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31 Poughkeepsie Rival Gang Members, Associates Face Murder, Other Charges

Half of the gang members will be arraigned in White Plains Federal Court on Thursday afternoon.
Half of the gang members will be arraigned in White Plains Federal Court on Thursday afternoon. Photo Credit: File

Members and associates of two rival Dutchess County street gangs have been charged in federal court with multiple felonies that include murder, racketeering, drug and firearms offenses.

The unsealing of two indictments charging a total of 31 men from the two street gangs that operate out of Poughkeepsie were announced by Joon Kim, the acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The indictment came about following a joint investigation by the FBI’s Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force, the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department, Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office and the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office into the gang war between “Uptown” and “Downtown” gangs in the city, which led to multiple shootings - some fatal - in the past five years.

Kim stated that “Uptown” is a criminal organization whose members referred to themselves by many names, including the “Spready Gang,” “400 Savages,” the “Boogotti Boys and the “Mob Stars.” They are based in the eastern part of Poughkeepsie, east of Hamilton Street. They reportedly control the narcotics trade within the Hudson Gardens housing development and have committed crimes to protect that enterprise.

“Downtown” has been known as “420 Boys,” “L-Block,” “Most Hated,” “Hamo Gang,” the “C-Eazy Gang” and the “Bully Hard Hunna” faction of the BLoods street gang. Their base of operations was located in the western portion of Poughkeepsie, west of Hamilton Street to the Hudson River, particularly within the Martin Luther King and Rip Van Winkle housing developments, where they reportedly controlled the narcotics trade in the area, distributing heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana, and firearms.

According to Kim, “in addition to the countless non-fatal acts of violence against rival gang members and innocent victims,” the rivalry between the two competing gangs led to the murder of 16-year-old Daquell “Hamo” LeBlanc in 2012 and 18-year-old Caval Haylett, who was an innocent bystander struck by a stray gunshot to the head in 2016.

“As alleged in the indictments unsealed today, two violent Poughkeepsie street gangs have been at war with each other for the last several years,” Kim stated. “Their war has left in its wake a bloody trail of tragedy – alleged murders, attempted murders, shootings, and rampant drug dealing.

“One of the innocent victims of this alleged gang war was Caval Haylett, an 18-year-old basketball star whose bright future and promise was extinguished in a hail of senseless gunfire.  With today’s charges and arrests, we seek to dismantle these gangs from the top down, and together with our federal and local law enforcement partners, we seek to stem the tide of gun violence and drug dealing in Poughkeepsie.  When gangs flourish, neighborhoods suffer, parents grieve, and children die; it is as simple as that.  And we will not sit by and let that happen.”

The “Uptown” defendants are scheduled to be presented in Manhattan federal court later this afternoon, while members of the “Downtown” gang will be presented in White Plains federal court. Eighteen are in custody on state charges and will be transferred to federal custody on Friday.

The charges the suspects face include racketeering conspiracy, murder in the aid of racketeering, firearms offenses and narcotics conspiracy. The gang members are facing a term of no less than 20 years to life in prison.

Those charged with murder in the death of Owens are Markel Green, Raheim Miller, Nicholas Harris, Dimetri Moseley and Jahquez Hill. Those charged with attempted murder on Johnson are Tyreck Douglas, Markus Anderson and Gordon Riddick.

Others implicated on various other charges are Rashmi Ruparella, Jihad Williams, Christian Plades, Ashanti Bunn, Rayshawn Casanova, Nicholas Harper, Carlos Ocasio, Kawmene Williams, Glorious Landum, Rakee Johnson, Jahquez Coleman, Chevez Derello, Leonard Derello, Corey Latimer and Antoinne McKinnon.

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