MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) – The leader of a Queens street gang was convicted of murder and racketeering in federal court Monday evening for killing a rival gang associate over a stolen necklace.
U.S. Attorney Breon Peace and his team said 28-year-old Christopher Acevedo, the leader of the “Wood City” gang based in Jamaica, Queens, was angry one of his members was robbed of the jewelry, which had large gold letters “YTB” on a rope chain. The letters stand for “Yellow Tape Boyz,” another name used by the Wood City gang, according to officials.
Prosecutors said Wood City, which has many members living around Woodhull Avenue in Jamaica, was feuding with the rival “Snow Gang.” The two gangs taunted and insulted each other on social media.
On Aug. 26, 2019, investigators said members of Snow Gang – including a leader – stole the “YTB” chain from a high-ranking member of Wood City at a recording studio in Queens. Shortly after the robbery, the Snow Gang leader posted a photo of himself wearing the “YTB” gold necklace on social media.
Prosecutors said Acevedo then made plans to retaliate on behalf of Wood City. He and other gang associates drove to Snow Gang territory and saw a vehicle with the Snow Gang leader inside, along with his crew members.
Federal investigators said Acevedo followed the vehicle to the front of a deli near Springfield Boulevard and 140th Avenue in Queens. Acevedo pulled up next to the vehicle and fired a dozen gunshots, killing the driver, David Hutchinson.
“How senseless it was for Acevedo to callously take a human life to maintain and burnish his status as the leader of a violent street gang, whose members felt insulted by the taking of a piece of jewelry,” said U.S. Attorney Peace. “With [this] verdict, the defendant will spend the rest of his life in prison.”
The FBI and NYPD worked together to make the case.
The evidence at trial showed the Wood City gang has been engaged in murder, drug trafficking, and various types of fraud and identity theft since at least 2010. The jury reached a verdict within three hours.
The case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project Safe Neighborhoods, known as the PSN program.