Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Charges Against Nine Members of Violent Armed Robbery Home Invasion Crew Operating In The Bronx
January 9, 2013
Superseding Indictment Charges Two Defendants with Murder and Adds Firearms and Robbery Offenses
(New York, N.Y.) Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Joseph Anarumo Jr., the Special-Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”), and Raymond W. Kelly, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced the unsealing of a Superseding Indictment charging nine members of a violent armed robbery crew operating in the Bronx, New York, with robbery conspiracy, robbery, carjacking, and firearms offenses. Two defendants, MICHAEL CAMPBELL and PATRICK LEWIS, are also charged with committing a murder in connection with one of the armed robberies.
Four of the defendants charged in the Superseding Indictment were previously charged in October 2011 and November 2012. Specifically, DARREN MORRIS and CAMPBELL were originally charged with robbery and firearms offenses by indictment in October 2011. LEWIS and RASHID TURNER were also charged with robbery and firearms offenses in two separate complaints, both filed in November 2012. All four defendants were remanded on the original charges and remain in custody. Of the five new defendants charged in the Superseding Indictment, JAMAL FRAZER and ERIC BOOTH were arrested today and will be presented before U.S. District Judge John F. Keenan this afternoon, TYRIEK SKYFIELD and ANTHONY FRANCIS were in state custody on other charges, and one defendant, PRINCE WAREHAM, remains at large.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As alleged, this was an armed and violent gang responsible for murder, multiple robberies, carjacking, and packing pistols and other weapons. We are committed to taking these violent crews off our streets so that the neighborhoods of our District can be peacefully enjoyed by their residents, and with the 19 defendants we charged today, we are making good on that commitment in the Bronx.”
ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Joseph Anarumo Jr. said: “This investigation exemplifies the importance of inter-agency cooperation. In combining the investigative resources of ATF, NYPD and prosecutors from the Southern District of New York, we have put a stop to the alleged violence caused by this group of individuals - the allegedly heinous acts perpetrated include discharging a firearm at a pursuing Police Officer, armed robbery, carjacking and home invasion. Today’s indictment sends a strong message – We will not tolerate firearms violence in our communities and those responsible for it will be identified and held accountable.”
NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: “Criminals who think they can subdue the efforts of police to preserve peace and safety for Bronx residents are mistaken. NYPD narcotics investigators and others will endure to eliminate violent robbery crews, as an off-duty officer proved last week when he tackled an armed assailant despite having been seriously wounded. I commend the detectives who brought these subjects to justice, supported by the prosecutorial expertise of federal partners in the U.S. Attorney’s office.”
According to the allegations contained in the Superseding Indictment and other court documents previously filed in Manhattan federal court:
Between approximately 2009 and 2012, members of the robbery crew engaged in a series of armed robberies and attempted robberies throughout the Bronx, New York, one of which led to the December 2010 murder of a marijuana dealer, Patrick Woodburn in the Bronx. CAMPBELL and LEWIS stole approximately ten pounds of marijuana from Woodburn, and shot and killed him.
In another armed robbery on July 28, 2010, three of the crew members – FRAZER, SKYFIELD, and FRANCIS – carried out a carjacking in the Bronx, during which cash, jewelry, and a BMW sedan were taken from the victim at gunpoint.
MORRIS and CAMPBELL were also previously charged with a November 2009 home invasion robbery in the Bronx, which targeted suspected dealers of marijuana and marijuana proceeds. During the robbery, MORRIS struck one of the victims in the head with a gun, causing the gun to discharge one round. While fleeing the scene of the robbery, MORRIS also fired several shots at a police officer who pursued him.
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A chart containing the ages, residency information, and charges against the defendants, as well as the maximum penalties that they face, is attached. Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the ATF and the NYPD. The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher J. DiMase and Jessica A. Masella are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Superseding Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.