NEW YORK (PIX11) — Gina Mestre, a former NYPD police officer, was charged with racketeering conspiracy Wednesday, accused of leaking details in a federal investigation to her boyfriend, a leader in the Shooting Boys gang, and later helping him escape the country.
“As alleged, Gina Mestre shamelessly exploited her position of public trust to assist gang members in her own NYPD precinct that were terrorizing the Bronx,” United States Attorney Damian Williams said in a press release from the Southern District of New York.
Mestre, 33, was assigned to the 52nd Precinct in the Bronx.
Williams said the officer became intimately involved with Andrew Done, known as “Caballo,” who was the recognized leader of the Shooting Boys, the gang based in the University Heights section of the Bronx. The U.S. attorney said since 2017, the gang was committing robberies, selling drugs, killing people, and trafficking guns.
In 2020, a major initiative was underway to reduce gun violence in the 52nd Precinct, much of it blamed on the Shooting Boys.
Williams said Mestre assisted the gang’s leader in evading capture for a cold-blooded murder that was committed in broad daylight in November 2020. Earlier that year, the indictment said Mestre was leaking information about a federal grand jury investigation to Done and other gang members, also warning them about impending law enforcement operations.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office provided surveillance photos of Done fatally shooting a gang rival on Nov. 5, 2020. Prosecutors said Mestre actually identified Done as the shooter and was part of an NYPD team assigned to apprehend him. But they say Mestre was secretly communicating with Done during the search, giving him the opportunity to flee the U.S.
In March 2022, 10 members of the Shooting Boys were charged with multiple federal crimes, including murder.
Done was captured in the Dominican Republic several months later and brought back to the U.S. to face a murder charge. About this time, Gina Mestre left the NYPD after a nine-year career.
On Nov. 17, 2022, Done pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and admitted shooting the rival gang member. In February this year, Done was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Mestre, who’s from Mohegan Lake, New York, was charged with one count of racketeering conspiracy on Wednesday. She was arrested Tuesday night and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, if she’s convicted on the racketeering charge. She also faces 20 years in prison if convicted on one count of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, a reference to the grand jury investigation. Another count accuses Mestre of accessory after the fact to murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. There’s also a count in the indictment charging conspiracy to obstruct justice.