Mount Vernon Bloods gang member plotted to have shooting witness killed: prosecutors

WESTCHESTER COUNTY -- A Mount Vernon man, who is allegedly a high-ranking member of the Bloods gang, was awaiting trial for a 2016 shooting when sources say he arranged a plan to kill a single mother who was a witness to the shooting.

Westchester County Authorities said they interrupted the gang plot, which was hatch behind bars, involving a smuggled cell phone, two different girlfriends of the same suspect and a hitman.

Prosecutors said Jason Garcia is a high-ranking member of the Bloods and was already being held in Westchester County Jail for allegedly trying to kill two men outside of the Garden Bar in Mount Vernon in December of 2016.

His intended target was a woman who saw the shooting and was set to testify.

Prosecutors said Garcia hatched the plan using a small, mostly plastic, cell phone he smuggled inside himself. They said girlfriend Laquanna Kershaw helped smuggle a charger into prison for him.

Investigators also said another girlfriend, Cassaundra Dunham, tracked down an unregistered gun and got it to Damien Rickard, the would-be shooter who is also in the Bloods.

The plot was uncovered because of a confidential tip about the cell phone.

The witness to the original crime remains in protective custody right now.

The trial for the 2016 shooting was set to begin next week, but prosecutors said would likely be delayed due to recent events.

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