After a long-term investigation, cops rounded up and arrested 20 members of the notorious Always Bangin’ Kings (ABK) gang on an assortment of charges including the attempted murder of two rival gang members, and for selling drugs throughout Maspeth and Elmhurst.
On Thursday, March 9, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill announced that a Queens County grand jury indicted six purported ABK gang members for plotting to kill two Latin King gang members in December 2016, and an additional 11 members of the ABK gang were indicted or summarily arrested for selling drugs in Elmhurst and Maspeth between January 2016 and November 2016.
According to the attempted murder indictment, Francis “Franchise” Carias, 29, of East Elmhurst, and Michael “Ceoz” Aalil, 20, of Elmhurst, acted as the ABK gang’s bosses and organized a hit against two Latin King members. The pair allegedly instructed the other four defendants to procure a vehicle and weapons and set a location for the hit.
On Dec. 4, 2016, Aalil and Carias allegedly told the others to go to the parking lot at 69th Street and 34th Avenue in Woodside and wait for the Latin King members to exit a nearby bar. However, the criminal complaint continues, police allegedly had been eavesdropping on their telephone communications through wiretaps as part of a larger investigation and were at the location to arrest the defendants before the hit took place.
“A long-term investigation, which included court-authorized wiretaps, is alleged to have thwarted the death of two individuals in Queens three months ago when an investigator allegedly overheard the defendants planning to kill rival gang members,” Brown said. “Fortunately for the victims, the defendants were arrested as they are alleged to have been laying in wait for their targets to exit a bar.”
In conjunction with the take-down, another three ABK gang members were arrested this week and charged with gang assault and other crimes for a vicious attack on a male at a fast food restaurant in Woodside last month.
And an additional six purported ABK members — defendants John Gutierrez, Michael Diaz, Joshua Bonilla, Michelle Mendez, Jonathan Francisco and Javier Trivino — have been charged in three separate indictments for allegedly selling drugs to undercover detectives on one or more occasions. It is alleged that during the buys, police seized marijuana, cocaine, Ketamine and Xanax pills mixed with fentanyl.
The takedown also brought in eight more ABK members who were summarily arrested on either drug or gang assault charges.
“This investigation also netted three purported gang members allegedly responsible for an assault on a diner at a fast food restaurant, as well as nearly a dozen alleged drug dealers who are accused of selling undercover detectives everything from marijuana to prescription opioids dangerously mixed with fentanyl,” Brown said. “Drug dealers have no place in Queens County and my office will continue to aggressively pursue those who would make it their business to sell illegal narcotics and prescription drugs in our neighborhoods.”
“[On Thursday], the defendants find themselves under arrest for selling cocaine and other drugs in the Elmhurst and Maspeth neighborhoods of Queens,” O’Neill said. “The investigation also prevented at least two homicides, as detectives were able to intervene before the killing of two rival gang members.”
Aalil, Carias, and these two others — along with two other individuals who pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy, but were deemed youthful offenders, so their cases are sealed — were variously charged with attempted murder, conspiracy, attempted gang assault, attempted assault, resisting arrest, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm:
- Dionicio “Dime” Castro, 23, of Woodside; and
- Michael “Tunes” Cortes, 24, of Jackson Heights.
Bail for Aalil and Cortes was set at $2 million and both face up to 25 years in prison if convicted, while Carias and Castro were remanded into custody and face up to life in prison if convicted.
In the drug selling indictment, these 11 defendants were variously charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal sale of marijuana and conspiracy, and face anywhere between up to two years and 20 years in prison if convicted:
- Joshua Bonilla, 22, of Elmhurst;
- Michael Diaz, 25, of Jackson Heights;
- Jonathan Francisco, 25, of Corona,
- John Gutierrez, 32, of Corona;
- Michelle Mendez, 31, of Elmhurst;
- Marco Neira, 23, of Kew Gardens;
- Joshua Ortega, 22, of Flushing;
- Louis Quinonez, 23, of Flushing;
- Javier Trivino, 25, of Corona;
- Carlos Villafane, 22, of Flushing; and
- Jin Bin Zheng, 33, of Brooklyn.
Bail for Bonilla was set at $2 million, and bail for Neira was set at $10,000. Diaz, Gutierrez and Trivino are still being sought.
In the gang assault charges, three individuals have been variously charged with gang assault, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, and each face up to 25 years in prison:
- Jennifer Charris, 31, of Elmhurst;
- Anthony Delgado, 21, of Corona; and
- Margaret Lynch-Frazier, 27, of Sunnyside.
Bail has been set at $250,000 for Delgado, and $20,000 for Lynch-Frazier.