The BRONX — A detective from the NYPD Bronx Gang Squad gave jurors in the “Junior” trial an education on how the Trinitarios gang works.
“If you don’t follow an order, you’re going to be considered a ‘3-5-7,’” Detective Charne Jimenez told the jury.
“You’re no good, a rat. You’re gonna’ be ‘green lit’ to be assaulted or killed.”
Detective Jimenez actually made the statement under cross-examination, after telling prosecutor Morgan Dolan in direct testimony that he had debriefed an alleged Trinitario on July 29th—the same day as the Bronx Dominican Day parade—about the stabbing of a 14-year-old, two days before Junior was killed.
Amy Attias, who represents Junior murder suspect Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, asked the Gang Squad cop about the violent infighting going on between the Sure and Sunset divisions of the Trinitarios, in the weeks leading up to the murder of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz.
Attias asked the detective, “Is it accurate that none of those physical fights resulted in anyone being killed?” Attias asked.
“Yes,” Jimenez responded.
“No one was killed?” Attias reiterated.
“No,” said the detective.
Jimenez said of the other violence, “You had knives, machetes, and you had guns in a few incidents.”
Attias asked the detective about a shooting victim with the street name “Chino” who was shot on the side of his eye less than 48 hours before Junior was killed.
Detective Jimenez said “Chino” was a member of the “Atom” set of the Trinitarios.
Jimenez also talked about “disciplina” in the Trinitarios gang, where an errant member could be hit in the buttocks area or “on the extreme, maimed or really hurt or killed.”
Jimenez explained there are three bosses in the gang. The first is known as “Duarte,” the number two is “Sanchez,” and the third is “Mejia.”
The names are taken from Dominican freedom fighters that won independence for the Dominican Republic from Haiti.
Kyle Watters, defense attorney for Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, asked the cop more questions about gang operations.
To become a Trinitario, “you start out as a ‘probie,” the detective said.
Watters asked, “Does 9-0 mean probation?”
The detective said yes.
When Watters asked how prospective gang members become “full fledged,” the detective responded:
“You have to do ‘missions.’ Earn money. They’ll be a certain period where you’re blessed by the boss and you’ll receive paperwork.”
Detective Jimenez noted of the Trinitarios, “They’re very, very picky in accepting people.”
Toni Messina, attorney for murder defendant Manuel Rivera, brought up the Trinitarios logo, D.P.L.—which stands for Dios (God), Patria (Fatherland) and Libertad (Liberty).
Then Messina asked the detective how “hits” are ordered.
Detective Jimenez told the jury what a gang boss might say to a member:
“If you see an individual on the street, break him,” the detective explained.
“Sometimes, they can get carried away. Instead of just a beating or stabbing, it can lead to death.”
PIX11’s Mary Murphy recaps week two of the Junior Trial