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Narcotics
09/14/2017

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6 gang members charged with narcotics and firearm offenses, 1 for murder

NEW YORK — Six known gang members of the “Rollin’ 30s” Crips street gang are being charged with racketeering, murder, narcotics and firearms offenses.  The superseding indictment announced Wednesday stems from a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York and the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

The superseding indictment out of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York (SDNY), charges Walston Owen, aka “Purpose,” Richard Feliz, aka “Dirt,” Shaquille Bailey, aka “Shaq,” aka “Jefe,” Miguel Caba, aka “Miggs,” and Nathanial Rodriguez, aka “Cook,” with various crimes relating to racketeering, narcotics and firearms offenses, including charges against Feliz for the March 26, 2015, murder of Victor Chafla, an innocent bystander.  The defendants are charged as a result of their membership in the “Rollin’ 30s,” a subset of the nationwide Crips street gang.  Another individual, Lewis Turnbull, aka “Lew,” was charged solely with a narcotics offense.

“These gang members are purported to have committed acts of violence, including murder and robbery, just to fund and protect its criminal enterprise, with one crew member alleged to have shot and killed an innocent bystander,” said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI New York. “These street gangs plague our community, and ICE, with its longstanding partnership with the NYPD, will continue its efforts to rid our neighborhoods of such tormenters and ensure it’s known that they are not welcome.”

“These alleged members of a Crips crew have been indicted on racketeering, narcotics and firearms-related charges. One of the defendants is accused of shooting and killing an innocent bystander during a dispute with a rival gang member in the Soundview section of the Bronx. These are serious offenses and the type of violence we remain focused on that has led to significant reductions in crime. I want to thank the members of the NYPD, the Southern District, and ICE Homeland Security Investigations who have been working on this case,” said NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill. 

“As alleged in the superseding indictment, these defendants brought drugs and violence to the streets of our community, including the tragic murder of an innocent bystander, Victor Chafla. We commend the extraordinary efforts of our law enforcement partners to bring these defendants to justice and express our hope that Mr. Chafla’s family and friends find some measure of justice in today’s charges,” said Acting U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York, Joon H. Kim.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, from 2013 to 2017, in the SDNY and elsewhere, Walston Owen, Richard Feliz, Shaquille Bailey, Miguel Caba and Nathanial Rodriguez were members or associates of a racketeering enterprise known as the “Rollin’ 30s.” In order to fund the enterprise, protect and expand its interests, and promote its standing, members and associates of the Rollin’ 30s committed, conspired, attempted, and threatened to commit acts of violence, including murder and robbery; they conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute narcotics; and they obtained, possessed, and used firearms, including by brandishing and discharging them.  Lewis Turnbull also conspired with certain members of the Rollin’ 30s to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine and marijuana.

During a dispute with a member of an opposing crew, on March 26, 2015, Feliz fired a gun in an attempt to kill that individual. Feliz instead hit an innocent bystander, Victor Chafla. Chafla died from his wounds a few days later.

All defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty. The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Southern District of New York’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/14/2017