Four gang members charged with multiple shootings and armed carjackings across Queens: Feds

Photo Jul 08 2023, 1 47 26 PM (1)
Four members of the Trinitarios street gang were charged in Brooklyn federal court with multiple shootings and armed carjackings across Queens. File photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A superseding indictment was filed in Brooklyn federal court Wednesday charging four members of the Trinitarios street gang with a string of violent crimes across Queens including multiple shootings and armed carjackings between November 2022 and February 2023.

Jonathan Rodriguez, 22, of Queens, Amaury Guzmán, 24, and Ian “Gallina” Diez, 19, both from Brooklyn, and Ruffi “Mojatoto’ Fernández, 26, of Staten Island, were previously arrested and will be arraigned on the superseding indictment at a later date.

As alleged in the indictment and court filings, Guzmán, Fernández and others conspired to rob a marijuana dealer in Queens on Nov. 19, 2022. Guzmán approached the victim as he sat inside a parked car with a companion in the passenger seat. Guzmán allegedly fired a shot into the victim’s car, wounding the passenger in the neck. The passenger survived but underwent extensive surgery to remove the bullet from his neck.

The following day, shortly after midnight on Nov. 20, Guzmán and others stole a white Mercedes Benz sedan from the driveway of a residence in Carteret, New Jersey and drove it to Queens. Later that evening using the stolen Mercedes, Guzmán and Rodriguez approached the driver of a parked BMW 440 sports coupe.

Rodriguez pulled out a firearm and fired at the Tao Wu as he sped away. The victim was shot once in the back, quickly losing control of his car which flipped over onto a sidewalk. Wu died from the gunshot wound moments later.

Two days later, on Nov. 22, 2022, Guzmán, Rodriguez and others once again used the stolen Mercedes to approach a victim who had recently parked his BMW X5 in front of 80-49 Kent St. in Jamaica. The crew attacked the victim at gunpoint and stole the keys to his BMW X5. They drove off in the stolen Mercedes and the victim’s BMW X5 only to crash into each other minutes later. Rodriguez was arrested near the scene of the collision, but Guzmán managed to escape. A 9mm ghost gun was recovered from the wrecked Mercedes which, based on ballistic analysis, was the same gun used in the fatal and non-fatal shootings days earlier based on ballistic analysis.

Several weeks later, on Dec. 12, 2022, Guzmán, Fernández and Diez drove a black Infiniti to Sanford Avenue and 150th Street in the Queensboro Hill section of Flushing and approached the driver of a Range Rover intending to carjack him. Diez menaced the driver with a hard object. As the victim attempted to flee, Fernández fired a gun towards the Range Rover causing a bullet to lodge in the center console of the victim’s vehicle.

On Feb. 1, 2023, Guzmán and others drove a red Dodge Charger to 53-46 73rd St. in Maspeth where they attacked a victim at gunpoint. The man was pistol-whipped while one of the crew took the keys to his Ford Mustang. They fled the scene in the Mustang and in a stolen Dodge Charger that they used to carry out the carjacking. Lacerations to the victim’s head required hospitalization.

“As alleged, the defendants repeatedly and violently terrorized the community with multiple shootings and armed carjackings,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said. “Members of our community should not have to live in fear of gun violence in their homes, on the streets, or in their cars. My Office is dedicated to ensuring the safety of the community and bringing those who shoot and rob community members to justice.”

If convicted, Guzmán and Rodriguez are facing up to a life sentence. Fernández is facing up to 20 years, and Diez is facing up to 15 years. “Taking violent offenders off the street should send a message to Trinitarios members and their associates that violence and senseless murder will not be tolerated,” FBI New York Field Office Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said. “New Yorkers should have the opportunity to live, work, and play without fear and we ask the community to join us in our stand against violence. You can make a difference.”