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Transnational Gangs
12/04/2014

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HSI investigation leads to 3 conviction of 3 Bronx gang members

NEW YORK — A Manhattan jury convicted three Trinitarios gang members, Thursday, of various racketeering charges, murder, conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, narcotics conspiracy, and firearms offenses.  The convictions stem from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The jury convicted Felix Lopez-Cabrera, 24, Carlos Lopez, 26, and Luis Beltran 26 of charges arising out of their involvement from 2003 through 2012 in the criminal activities of the Bronx Trinitarios Gang (BTG).  The BTG is a violent street gang that was involved in drug-trafficking and multiple acts of violence, including attempted murder, in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Yonkers.

According to the superseding indictment and evidence admitted at trial:

The BTG is a criminal organization that operates primarily in the Bronx.  It started in the prison system in the late 1980’s and subsequently spread to the streets.  Felix Lopez-Cabrera was a member, and a leader, of the BTG who directed other members to carry out illegal and other activities as part of the racketeering conspiracy.  As part of their membership and participation in that gang, Lopez-Cabrera and Lopez murdered Raffy Tavares and Irving Cruz, both 19, in the vicinity of 81 East 181st Street, in the Bronx, May 23, 2010.

Luis Beltran and Lopez-Cabrera murdered Raymond Casul, 23, in the vicinity of 271 West Kingsbridge Road, in the Bronx, March 31, 2009. Lopez-Cabrera was also involved in the Sept. 4, 2009, murder of David Avila-Gomez, 23, in the vicinity of 15 Mount Carmel Place, Yonkers, New York.  Carlos Lopez was also involved in the Nov. 20, 2010, murder of Freddy Polanco, 19, in the vicinity of 75 West 190th Street, in the Bronx.  Lopez-Cabrera, Lopez, and Beltran also carried out multiple assaults and attempted murders of individuals believed to be members of rival gangs including the Latin Kings, Dominicans Don’t Play, and the Bloods. 

Lopez-Cabrera and Lopez also participated in a more than decade-long conspiracy to distribute kilograms of marijuana and crack cocaine in the Bronx.  The evidence at trial also showed that Lopez-Cabrera, Lopez, Beltran, and other members of the BTG possessed, brandished, and discharged a number of firearms in connection with their drug trafficking and racketeering activities with the Trinitarios gang.

Felix Lopez-Cabrera was convicted of one count of racketeering, one count of racketeering conspiracy, two counts of conspiracy to murder in aid of racketeering, four counts of murder in aid of racketeering, two counts of assault and attempted murder in aid of racketeering, one count of conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms and more of marijuana, 28 grams and more of crack cocaine, quantities of cocaine and oxycodone, two counts of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence or a drug-trafficking crime, and four counts of discharging a firearm in connection with the murders of Raymond Casul, Raffy Taveras, Irving Cruz, and David Avila-Gomez. 

Carlos Lopez was convicted of one count of racketeering, one count of racketeering conspiracy, two counts of conspiracy to murder in aid of racketeering, three counts of murder in aid of racketeering, one count of assault and attempted murder in aid of racketeering, one count of conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms and more of marijuana, 28 grams and more of crack cocaine, quantities of cocaine and oxycodone, two counts of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence or a drug-trafficking crime, and three counts of discharging a firearm in connection with the murders of Raffy Taveras, Irving Cruz, and Freddy Polanco.

Luis Beltran was convicted of one count of racketeering conspiracy, one count of conspiracy to murder in aid of racketeering, one count of murder in aid of racketeering, and one count of discharging a firearm in connection with the murder of Raymond Casul.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/09/2015