FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Twenty-One Alleged Members of Violent Folk Nation Street Gang
Indicted in Connection with Conspiracy to Possess Weapons,
Commit Murder of Rivals
Defendants Allegedly Plotted to Shoot Rivals in Flatbush, East Flatbush and Canarsie,
Two Individuals Shot and Killed, Four Others Shot and Injured
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, today announced that 21 alleged members of two subsets of the violent Folk Nation street gang have been variously charged in a 65-count indictment with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, robbery, weapons possession and other charges in connection with multiple shootings throughout Brooklyn that left two young men dead and four others injured.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “These defendants allegedly terrorized the streets of Brooklyn by opening fire on perceived rivals and recklessly firing their guns – including in broad daylight – endangering innocent bystanders. In one instance, an innocent 15-year-old boy was killed when he was mistaken for a rival gang member. Investigations such as this that target the drivers of crime reflect our commitment to fighting gun violence and holding accountable gang members who take part in these senseless shootings. We believe these kinds of cases are a reason why Brooklyn is the only borough where shootings are down this year.”
Commissioner O’Neill said, “This group posed a significant threat to the members of our community and were known to be involved in serious criminal activity including attempted murder, illegal guns and robberies. The outcome of this investigation is testament to the dedicated investigators of our department and its law enforcement partners.”
The District Attorney said that 19 of the defendants were arraigned before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Martin Murphy last week on a 65-count indictment in which they are variously charged with second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, first-, second-, third- and fourth-degree conspiracy, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree criminal use of a weapon, first-degree reckless endangerment and related charges. They face various penalties, depending on their age and the charges, ranging from probation to 25 years to life in prison. (See defendant addendum).
The District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, the defendants, whose ages range from 17 to 41 years old, and include a father and his two sons, are members of two subsets of the violent Folk Nation street gang. The subsets are known as Super Rich Kids, a.k.a., Street Rich Kartel (SRK-Folk) and Newkirk (Newkirk-Folk) and operate primarily in and around the East Flatbush and Flatbush sections of Brooklyn.
Over the course of the conspiracy, which ran from July 21, 2016 to June 27, 2019, the defendants variously allegedly agreed to commit crimes, including murder, assault, weapons possession and various other crimes to establish and maintain their dominance, according to the indictment, and feuded with rival gangs from East Flatbush and Flatbush, as well as Canarsie, particularly subsets of the violent Bloods and Crips street gangs.
Furthermore, it is alleged, it was part of the conspiracies for SRK-Folk members to engage in armed attacks against rival gang members, running reconnaissance missions in vehicles, and shooting individuals they suspected of being rival gang members, especially in Canarsie, an act commonly referred to by the defendants as “spinning the Floss.” On at least two occasions, these armed hunting expeditions resulted in death.
During the escalating violence over the course of the conspiracy, it is alleged, SRK-Folk and Newkirk-Folk members frequently discussed their intentions and efforts to engage in additional attacks and took credit for past attacks through cell phone messaging and, less often, through social media.
Among the acts of violence charged in the indictment are the following:
- On December 27, 2016, on Utica Avenue, in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, defendant Khaysean Porter, acting in concert with others, allegedly shot and injured an alleged rival gang member.
- On December 28, 2016, in the vicinity of President Street and Utica Avenue, in Crown Heights, defendant Travis Laroc, acting in concert with others, allegedly shot and injured a rival gang member.
- On February 5, 2017, it is alleged, defendant Khaysean Porter, 21, acting in concert with Travis Laroc, Tahir Thomas and others, shot and killed Darren Harrison, 22, an alleged rival and injured a second alleged rival in the vicinity of East 84th Street in Canarsie.
- On February 20, 2017, it is alleged, defendant Zidon Clarke acting in concert with others, shot and killed Rohan Levy, an innocent 15-year-old, who he mistakenly believed was a rival. A second person was shot and injured in that incident, which occurred on East 55th Street in the vicinity of East Flatbush.
- On February 24, 2017, Walter Porter and his sons, Khaysean Porter and Keemari Porter, were in a vehicle that was stopped by police in the vicinity of Pennsylvania Avenue, in East New York. Police recovered dismantled pieces of two separate pistols inside the vehicle, a .40 caliber pistol and a .38 caliber pistol that were used in the four shootings detailed above.
The investigation was conducted by New York City Police Department Detectives Sean Feliciano and Veerana Ramayya, of the Gun Violence Suppression Division’s Violence Reduction Task Force, under the supervision of Sergeant Richard Young and the overall supervision of VRTF Commanding Officer Lieutenant Richard Zacarese.
The investigation was conducted for the KCDA by the Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau led by First Deputy Bureau Chief Jonathan R. Sennett, Senior Assistant District Attorney Giannina Berrocal, Senior Assistant District Attorney Viviane Dussek, Senior Assistant District Attorney Krysten Tendy, and Assistant District Attorney James Buchanan, with assistance from Senior Assistant District Attorney Thomas Teplitsky, under the supervision of VCE Bureau Chief Al DeIngeniis, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for VCE and Crime Strategies Raymond Tierney.
An indictment is merely an accusation and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.
- Rean Awong, 22, of Flatbush, Brooklyn. Remanded.
- Lorenzo Bailey, 30, of Flatbush, Brooklyn. Bail set at $250,000/$100,000.
- Shaquille Benjamin, 19, of East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Bail set at $100,000/$50,000.
- Ameth Best, 22, of East New York, Brooklyn. Bail set at $100,000/$50,000.
- Devon Bratton, 26, of East Flatbush, Brooklyn. To be arraigned on July 16, 2019.
- Jabare Brim, 22, of Laurelton, Queens. Unapprehended.
- Zidon Clarke, 20, of Flatbush, Brooklyn. Remanded.
- Christopher Cooper, 18, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Bail set at $100,000/$50,000
- Sherrod Craig, 19, of Jamaica, Queens. Bail set at $25,000/$5,000
- Gishanie Gray, 18, of East New York, Brooklyn. Bail set at $150,000/$75,000
- Tarell Herbert, 25, of East Midwood, Brooklyn. Remanded.
- Khalil Irving, 18, of East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Bail set at $150,000/$75,000
- Travis Laroc, 17, of East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Remanded.
- Omar Peters, 24, of Flatlands, Brooklyn. Unapprehended.
- Keemari Porter, 19, of East New York, Brooklyn. Bail set at $200,000/$100,000.
- Khaysean Porter, 21, of Brownsville, Brooklyn. To be arraigned on July 15, 2019.
- Walter Porter, 41, of Elizabeth, New Jersey. To be extradited from NJ.
- Barrington Songue, 26, of Flatlands, Brooklyn. To be extradited from Florida.
- Dandre Stanford, 20, of Cambria Heights, Queens. Bail set at $100,000/$50,000.
- Tahir Thomas, 18, of Canarsie, Brooklyn. Remanded.
- Darren Wilson, 19, of Canarsie, Brooklyn. Bail set at $250,000/$100,000.
Note: audio/visual materials that were displayed in the press conference are available here.