NEW YORK, April 28 — Police hailed the largest gang “takedown” in New York history yesterday after a major operation snared 120 people from two rival street gangs that brought murder to the city and the United States.
Authorities swooped in the early hours on dozens of members of the Bronx gangs, which are accused of as many as 39 homicides, use of firearms, robbery, bank fraud, racketeering and drug dealing, capping a years-long pursuit by authorities to smash the two groups.
Police went after the “Big Money Bosses”, or BMB gang, which officials say has infiltrated various parts of New York, and its rival gang “2Fly,” which operates nationwide in the United States.
The office of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, said the operation was “believed to be the largest gang takedown in New York City history.”
“Today, we seek to eviscerate two violent street gangs that have allegedly wreaked havoc on the streets of the northern Bronx for years by committing countless acts of violence against rival gang members and innocents alike,” he said.
A decade-long gang war between the two groups triggered a cycle of violence, some of it deadly, prosecutors say, with innocent bystanders also caught up in the bloodshed.
One such victim was a 92-year-old woman killed by a stray bullet in her own home.
New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said: “As alleged, these individuals engaged in open-air drug sales near homes and schools in the Bronx, pushing poison onto our streets.
“Allegedly, they also committed numerous acts of violence and at least eight murders in the course of their illicit operations.”
In total, 120 members and associates of the gangs were charged with racketeering, narcotics, and firearms offenses. Most were picked up in the raids overnight.
“We bring these charges today so that all New Yorkers can live their lives as they deserve: free of drugs, free of guns, and free of gang violence,” said Bharara. — AFP