16 reputed members of one of New York City’s most violent gangs arrested
Federal prosecutors in New York unsealed a superseding indictment Tuesday charging more than a dozen members of the criminal street gang Own Every Dollar, or OED, with racketeering, robbery, illegal firearms, narcotics trafficking, attempted murder and murder.
OED, a subset of the Trinitarios gang, operated mainly in and around Washington Heights, but also in the Bronx and Queens, and is known for extreme violence in furtherance of their criminal activities, federal prosecutors said.
The Trinitarios gang is responsible for the 2018 killing of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, among others.
The 16 defendants were charged with selling fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, crack, oxycodone and marijuana. The defendants sold drugs to, among others, undercover police officers, and were frequently arrested in possession of drugs packaged for resale, according to the indictment.
In connection with their drug dealing, many of the defendants regularly posted social media photographs and videos of themselves holding firearms, prosecutors said.
“Members and associates of OED committed and agreed, attempted and threatened to commit acts of violence to protect and expand their narcotics business, to protect fellow members and associates of the OED Enterprise, to otherwise promote the standing and reputation of OED amongst rival gangs, and to promote the standing and reputation of members of OED,” the indictment said. “These acts of violence included acts involving murder, robbery and assault, intended to protect the OED Enterprise’s narcotics business and to retaliate against members of rival gangs who had encroached on the OED Enterprise’s narcotics business.”
The federal indictment links this street gang to at least five murders including the Feb. 7 fatal shooting of 41-year-old Anthony Savarese, the July 2, 2020, murder of 30-year-old Richard Dominguez and Israel Cabrera, the Aug. 31, 2018, fatal shooting of 22-year-old Nicolas Vargas, Jr., and the April 14, 2019, murder of Hector Cruz.
Ten of the defendants – Jerrin Pena, 20, Ariel Oliver, 22, Justin Deaza, 20, Wilson Mendez, 19, Jowenky Nunez, 19, Brian Hernandez, 22, Victor Colon, 24, Jose Gutierrez, 20, Argentis Tavarez, 22, and Nijmah Marte, 21, all from New York City – were previously charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams and more of fentanyl and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and oxycodone.
Pena, Mendez, Nunez, Hernandez, Colon, and Marte were previously charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of the narcotics conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.