BROWNSVILLE — Today the Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced that 34 alleged members of two rival Brownsville-based street gangs were variously charged in a 122-count indictment, including attempted murder and criminal possession of weapons.
An indictment is an accusation and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.
The gangs are known as WOOO (We On Our Own) and CHOO, and are two rival street gangs, who are sworn enemies, according to the information provided. It is alleged that they operated within Brownsville, but expanded their violence into neighboring areas, like East Flatbush. Often, their operations were around local NYCHA complexes.
A two-year-long investigation titled “Operation Boxed In” looked into the violence between these two rival criminal organizations beginning February 1, 2018, and ending with the indictment on January 28, 2020, by the NYPD’s Brooklyn North Gang Squad and the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau.
WOOO and CHOO members allegedly engaged in a type of gang war, where members of each group would search for rival members in rival territories and then shoot them on sight, the indictment states. This dangerous game focused on embarrassing the rival members and gaining dominance over each other’s neighborhoods, prosecutors said.
“We allege that these gang members’ primary activity is to track rivals and to shoot at each other on sight on the streets of Brooklyn,” District Attorney Gonzalez said. “This is outrageous and will not be tolerated. I am confident that this takedown, which is focused on drivers of violent crime, will have a measurable impact on public safety by targeting the offenders who commit the violence in our communities.”
Most of the defendants were arraigned last week before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun. The defendants were variously charged with first-, second-, third- and fourth-degree conspiracy, second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, first- and second-degree robbery, second-degree burglary, first- and second-degree rape, and related charges. The defendants face up to 25 years in prison on the top conspiracy charge.
On many accounts, the indictment shows text messages and direct messaging through social media apps, where gang members would discuss the purchases and possession of firearms, as well as attacks on rival members.
It is also alleged that the WOOO gang specifically targeted and exploited young girls to act as “holsters” to carry guns for them. The members also hoped the girls would receive a lesser sentence due to their age and gender.
One of the members, Tyquan Ellison, 20, was charged with sex trafficking in order to enhance his status within the gang by allegedly forcing a 14-year-old girl to have sex with him and Jayquan Wise, 19. Both were charged with rape.
Among the incidents charged in the indictment are nine counts of attempted murder related to shootings in which individuals, including innocent bystanders, were struck and four counts of reckless endangerment related to four additional shootings.
“Most of the defendants were arrested last week (some were already in custody). Seven of the defendants, who were charged with low-level crimes, were released, the rest were either remanded or are being held on bail,” Oren Yaniv, spokesperson for the Brooklyn DA’s Office confirmed to Bklyner.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Iris Das and Assistant District Attorney Martha Duffy of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Cilia, Deputy Bureau Chief, Assistant District Attorney Jonathan R. Sennett, First Deputy Bureau Chief and Assistant District Attorney Alfred DeIngeniis, Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Raymond Tierney, Executive Assistant District Attorney for the Crime Strategies Unit and Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau.
The following individuals have been charged, according to the indictment:
- Shamel Boomer, 17, of Brooklyn.
- Tyrick Bradley, 22, of Brooklyn.
- Kamiya Brown, 20, of Brooklyn.
- Camron Clarke, 21, of Brooklyn.
- Lawrence Cook, 20, of Brooklyn.
- Tyquan Ellison, 20, of Brooklyn.
- Henry Gissentaner, 20, of Brooklyn.
- Christian Graham, 17, of Brooklyn.
- Malik Hymes, 23, of Brooklyn.
- Jason Jennings, 21, of Brooklyn.
- Jakima Leggett, 19, of Brooklyn.
- Destiny Letich, 20, of Brooklyn.
- Genique Lewis, 19, of Brooklyn.
- Shan Mason, 19, of Brooklyn.
- Jaytwon Prince, 20, of Brooklyn.
- Nyshawn Ragsdale, 18, of Brooklyn.
- Tyshawn Stephens, 17, of Queens.
- Equan Ware, 20, of Brooklyn.
- Jaheem Ware, 18, of Brooklyn.
- Tykim Watson, 20, of Brooklyn.
- Jayquan Wise, 19, of Brooklyn.
- Tyliek Cannadate, 19, of Brooklyn.
- Stephen Coleman, 18, of Brooklyn.
- Carlton Darby, 22, of Brooklyn.
- Isaiah Feliciano, 19, of Brooklyn.
- Isaiah Hart, 18, of Brooklyn.
- Ramel Hickson, 21, of Brooklyn.
- Ta’Quan Jones, 24, of Brooklyn.
- Yussiff Kasim, 25, of Staten Island.
- Corey Pandohie, 19, of Brooklyn.
- Victoriano Roque, 24, of Brooklyn.
- Quayshawn Smith, 27, of Brooklyn.
- Brandon Waller, 18, of Brooklyn.
- Finesse Young, 26, of Queens.