Police investigation leads to indictment of six alleged gang members: DA

Police investigation leads to indictment of six alleged gang members: DA
By Naeisha Rose

A long-term investigation spearheaded by the NYPD’s Queens South Gang Squad’s Criminal Investigations Task Force has led to the indictment of six alleged members of the Wood City Gang, a subset of the Bloods street gang that operates in Springfield Gardens and St. Albans, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

The six defendants from Queens range in age from 22 to 29 and were hit with a 22-count indictment Sept. 5 for targeting and shooting at rivals in the SNOW street gang, according to Brown and Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill.

“The defendants are variously accused of turning our communities into danger zones with senseless gun violence. The individuals are charged with acting in concert with one or more co-defendants to shoot and wound rival gang members,” said Brown.

Brandon Bledman, 23, and Kaminski Gauthier, 22, both from Queens Village, were arraigned Aug. 24 on charges of conspiracy, attempted murder, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the district attorney’s office.

Gauthier was also charged with reckless endangerment, according to Brown.

Both men, along with a third defendant — James Gomez, 22, who was arraigned Sept. 5 — were ordered to return to court Oct. 1 and could face between five to 25 years in prison if convicted, according to the DA’s office.

Gomez, who is from Jamaica, was charged with conspiracy, attempted murder, attempted assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

The other three defendants from Jamaica awaiting arraignment are Nahzaya Grant, 22, Demetires Anderson, 29, and Nicholas Morris, 22, who are all facing conspiracy charges, according to the DA’s office.

Grant and Anderson are also facing attempted murder and attempted assault charges, and could spend between five to 25 years in prison if convicted, according to the DA’s office.

Morris faces a possibility of one to three years in prison if convicted, Brown said.

Members of the Wood City Gang allegedly spent two months from April 2017 to June 2017 targeting members of the SNOW street gang in retaliation for a shooting that occurred April 3, 2017, according to an indictment.

The following day, Gauthier allegedly attempted to kill two members of the SNOW gang, according to the indictment.

On May 24, 2017, a member of the SNOW gang was the subject of another attempted murder, allegedly by Bledman and Gomez.

The gun used in the shooting allegedly belonged to Bledman, according to a ballistics report.

The Gang Squad, in collaboration with the DA’s Gang Violence and Hate Crimes Bureau, utilized monitoring of telephone conversations and dialogue as one of their investigative techniques, and learned that Bledman allegedly discussed the second murder attempt with and another individual on May 25, 2017, and said that Gomez was involved.

On June 13, Grant and Anderson were allegedly caught on visible surveillance video footage before and during a shooting of a rival gang member, according to the indictment.

Police looked at the social media pages belonging to the gang members and allegedly found them discussing previous shootings and their desire to target other rivals in future shootings, according to the indictment.

“Precisely targeting violent criminals like these, the small percentage of our population responsible for driving much of the violence and disorder, is the way we will continue to keep all New Yorkers safe. Dismantling gangs and preventing the violence associated with them, is our way forward,” said O’Neill.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.