BROOKLYN (PIX11) — Alleged members of an armed robbery crew have been indicted in connection to a $500,000 marijuana theft that ended with a man fatally shot, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.
“As alleged, the defendants’ robbery and drug trafficking activity exploded into violence with three persons shot, one of them fatally, demonstrating the lethal combination of guns and narcotics plaguing our communities,” stated United States Attorney Breon Peace in a press release. “This Office is working tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to hold these drivers of violent crime accountable and take away their means to wreak havoc.”
Though the group has allegedly targeted marijuana traffickers across Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island since 2020, prosecutors charge that their actions turned deadly late last year.
Defendants Marcus “Blaise” Ricketts and Mark “Short Man” Goulbourne were allegedly among several people who convened at a Brighton Beach Airbnb late Dec. 2, posing as buyers in a large-scale marijuana purchase from an upstate New York man and his nephew, authorities said.
In the early morning hours of Dec. 3, gunfire erupted inside the rented home. The shooting left the upstate trafficker dead, and wounded his nephew, as well as one of the defendants, Romeo Jonas, according to prosecutors.
Ricketts and Goulbourne allegedly fled the scene with guns in hand, authorities said. Ricketts, also carrying one of the four large duffle bags of marijuana brought to the meeting, allegedly robbed a passerby of their Citibike to make his escape, officials said. Goulbourne, meanwhile, hitched a ride with his brother and co-defendant, Jonathan “Bobcat” Goulbourne, according to prosecutors.
Responding police found four handguns, 15 shell casings, drug paraphernalia, a bag containing both real and counterfeit money, and the other three large duffle bags of marijuana in or around the Airbnb. The three bags contained a cumulative 140 pounds of marijuana, and authorities estimated the total street value of the weed involved in the deal at $500,000. The fourth duffle bag, with which Ricketts allegedly fled, has not been recovered.
The seven defendants, who are variously charged with crimes including causing death through use of a firearm, Hobbs Act robbery, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and serving as an accessory after the fact, are:
- Marcus Ricketts, 45, of Jamaica
- Mark Goulbourne, 48, of Jamaica
- Juvanie Crossgill, 27, of Jamaica
- Jonathan Goulbourne, 43, of Brooklyn
- Romeo Jones, 34, of Atlanta, Ga.
- Amari Webber, 31, of Douglasville, Ga.
- Chevonne Williams, 43, of Dallas, Ga.
Ricketts, Jonathan Goulbourne, Jonas, Williams, and Webber are in custody. Crossgill, who was arrested earlier this month, was freed on bail following his arraignment. Mark Goulbourne remains at large.
“Today, New York City is safer because of the exceptional effort and steadfast dedication of everyone involved in this investigation and indictment,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell in a statement. “The NYPD and our law enforcement partners remain focused on the small number of people who are responsible for the crime and disorder in our city, and we are working tirelessly to identify them and get them off our streets. As demonstrated by this case, the deadly combination of drug trafficking, illegal guns, and brutal violence is a grave threat to our communities – and will never be tolerated.”