Six members of a Brooklyn-based gang were arrested on a slew of charges related to multiple shootings and racketeering, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Brooklyn residents Darrius Sutton, 24, also known as “Blizz Meecho,” Trava Selby, 27, also known as “Stoney,” Andrew Simpson, 24, also known as “Drewski,” Tyshawn Sumpter, 28, also known as “GT,” as well as Hoboken, NJ resident Ronnie Warren, 25, also known as “Bossman Horse,” and Rembert, SC resident Corey Williams, 27, also known as “Moncler Mellz,” were charged with racketeering conspiracy, violent crimes in-aid-of racketeering—including attempted murder and murder conspiracy—firearms offenses, drug dealing and fraud.
According to the indictment, the defendants are alleged members and associates of a violent East New York gang called “Bamalife,” which has ongoing and violent rivalries with other gangs in East New York and elsewhere in Brooklyn. Simpson and Warren were arrested on April 26 and will be arraigned later in the afternoon, while Bulsara. 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, members of law enforcement allegedly recovered a Glock handgun with an extended ammunition clip from the defendant’s pants.
“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,” stated United States Attorney Breon 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.”
“Today’s charges further illustrate our unwavering commitment to dismantling violent gangs while taking illegal guns off our streets,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “We use every resource available to keep our neighborhoods safe, and any person who puts New Yorkers at risk must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the FBI’s New York Field Office, the Office of the Inspector General’s New York Regional Office, and all the investigators involved in this important case.”
The defendants are charged for their alleged roles in six non-fatal shootings in East New York and elsewhere in Brooklyn that left 12 people injured. In each incident, the defendants allegedly financed their violent shooting spree through drug dealing and various forms of fraud, including bank fraud and unemployment benefits fraud.
The first incident took place on Aug. 11, 2019. On this date, Sutton allegedly accosted a member of a rival gang after a party in East New York. He allegedly 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 allegedly struck and seriously injured his intended target and also struck an innocent bystander in the leg.
Next, on April 20, 2020, Sutton allegedly ambushed a man in the vicinity of 375 Sheffield Avenue. Surveillance footage allegedly 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. Following Sutton’s arrest for this shooting, Warren allegedly took images of Sutton shooting his victim and posted them to Instagram with the message: “MY BOY GREAT.”
One month later on May 16, 2020, Sutton and Sumpter, with others, allegedly shot and seriously injured a member of a rival gang near 2211 Pitkin Avenue. Surveillance video of the shooting allegedly shows two cars pulling up to a location approximately four blocks from the shooting. The video allegedly shows Sutton exiting one of the cars and approaching 2211 Pitkin Avenue, where members of a rival gang are known to congregate, while Sumpter and other coconspirators waited in the vehicle. Sutton is allegedly seen entering the building lobby with a firearm, and shooting the rival in the courtyard of 2211 Pitkin Avenue before running back to the waiting vehicles, and fleeing the scene.
Later that summer, on July 14, 2020, Sutton, Sumpter, and others allegedly opened fire on a member of a rival gang member in the vicinity of 620 Vermont Avenue. Surveillance footage allegedly shows Sutton, Sumpter and others arrive in two cars, and Sutton and Sumpter exited one of the vehicles and began shooting, striking the rival gang member and seriously injuring him. Sutton, Sumpter, and several other individuals then allegedly ran back to the waiting vehicles, which sped off.
Nest, on Feb. 6, 6, 2021, Sumpter allegedly shot at a group of individuals outside a six-year-old’s birthday party in the vicinity of 1093 Putnam Avenue after a member of Bamalife had an altercation with those individuals at the party. Video surveillance footage allegedly shows Sumpter outside the entrance to the party as guests, including young children, were leaving, and a group of individuals running from the scene and shows Sumpter chasing after them while firing several shots. Following the shooting, Sumpter allegedly fled in a waiting vehicle.
Later that year on Aug. 16, 2021, Simpson and at least two accomplices allegedly shot into a crowd outside of 927 Dekalb Avenue in Brooklyn, striking eight individuals. Video surveillance of the incident allegedly shows Simpson and his accomplices double-park near the scene of the shooting, after which two of the conspirators approached the large crowd gathered in the courtyard and began firing. The shooters then allegedly returned to the waiting vehicle and sped off.
“Gang members and their rivals aren’t the only ones affected by the hostility they inflict upon themselves. In this case specifically, as we allege, the defendants’ activity threatened the safety and security of the residents of East New York, who deserve to walk their streets without the fear of violence. Today’s charges should send a message that the FBI remains committed to strengthening our communities by eliminating this type of illegal activity.” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael J. Driscoll.
In addition to the shootings, from 2014 to the present Sutton, Simpson, Sumpter and Williams allegedly conspired to murder members and associates of another East New York-based gang. Beginning in 2016, Sutton, Selby, Simpson, Warren and Williams allegedly 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 allegedly 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.”
The defendants are also facing charges regarding bank fraud. Members of the Bamalife gang allegedly earned illicit means, including various fraud schemes. June 2019, Warren and Williams allegedly engaged in a scheme to create and deposit fraudulent checks drawn on bank accounts of unwitting victims, and 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 allegedly bragged on social media about the proceeds of his fraud schemes, allegeldy posting on July 9, 2021 to his Instagram account with the username “darealmonclermellz”: “I just spent 80k last week like it was nothing.”
“The Unemployment Insurance Program exists to provide needed assistance to qualified individuals who are unemployed due to no fault of their own. Fraud against the Unemployment Insurance Program distracts state workforce agencies from ensuring benefits go to individuals who are eligible to receive them. The Office of Inspector General will continue to work closely with our many law enforcement partners to investigate those who exploit the Unemployment Insurance Program,” stated DOL-OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Jonathan Mellone.