In what is said to be one of the largest gang busts in New York City history, city and federal authorities on Wednesday announced charges against 120 alleged members and associates of two rival street gangs operating in the Bronx.
The joint takedown by the NYPD’s Bronx Gang Squad, U.S. Homeland Security, DEA and ATF took place began around 2 a.m. at multiple New York City Housing Authority developments in the borough including the Eastchester Gardens Houses.
Charges include racketeering, narcotics conspiracy, and illegal use of firearms.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara say the members of the 2Fly and BMB gangs are also connected to several homicides including the the murder of 92-year-old Sadie Mitchell who was struck by a stray bullet in 2009.
"We bring these charges so that all New Yorkers, including those in public housing can live their lives as they deserve: Free of drugs, free of guns, and free of gang violence," Bharara said.
"These gang members do not belong on our streets, instead they belong exactly where they're going, in federal prison for many years where they won't be surrounded by their buddies, they won't be close to their families, and they'll no longer be free to terrorize the neighborhoods in which they grew up," Bratton added.
Some of the alleged gang members were seen being brought into the 43rd precinct in Soundview for processing Wednesday morning.
Several dozen of the defendants were scheduled to appear in Manhattan federal court Wednesday afternoon.
In a statement, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in part, "Our city continues to lead the nation in innovative and sophisticated anti-crime efforts, and today’s gang takedown is another example of the NYPD’s extraordinary work. I want to thank Commissioner Bratton, the DEA, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and all the men and women involved in apprehending these dangerous individuals and keeping New York the safest big city in America."