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Reputed MacBallas gang members charged with terrorizing Bronx neighborhoods

The federal charges were a signal that police and federal prosecutors were teaming up to crack down on gangs, particularly in the Bronx.

Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea announces charges against

Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea announces charges against 20 reputed members of the MacBallas street gang. Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin

In the wake of recent gang bloodshed in the Bronx, federal drug agents and NYPD detectives Wednesday charged 20 reputed members of the MacBallas street gang with terrorizing the neighborhoods around public housing in the Melrose section.

A racketeering indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court alleged that the gang — an offshoot of the Bloods — carried out over a seven-year period one murder, a dozen nonfatal shootings and pushed crack cocaine in the areas of the Andrew Jackson and Melrose housing projects.

Two of the defendants, Deandre Morrison and Nathaniel Fludd, were accused of the 2011 murder of Daniel Delgado and could face the federal death penalty if convicted, officials said.

“This is a ruthless, violent gang that controlled their turf, whether it’s other gang members or anyone else, that wanted to take what they had,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said at a news conference announcing the charges.

Shea said that detectives used social media postings, NYPD gang databases and videos to piece together evidence, which federal prosecutors were able to use to secure the indictment.

It was not known Wednesday what attorneys are representing the suspects.

The federal charges were another signal that police and federal prosecutors were teaming up to crack down on gangs, particularly in the Bronx where murders are up about 100 percent in 2018 over the same period a year ago.

“The Bronx, we are having a bit of a difficult time right now,” Shea said. “It is a little bit of everything. We are seeing an increase in domestic homicides, some increase in gang activities regarding homicides.”

Earlier this month, police and federal officials arrested a reputed member of the Trinitarios gang, a Dominican crime group, in connection with a June 18 assault on the Bronx River Parkway of a 14-year-old boy who was repeatedly stabbed and almost died.

The MacBallas gang case took months of investigation and involved federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents, as well as detectives from the Bronx narcotics squad, officials said. Twelve suspects were arrested Wednesday. Three others were already in federal custody and two in state jails.

Shea said that the MacBallas gang was in constant conflict with other gangs. Investigators said the crew fought with other Bloods offshoots but they did not appear to come in conflict with the emerging Trinitarios, whose members are believed by police to have brutally stabbed and killed 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz on June 20. A funeral was held Wednesday for the teenager, who reportedly was targeted in a case of mistaken identity.

Shea said that there was a Trinitarios link between the killing of Guzman-Feliz and the June 18 stabbing of the 14-year-old on the Bronx River Parkway, but he wouldn’t elaborate. He said that a recent stabbing on Manhattan’s East Side during a robbery was also linked to the Trinitarios.

In the MacBallas case, Fludd and Morrison were both accused in the indictment of murdering Delgado on Aug. 1, 2011. News reports said that Delgado, allegedly a rival gang member, was shot and killed in front an apartment building on 153rd Street.

Law enforcement sources said both Fludd and Morrison stood trial in the Bronx for the murder but were acquitted. But under federal law, suspects can be charged in a racketeering case with the same murder allegation as part of the overall conspiracy.

Federal officials said Fludd is serving up to 15 years in federal prison on a different racketeering case while Morrison is in state custody in Pennsylvania. Neither appeared in court Wednesday.

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