex Money Murder gang and dubbed by police as the “worst of the worst,” Clark believes they are responsible for various brutal crimes, including murder, a slew of shootings, and stabbings. Rounding out the number to about 32 acts of violence over the past three years between September 2018 to March 15, 2022.
“They terrorized the residents of the Fordham/Bedford Park neighborhoods who were forced to run for their lives as the bullets flew through the air,” Clark said. “Six defendants, including two who were teens at the time, shot a 24-year-old James Rivera multiple times and one defendant allegedly attempted to stab him when he fell to the ground. Rivera died of the gunshot wound to his back.”
Many of these alleged gang members bragged about their crimes over social media and through video sharing websites such as YouTube.
While discussing the crackdown, Chief of Detectives James Essig referenced the hail of bullets that has been raining over the city during the last several weeks, including the deaths of a 61-year-old woman and a 12-year-old child.
“So, and we’ve seen the consequences of somebody firing a gun in New York City. You know, people live in fear right now. We’ve had innocent children shot, injured and killed recently. We had a 61-year-old female who was doing nothing but shopping in a store, a victim of gun violence,” Essig said.
Among the 18 guns recovered one was a ghost gun, a firearm that is created without serial numbers and is exceedingly more difficult to trace. But how effective is a takedown like this in curbing the violence?
According to Jason Savino, the Commanding Officer of the NYPD Gun Violence Suppression Division, during peak violent periods, such as the summer, shootings reduce significantly after takedowns such as these.
“So, last summer, between the months of May and late August, the gun violence suppression team initiated seven takedowns resulting in the apprehension of over 110 subjects, tremendous amount. When you look at those subjects, virtually every single one of them pulled the trigger, quite possibly more than once. Yes, with the effects we saw in July and August. You asked for the effects, we saw in July and August the heart of the summer, traditionally very violent months, violence dropped. And it was one of the few times we saw that last year. And we attributed it to the work embedded in those takedowns,” Savino told amNewYork Metro.
With 20 individuals–including 4 adolescent offenders–and 18 guns now in police hands, Savino has a message for other gang members.
“To all of our gangbangers out there: If you are the worst of the worst, if you recklessly engage in violence, and endanger our communities, if you’re one of those precious few that make daily life of our great people uncomfortable, dangerous, and really feel no remorse about it. I suggest you shake up and shape up,” Savino said.