Gang Member Charged With 2019 Manhattan Murder Of An Innocent Bystander
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Keechant L. Sewell, Police Commissioner for the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced today that JEAN CARMONA was charged with racketeering conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, committing violent crimes in aid of racketeering, and firearms offenses.
As alleged, CARMONA is a member of a street gang known as “the 200s,” operating in and around upper Manhattan. On January 31, 2019, CARMONA and other 200s members traveled to another neighborhood, murdered Roberto Vasquez and attempted to murder a second individual.
Vasquez and the second victim were innocent bystanders mistaken for rival gang members. CARMONA was in custody in Bergen County, New Jersey and was transferred into federal custody today. He will be presented this afternoon in Manhattan federal court. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Paul G. Gardephe.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Carmona allegedly participated in a callous, gang-related murder of an innocent bystander whose only offense was wanting to go home. Carmona’s callous actions not only took Roberto Vasquez’ life, but also led to a second innocent bystander being shot as well. We hope that today’s charges bring some measure of comfort to the families of the victims and make clear that this Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to be relentless in our pursuit of anyone who takes another person’s life.”
FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said: “As alleged, Mr. Carmona is a member of the 200’s street gang who participated in the 2019 murder of Roberto Vasquez, an innocent victim mistaken for a rival gang member, in Upper Manhattan. Our communities deserve far better than to live in fear of criminal gangs.
As the scourge of gang violence continues to plague the streets of our city, the FBI and our partners with the NYPD will continue to be relentless in our pursuit of the criminals responsible for these violent acts.”
NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said: “Today’s charges demonstrate that as long as people are involved in the violence and other illegal activities so often associated with gang life, the NYPD and our law-enforcement partners will be relentless in holding them fully accountable. I want to commend and thank our colleagues in the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York for their hard work in furthering this cause.”
According to the allegations in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
From at least in or about 2017 up to and including June 2022, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, JEAN CARMONA was a member of the 200s street gang. In order to fund the gang, protect its territory, and promote its standing, members of the 200 engaged in, among other things, narcotics trafficking and other acts of violence, including murder. 200 members sold marijuana in the gang’s territory and engaged in shootings as part of their gang membership.
In particular, on January 31, 2019, CARMONA participated in the shooting and murder of Roberto Vasquez and the non-fatal shooting of a second individual, who were innocent bystanders mistaken for rival gang members, in the vicinity of 158th Street and Broadway Avenue, in Manhattan, New York.
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CARMONA, 31, is charged with one count of racketeering conspiracy, which carries a maximum term of life in prison; one count of murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a mandatory minimum term of life in prison or death; one count of causing death through use of a firearm, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of life in prison or death; one count of committing violent crimes in aid of racketeering, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison; and one count of carrying, brandishing, and discharging a firearm in connection with a crime of violence, which caries a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The minimum and maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and NYPD.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Mathew Andrews, Rushmi Bhaskaran, and Elizabeth Espinosa are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.