FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
34 Alleged Members of Two Rival Street Gangs Variously Charged in
122-Count Indictment That Includes Charges Relating to 13 Shootings in Brooklyn North; 16 Firearms Recovered
Some Defendants Allegedly Targeted and Exploited Young Women to Act as “Holsters” to
Carry and Transport Weapons for Gang Members
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, today announced that 34 alleged members of two Brownsville-based rival street gangs known as WOOO (We On Our Own) and CHOO are variously charged in a 122-count indictment with attempted murder, conspiracy, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment and related charges in connection with nine attempted murder shootings and four reckless endangerment shootings.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This indictment reflects the commitment of my office and the NYPD to continue to work together to target those individuals responsible for senseless shootings that endanger innocent people. We allege that these gang members’ primary activity is to track rivals and to shoot at each other on sight on the streets of Brooklyn. This is outrageous and will not be tolerated. I am confident that this takedown, which is focused on drivers of violent crime, will have a measurable impact on public safety by targeting the offenders who commit the violence in our communities.”
Commissioner Shea said, “When violent rivalries by street gangs inflict harm in our city’s neighborhoods, we answer with precision policing, arrests and solid prosecutions. Our NYPD detectives’ work in this case, together with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, will undoubtedly keep residents of Northern Brooklyn safer.”
The District Attorney said that most of the defendants were arraigned last week before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun. The defendants are variously charged with first-, second-, third- and fourth-degree conspiracy, second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, first- and second-degree robbery, second-degree burglary, first- and second-degree rape, and related charges. The defendants face up to 25 years in prison on the top conspiracy charge. (See defendant addendum).
The District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, the defendants are members or associates of two rival street gangs known as WOOO (We On Our Own) and CHOO, each of which allegedly consists of several small loosely affiliated gangs with little or no real hierarchy. Members of WOOO and CHOO are sworn enemies and bitter rivals of each other. It is alleged that they operated within the confines of the 73rd Precinct, but expanded their violence into neighboring precincts, including the 67th Precinct.
The NYPD’s Brooklyn North Gang Squad and the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau conducted a long-term investigation into violence perpetrated between these two rival criminal organizations from February 1, 2018 through the date of this indictment.
It is alleged that between those dates, WOOO and CHOO members engaged in a type of war where gang members would search or hunt for rival members in rival territories and then shoot them on sight. Shootings were conducted by both sides in a game of one-upmanship, to embarrass rival gang members and to contest geographic dominance over territories in which the rivals resided.
It is also alleged that the WOOO gang specifically targeted and exploited younger females to carry guns for them, i.e., act as “holsters.” It is alleged that the teenage girls would carry the guns, while the gang members walked nearby and directed the girls to various locations providing the weapons as needed for the purposes of shooting rival gang members. The girls were allegedly expected to face any gun charges if arrested, in the hopes they would receive a lesser sentence due to their age and gender. Furthermore, Tyquan Ellison, 20, and Jayquan Wise, 19, are charged with first- and second-degree rape for having sex with a 14-year-old girl. Ellison is charged with sex trafficking in order to enhance his status within the gang by allegedly forcing the 14-year-old girl to have sex with Wise.
Among the incidents charged in the indictment are nine counts of attempted murder related to shootings in which individuals, including innocent bystanders, were struck and four counts of reckless endangerment related to four additional shootings, including:
- On July 13, 2018, members of the WOOO gang went to Brooklyn Supreme Court at 320 Jay Street for the court appearance of fellow WOOO member Jayquan Wise, aka, JayDee. Following the court appearance, the defendants went to the nearby Fulton Mall area, where they engaged in a verbal and physical dispute with rival gang members. During the altercation, it is alleged, defendant Equan Ware pulled out a firearm and shot at opposing gang members, striking a rival gang member as well as two innocent bystanders.
- On September 17, 2018, at approximately 12:49 a.m., CHOO member Carlton Darby allegedly walked up to a building at 250 Lott Avenue and fired a gun multiple times. One of the bullets went through a window into an apartment where two young children were sleeping. No one was injured.
- On October 29, 2018, at approximately 5:50 p.m., at 394 Dumont Avenue, CHOO member Tyliek Cannadate opened fire and repeatedly shot at a group of approximately five people standing outside of a playground in the Tilden Houses. Two individuals who were injured are associates of the WOOO gang.
The investigation was conducted by New York City Police Department Detectives Michael Lassen and John LaMariana, and Police Officer William Pugliese, supported by the rest of the Brooklyn North Gang Squad, including Detective Dennis Westbrook, under the supervision of Lieutenant Ryan Gillis, Captain Matthew Bomparola, Specialty Units Commanding Officer of Detective Borough Brooklyn North, under Chief Michael Kemper, Commanding Officer of Detective Borough Brooklyn North, and under the overall supervision of Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Iris Das and Assistant District Attorney Martha Duffy of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Cilia, Deputy Bureau Chief, Assistant District Attorney Jonathan R. Sennett, First Deputy Bureau Chief and Assistant District Attorney Alfred DeIngeniis, Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Raymond Tierney, Executive Assistant District Attorney for the Crime Strategies Unit and Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau.
An indictment is merely an accusation and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.
- Shamel Boomer, 17, of Brooklyn.
- Tyrick Bradley, 22, of Brooklyn.
- Kamiya Brown, 20, of Brooklyn.
- Camron Clarke, 21, of Brooklyn.
- Lawrence Cook, 20, of Brooklyn.
- Tyquan Ellison, 20, of Brooklyn.
- Henry Gissentaner, 20, of Brooklyn.
- Christian Graham, 17, of Brooklyn.
- Malik Hymes, 23, of Brooklyn.
- Jason Jennings, 21, of Brooklyn.
- Jakima Leggett, 19, of Brooklyn.
- Destiny Letich, 20, of Brooklyn.
- Genique Lewis, 19, of Brooklyn.
- Shan Mason, 19, of Brooklyn.
- Jaytwon Prince, 20, of Brooklyn.
- Nyshawn Ragsdale, 18, of Brooklyn.
- Tyshawn Stephens, 17, of Queens.
- Equan Ware, 20, of Brooklyn.
- Jaheem Ware, 18, of Brooklyn.
- Tykim Watson, 20, of Brooklyn.
- Jayquan Wise, 19, of Brooklyn.
- Tyliek Cannadate, 19, of Brooklyn.
- Stephen Coleman, 18, of Brooklyn.
- Carlton Darby, 22, of Brooklyn.
- Isaiah Feliciano, 19, of Brooklyn.
- Isaiah Hart, 18, of Brooklyn.
- Ramel Hickson, 21, of Brooklyn.
- Ta’Quan Jones, 24, of Brooklyn.
- Yussiff Kasim, 25, of Staten Island.
- Corey Pandohie, 19, of Brooklyn.
- Victoriano Roque, 24, of Brooklyn.
- Quayshawn Smith, 27, of Brooklyn.
- Brandon Waller, 18, of Brooklyn.
- Finesse Young, 26, of Queens.
Note: exhibits that were displayed during the press conference can be viewed here.