18 alleged gang members arrested in Westchester County drug trafficking bust

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NEW ROCHELLE, Westchester County — Authorities announced  Wednesday that 18 alleged gang members were arrested in a New Rochelle drug trafficking bust, dubbed “Operation: Crip Keeper.”

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. with New Rochelle Police Commissioner Joseph F. Schaller unveiled the 50-count indictment against 14 members of the “8 Trey Crips” or “E.T.C,” a street gang operating in New Rochelle.

The indictment included charges of conspiracy, attempted murder, robbery, burglary and a number of narcotics-related offenses.

A second related 18-count indictment, also unsealed Tuesday, charged five individuals in connection with a conspiracy to possess and sell cocaine. One of them was also charged in the “8 Trey Crips” indictment.

The suspects have been identified as:

  •  Evan DeYoung Adams, 22, aka “Emula” — New Rochelle
  • Brandon Brown, 25, aka “Bones” — Bronx
  • Gerardo Alvarez, 18, aka “EZ” — New Rochelle
  • Ebbin Croft, 24, aka “Dinero” — Yonkers
  • Keyonnie Davis, 23, aka “Zeus” — New Rochelle
  • Kody Fudge, 27, New Rochelle
  • Eduardo Gutierrez, 34, aka “Gio” — New Rochelle
  • Artez Jackson, 22, aka “Tez” — New Rochelle
  • Corey James, 23, aka “Curry” — New Rochelle (named in both indictments)
  • Ashley Jankowski, 29, New Rochelle
  • Jamie Martindale, 21, Mount Vernon
  • Jahil Ricketts, 21, aka “Fat Boy” aka “Sheff” — Rye
  • Jamier Starkes, 23, aka “Play” — Mount Vernon
  • Sion Young, 27, aka “C Money” — Mount Vernon
  • Eric Barnett, 38, Mount Vernon
  • Anton Morrison, 24, New Rochelle
  • David Shelton, 62, New Rochelle
  • Miguel Tarrant aka “Zee” or “Zelda”

Two are still being sought by police. Most were arraigned yesterday (Tuesday). Five of the defendants were incarcerated on prior charges.

Throughout the course of this investigation police recovered five handguns, a stun gun, and an assault rifle.

“We value our safe quality of life here in Westchester and as long as there are gangs pushing cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and other narcotics, and creating violent enterprises to protect their territory, that safety is in jeopardy,” Scarpino, Jr. said. “As today’s arrests in New Rochelle, and earlier arrests in other communities, show we are committed to putting an end to gang control and violence and, just as importantly, to stopping the insidious sale of drugs which, all too frequently, cause death.”

New Rochelle Police Commissioner Joseph F. Schaller said,

“Our focus is to keep New Rochelle safe and to rid our streets of gangs like the “8 trey Crips.” The New Rochelle Police Department thanks its law enforcement partners for their assistance both in the investigation and in the execution of warrants and arrests yesterday morning. With their help “Operation: Crip Keeper’ can be called a success.”

Westchester County Department of Public Safety Commissioner Thomas A. Gleason said,

“I commend all the agencies involved for working together effectively to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion. Teamwork and interagency cooperation continues to be a critical way that we keep Westchester safe and remove illegal narcotics and those who sell them from our streets.”

According to court documents, 14 members of the New Rochelle “8 Trey Crips” are charged with conspiracy to commit crimes including assault, criminal sale and possession of narcotics, and weapons offenses. Additionally, seven Crips were charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

The indictment details the gang’s cocaine trafficking operation in New Rochelle as well as numerous violent incidents including a violent home invasion, three attempted murders and numerous narcotics and weapons related charges.

The indictment alleges, several of the defendants distributed cocaine from a residence at 110 Washington Avenue, New Rochelle. There, Brandon Brown aka “Bones” fielded calls from cocaine buyers and sent other Crips, including Artez Jackson aka “Tez,” to make the sales on his behalf.

The relationship between Brown and Jackson soured, however, when Brown was incarcerated at Rikers Island for a different case and Jackson began to sell directly to Brown’s customers. This conflict culminated with Brown shooting at Jackson Sept. 23, 2018, in the area of Walnut Street and Washington Avenue in New Rochelle.

Brown, along with Jamier Starkes aka “Play” and Eduardo Gutierrez aka “Gio,” also participated in an attempted murder Oct. 10, 2017, on Fountain Place in the City of New Rochelle where he and Starkes shot at a rival in an attempt to kill him. After that shooting, Brown sent videos of news coverage of the story to several people over Facebook private messaging bragging about the shooting and comparing himself to Elmer Fudd.

Five Crips members—Starkes, Gerardo Ernan Alvarez aka “EZ,” Corey James aka “Curry,” Jackson and Jahil Ricketts aka “Fat Boy” aka “Sheff”—were charged with attempted murder in relation to a May 8, 2018, shooting on May Street in New Rochelle where the group fired at a rival. Afterward, Ricketts picked up the shell casings, in an attempt to thwart the police investigation.

The gang often used coded language to communicate over the telephone and Facebook private messaging.

In separate incidents, not covered by this indictment, two of the gang members named here were arrested in Yonkers and Mount Vernon. Ebbin Croft aka “Dinero” was recently charged with Assault in the First Degree for a stabbing that occurred May 22, 2019, on a Bee Line Bus in the City of Yonkers. On June 6, 2019, Evan DeYoung Adams aka “Emula” was charged with the possession of two loaded handguns in Mount Vernon and an assault rifle in New Rochelle. All three weapons have been recovered.

The second indictment, unsealed Tuesday, charges Corey James, an “8 Trey Crip” member named in the first indictment, and four other defendants with conspiracy for working together in a cocaine trafficking operation. They were also indicted for multiple charges of the criminal possession and sale of controlled substances.

This sweep in New Rochelle is the third in the series of gang and drug investigations in recent months resulting from a collaboration between the DA’s Office and local police departments, including Port Chester and Mount Vernon, in an effort to combat narcotics trafficking and violence perpetrated by local gangs.

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