THE BRONX — In a sign that federal prosecutors are serious about confronting continuing violence from the Trinitarios gang, the United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York charged Ramon Paulino with racketeering and assault, according to a complaint obtained by PIX11 News on Thursday.
Paulino is accused of being one of 12 gang members who attacked a 14-year-old rival on a median of the Bronx River Parkway, near the Gun Hill Road exit, on June 18. The teen needed emergency surgery after suffering up to 16 stab wounds.
The attack happened two days before suspected members of the Trinitarios gang dragged 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz from a bodega on Bathgate Avenue, killing him with machetes and knives.
The gang was told that Guzman-Feliz was involved in a sex tape with a member’s sister, but a leader apologized days later, saying the gang made a mistake. Eight men have been arrested in the killing.
The federal complaint from the U.S. Attorney alleges Paulino used a tree log to batter a 14-year-old boy affiliated with a rival group. PIX11 News obtained a photo of that victim in his hospital room. He had been stabbed 13 to 16 times, suffering wounds to his lung and kidney.
The victim had gone into cardiac arrest while he was being transported to the hospital and his heart stopped beating. Paramedics were able to restore his heart beat and the teen required emergency surgery.
According to the federal complaint, a high-ranking member of the Trinitarios gang ordered a hit on the 14-year-old victim because of a dispute between the victim’s girlfriend and a female member of the Trinitarios.
Using information obtained from Facebook, police said the 14-year-old victim had identified himself as a member of the Grizzlies, a group affiliated with the Bloods gang. The Bloods are a main rival of the Trinitarios.
The federal complaint gives some background on the inner workings of the Trinitarios.
It says members are primarily of Dominican descent and must learn the rules and history of the gang, taking a sworn oath. There are documented rules and handbooks that members are provided with, according to the complaint, and they must pay dues and attend mandatory meetings.
When a member attains a higher rank, he is given additional rules to follow, known as “Trinitarios Statutes.”
Local branches of the Trinitarios participate in mandatory “brotherhood” meetings.
PIX11 reported this week more than 1,000 men and women belong to the Trinitarios gang. They have rivalries with multiple gangs in the New York City area, including the Bloods, Latin Kings and Dominicans Don’t Play, known as DDP.
The disputes between the various gangs have exploded both in prison and on the streets.
According the complaint, when Paulino was shown a video of the gang attack June 18, which featured a shot of him slamming down a large log near the victim, he admitted that he had participated.