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11 Brooklyn gang members arrested for alleged organized crime roles

These are some of the weapons seized in this arrest - the handgun on the left having a 50 round magazine. (Photo provided by US Attorney Eastern District).

Eleven members of the violent 5-9 Brims, a part of the Bloods street gang in Brooklyn, were arrested Tuesday and charged in a major racketeering case that involved drug dealing, murder, assaults and financial frauds, officials announced Tuesday.

The indictment revealed that the people arrested, all of whom are Brooklyn residents, were involved in a violent criminal enterprise that made money though selling drugs, financial scamming, and maintained their power though acts of violence and murder.

The violence included attacks on various people from opposing gangs and bartenders at a Queens bar that they believed showed disrespect.

One of the indicted suspects — Jeffrey Bush, 35 — is facing assault charges in Queens while serving as the “muscle” for actress/rapper Cardi B at a Queens nightclub back in 2018.

“The 5-9 Brims is a violent criminal organization that has terrorized residents of Brooklyn and Queens by committing brutal acts of violence in public places, trafficking narcotics on the streets and defrauding victims through financial schemes,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue for the Eastern District.

Among those involved in the investigations included Homeland Security Investigations, New York, the New York City Department of Investigation, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosive and the NYPD.

“These violent street gangs simply want to make money with as little effort as possible, which is why they’re venturing into unique criminal territory for gangs such as credit card fraud while maintaining their tried and true drug trafficking and murder activity,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.

Officials say the gang was responsible for many crimes in Brownsville, Bedford Stuyvesant and East New York, among other parts of the borough and in the city.

 “Today’s take-down highlights our relentless work in stopping the violence carried out by large, established gangs and their ruthless offshoots,” stated NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.

According to the indictment and other court filings, the 5-9 Brims is a set of the much larger Bloods street gang that operates in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and elsewhere. Gang members have committed acts of violence, including murder, robbery and assault, and engaged in drug-trafficking and fraud.

Between January 2012 and December 2019, the gang members committed crimes to further the interests of the gang, including earning money for the gang’s members, and enhancing the gang’s position with respect to rival criminal organizations.

During the charged period, the 5-9 Brims were feuding with a rival faction of the 5-9 Brims, known as the “Real Ryte,” whose members also operated in Brooklyn. The feud led to a series of violent confrontations and, as alleged in the indictment, during this period several members of the 5-9 Brims conspired to murder members of Real Ryte.

The indictment indicates that Marvin Pippins, 29, a purported 5-9 Brims member, allegedly shot and killed Sean Peart, a Real Ryte member, on Dec. 19, 2015 in broad daylight while the victim was sitting in his car in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

On Aug. 15, 2018, members of the 5-9 Brims carried out a violent assault against a bartender at Angels night club in Flushing, Queens, who had not shown proper respect for another member of the gang Yonette Respass,  who was serving a sentence in a federal prison at the time. Respass requested her younger female members, referred to as “drops,” to “pop that bottle” on the bartenders, stating “I want hands put on them. I don’t even want no talking.”

That night, Jeffrey Bush, 35, Louis Love, 29, Rodolfo Zambrano and three “drops” met at Angels where they lured one of their bartender targets across the bar. As members of the gang held her by the hair others beat her head and threw a bottle at her. Bush recorded the assault on his cell phone, and the video was sent to the gang member.

Throughout the period charged in the superseding indictment, members of the gang supplemented their illegal drug business by committing numerous financial frauds, including possession and use of stolen identities, fraudulent checks and access devices such as credit cards and bank account information.

Bush, Tyshawn Atkins, Louis Love,  Pippins, James Sease, Montel Shuemake and Rodolfo Zambrano are charged in the superseding indictment with racketeering conspiracy for agreeing to commit crimes on behalf of the gang, including drug trafficking, identification and access device fraud, as well as multiple acts involving murder.

Pippins is also charged with murder in-aid-of racketeering in a retaliatory act of gang-related violence for killing Sean Peart; Pippins, Sease and Shuemake are charged with conspiring to murder additional members of a rival faction of the gang. Bush, Love, Zambran Lane and Respass are charged with conspiracy to commit assault in-aid-of racketeering. A number of the defendants are variously charged with narcotics and firearms-related offenses.

Pippins is not in custody at this time and is being sought by law enforcement and is considered armed and dangerous, officials say. Two additional 5-9 Brims members, Jose Battle and Brian Jackson, were arrested on a complaint charging them with financial fraud.

The arrests cap the slew of arrests in multiple boroughs. On Jan. 28, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance flanked by NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison announced the arrest of five men through “Operation Stone Cold,” which looked to stun the operation of an “iron pipeline” of firearms between New York City and Georgia, authorities announced on Tuesday. Police displayed 43 firearms confiscated through the operation — including many handguns, several revolvers and two high-powered assault weapons, one of which was equipped with a tube launcher that could potentially fire explosive rounds – many of these weapons were destined by street gangs.

On Feb. 8, Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez announced that two gangs from Brooklyn who were said to be responsible for at least 13 shootings, homicides and other crimes, were charged in a 122-count indictment after cops arrested 34 members and seized 16 guns. On Feb. 13, State Attorney General Letitia James announced a gun and drug trafficking ring operating in the Bronx and Manhattan was crushed by a combined law enforcement effort that resulted in seizure of 16 firearms and 250 grams of heroin, officials revealed Thursday.

Nearly every person arrested in all these cases are being held without bail, officials say, because they represent “a danger to the community.”

(Left to right)Detective Brian McCloseky, Chief of Detective Rodney Harrison and District Attorney Cyrus Vance show off some of the weapons taken in Operation Stone Cold. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

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