Sixteen members of gang linked to violent Trinitarios charged federally in NYC

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Sixteen members of a street gang with ties to the infamous Trinitarios were formally charged on Tuesday with murder, attempted murder, extortion and drug trafficking.

The members and associates of the Own Every Dollar (OED) gang, a subgroup of the Trinitarios, who were charged include the OED leadership and some of the gang’s most violent members for the alleged murder of five people in the past four years, involving 13 shootings, and seven robberies or attempted robberies.

“For the past four years, OED has wreaked havoc in this city,” US attorney Damian Williams said at a news conference.

The well-organized OED gang controls the Washington Heights area of ​​New York City and some parts of the Bronx and Queens.

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They are part of the larger Trinitarios, a Dominican-American criminal organization founded on Rikers Island in the early 1990s. authorities.

The Trinitarios gang attracted national and international attention in 2018 with the murder of an innocent 15-year-old, Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, by chasing and attacking him with a machete.

Guzman-Feliz suffered a mistaken identity while the group was hunting rival gang members.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg also announced a 90-point indictment on Tuesday with separate charges against 10 members. Two of them were also charged by the federal government.

In one of the violent robberies that led to a murder, on September 20, 2021, a person named Jeffrey Sanchez was fatally shot in the back outside the Opus Lounge as he walked to his car. Gang members Damien Suarez and John Aslan then stood over Sanchez and ripped a watch and jewelry from his motionless body.

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In another high-profile robbery, gang members allegedly target two people at an upscale Chinese eatery, Philippe Chow, to demand money and jewelry, according to the suit filed by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

One of the gang members, Justin Deaza, shot a person in the leg, prosecutors said. In the September 15, 2021 incident, the group members opened fire in the eatery, causing the guests to flee in horror.

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NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said: “These individuals lived by a brutal code of mob violence — where firearms were recklessly drawn and fired at random, where innocent lives were ignored, where families and neighborhoods were traumatized and torn apart. Now they can no longer terrorize New Yorkers.”

“And make no mistake: these types of organized groups do terrorize. They sow fear and disorder, and they show no respect whatsoever for the lives of the people who live and work in the neighborhoods where they wreak havoc.”