A South Ozone Park man was one of two men indicted this week for their alleged roles in a pair of murders in the neighborhood nearly 30 years ago.
Darin “Snatch” Hamilton, 60, was charged alongside Jerome “Sha” Jones, 54, of West Virginia. Hamilton is charged with the intentional murder of Anthony Lloyd while engaged in narcotics trafficking, and both defendants are charged with the murder of Robert Arroyo while engaged in narcotics trafficking, as well as conspiracy to do the same.
“As today’s charges make clear, we will not let the passage of time deter us from bringing murderers to justice. It is our hope that this prosecution will bring some measure of consolation to the families of the victims,” United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said on Feb. 6.
According to charges, Hamilton and Jones were alleged members of Queens-based crew that called itself “Black Rain,” and sold narcotics at several locations on Rockaway Boulevard in the early 1990s. They allegedly sold heroin under the name “Black Rain,” cocaine under the brand name “White Lightning” and crack cocaine under the brand name “Thunder.” The gang committed acts of violence, including murder, to protect its operation.
Both murders occurred in the vicinity 128th Street and Rockaway Boulevard in South Ozone Park, where Hamilton and Jones allegedly managed a drug spot. In June 1992, Hamilton allegedly shot and killed Anthony Llyod because Hamilton believed that Lloyd had stolen Black Rain.
Two months later in August 1992, Hamilton and Jones allegedly recruited and paid two members of Black Rain to murder Robert Arroyo because they believed that he was a police informant. The recruits mistakenly shot another man that they believed was Arroyo. The victim in that shooting survived his wounds.
On Sept. 8, 1992, the recruits located Arroyo on a crowded street and shot him multiple times at Hamilton and Jones’ direction, which resulted in Arroyo’s death.
Hamilton was arrested on Feb. 6 in New York and Jones is currently being held in federal custody and is awaiting arraignment.
“Investigations grow cold with the passage of time, but investigators don’t stop searching for evidence they need to bring the suspects involved to justice,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “Anthony Lloyd and Robert Arroyo were murdered nearly three decades ago, and their killers may have believed they were in the clear. However, the FBI New York Metro Safe Streets Task Force and our partners at the NYPD want this case to serve as a warning for those who believe they can let their guard down, we are still on the case and we won’t give up.”