(STL.News) – Earlier today, a superseding indictment was unsealed in federal court in Central Islip variously charging six members and associates of the Red Stone Gorillas “set” of the Bloods street gang with racketeering, murder, robberies, narcotics trafficking and firearms offenses. The superseding indictment adds five new defendants, Jimmy Dean, Roger Foster, Corey Belcher, Willie Belcher and Eric Ross. Those defendants were arrested this morning in various locations on the East End of Long Island, and will be arraigned this afternoon before United States District Judge Joanna Seybert. Two defendants, the gang’s alleged leader Jimmy Dean and Terrill Latney, were already in custody, and will be arraigned at a later date.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), Timothy Sini, District Attorney, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office (SCDA), Geraldine Hart, Commissioner, Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD), Keith M. Corlett, Superintendent, New York State Police (NYSP), and David J. Hegermiller, Chief, Riverhead Police Department, announced the charges.
“Through murder, assaults and drug sales, these members and associates of the Bloods’ Red Stone Gorillas posed a grave danger to communities on eastern Long Island,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “This Office, together with our federal and local law enforcement partners, will continue working tirelessly to prosecute defendants like these and eradicate violent street gangs throughout Long Island.” Mr. Donoghue expressed his grateful appreciation to the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force and the Suffolk County East End Drug Task Force for their work on the case.
“These arrests are the culmination of several years of intensive investigation to take out the worst-of-the-worst gang members terrorizing Eastern Long Island communities,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “These subjects have allegedly created such a violent environment in parts of the town where they operate that they were dealing out in the open, without fear. We put a huge dent in that practice with the first round of arrests in this case, and today’s action shows our FBI Long Island Gang Task Force and our law enforcement partners won’t stop until all of them are rounded up.”
“These are extremely dangerous gang members who are responsible not only for conspiring to commit murder, but for consistently driving crime on the East End through drug dealing and illegal firearm offenses,” stated Suffolk County District Attorney Sini. “Eradicating violent street gangs from our community is a top priority for my office. I thank all of our federal and local law enforcement partners for their continued partnership in the investigation and prosecution of gang members.”
“These Blood gang members and their associates engaged in violence and trafficked large quantities of narcotics for years on the East End of Long Island. Thanks to the diligent work of the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force and the Suffolk County East End Drug Task Force— they have been stopped and will be held accountable for their heinous crimes,” stated SCPD Commissioner Hart. “The department will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to rid our communities of violent street gangs.”
“I commend our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners for their commitment to Project Safe Neighborhoods,” stated NYSP Superintendent Corlett. “The arrests of these criminals are proof that, together, we are making our neighborhoods safer. Through our collaborative efforts, we will continue to target and apprehend gang members like the Blood Gang so they can no longer endanger the lives of New Yorkers through their heinous activities.”
“We truly appreciate the unprecedented cooperation and assistance from our federal, state and county law enforcement partners in helping us to remove these criminals from our local communities here on the east end of Long Island,” stated Riverhead Police Chief Hegermiller.
As detailed in the superseding indictment and other court filings by the government, the defendants’ gang committed acts of violence and distributed large quantities of crack cocaine, powder cocaine and heroin in the Riverhead area on Long Island for nearly a decade. On November 17, 2015, while attempting to carry out Dean’s order to kill an individual, Latney, and others fatally shot Thomas Lacolla as he sat in the intended victim’s car. On August 1, 2015, Foster and others shot and wounded a suspected member of the rival Crips gang and a female bystander. Following Dean’s arrest in 2016, Latney, Foster and others assumed control of the gang’s drug distribution operations.
The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, the defendants face maximum sentences of up to life imprisonment.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the its renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.