Da’Quan Johnson and Moore are accused of traveling with other gang members to Highland Avenue and Jackson Street, ground held by their rivals, and firing into a crowd gathered at a candlelight vigil for a motorcyclist killed in an earlier bike accident. At 10:17 p.m. Arthur was shot in the chest. He died later that night at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, George Venizelos, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Charles Gardner, the Commissioner of the Yonkers Police Department, announced today the unsealing of charges against DA’QUAN JOHNSON, a/k/a “Bloody,” a/k/a “Buddha,” JAMES JOHNSON, a/k/a “Jimmy,” and KENNETH MOORE, a/k/a “Doogie” for a fatal shooting related to gang rivalry in Yonkers.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “Once again we charge another senseless killing of a bystander by rival street gangs and drug dealers underscoring the continuing need to dismantle these violent groups, who not only threaten each other but everyone around them. We and our law enforcement partners remain dedicated to this goal.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos stated: “Members and associates of street gangs viciously defend their respective territories, at times aligning themselves with each other to engage in acts of violence against anyone who dares to encroach on the area they control. In this case, murder served as the final result in the constant violence between two gangs. Eradicating gangs and stamping out the violence they bring to our neighborhoods remain top priorities for the FBI. The people of our communities deserve the right to live in a society that is free from violence. One in which walking to the corner store or sending children to school doesn’t trigger the fear of violence lurking around every bend.”
Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner stated: “The arrest of these violent individuals will make the streets of Yonkers a safer place. While working with our federal and local law enforcement partners we continue to make progress in aggressively pursuing and removing violent gang members from our community. Gang members operating in Yonkers should be warned that they may be the target of other ongoing investigations and they will ultimately be held accountable for their actions. I would like to specifically thank the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of NY and the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force for their tenacious efforts in this investigation.”
According to the allegations in the Indictment unsealed today in White Plains federal court and other documents in the public record:
DA’QUAN JOHNSON, JAMES JOHNSON, and MOORE are members and affiliates of the “Grimy Motherfuckers,” or “GMF,” a local, street-level gang operating in and around the Schlobohm Housing Project in Yonkers, New York. At its inception, GMF was aligned with the Strip Boyz, a different street gang that was likewise based in the Schlobohm Housing Project in Yonkers and was made up of members one generation older than most GMF members. GMF and the Strip Boyz controlled crack cocaine and marijuana sales in and around the Schlobohm Housing Project and were allied in disputes with rival gang members, including members of the Cliff Street Gangsters and the Elm Street Wolves, two gangs from the east side of Nepperhan Avenue in Yonkers.
In late June and early July 2012, federal authorities arrested 20 members of the Strip Boyz on charges of narcotics distribution and/or firearm offenses in a case captioned United States v. Mark David, S1 12 Cr. 214 (ER) (S.D.N.Y.). All 20 defendants have pled guilty in satisfaction of the charges.
The federal arrests of the Strip Boyz left GMF the dominant gang in the area around the Schlobohm Housing Project, and GMF members have continued to engage in acts of violence and intimidation to preserve the dominance of the Schlobohm Housing Project and the surrounding areas that they previously shared with the Strip Boyz. Above all, GMF members are aligned in their ongoing disputes with rival gangs in southwest Yonkers, among them a gang based in the vicinity of Highland Avenue known as “Highland.”
The dispute between GMF and Highland resulted in members of those gangs committing numerous acts of violence against one another. With regard to the conduct that underlies the Indictment, on December 27, 2013, a shooting occurred in the vicinity of Palisade Avenue and Elm Street in Yonkers, which is territory controlled by GMF. After the shooting occurred, members of GMF received information that the individuals responsible for it were members of Highland. In retaliation for the shooting, the same night, DA’QUAN JOHNSON and KENNETH MOORE, along with other GMF members, traveled to territory controlled by Highland with the intent of retaliating. A GMF member then shot into a crowd that had congregated for a candlelight vigil at the intersection of Highland Avenue and Jackson Street. One of the bullets hit Tyrone Arthur in the chest, killing him. After the murder, JAMES JOHNSON took custody of the murder weapon and hid it from law enforcement.
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DA’QUAN JOHNSON, 23, of Yonkers, and MOORE, 24, of Mount Vernon, New York are charged with conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1959(a)(5); murder in aid of racketeering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1959(a)(1) and 2; and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(j). JAMES JOHNSON, 22, of Yonkers, is charged with being an accessory after the fact to the murder, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 3.
DA’QUON JOHNSON and JAMES JOHNSON were arrested this morning in Yonkers. They were presented before United States Magistrate Judge Judith C. McCarthy. KENNETH MOORE arrested in Georgia and presented in Atlanta federal court.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI’s Westchester Violent Crimes Task Force, which is comprised of agents and detectives of the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the City of Yonkers Police Department, the Westchester County Police, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. He also thanked the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and the Atlanta Field Office of the FBI. He added that the investigation is continuing.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division and Violent Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Hartman is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.