Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, accompanied by NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell, announced a historic 151-count indictment against 33 alleged gang members, five of whom face murder charges. This marks one of the largest gang takedowns in the history of the Queens District Attorney’s office.
The murder charges stem from the 2019 shooting death of 14-year-old Aamir Griffin, who was mistakenly targeted by a gang member, and the killing of Sean Vance on New Year’s Eve 2020. The indictment is the result of an extensive, nearly three-year investigation into gang and gun violence in the Baisley Park Houses area and surrounding communities.
Katz emphasized the importance of removing illegal firearms from the streets and praised the efforts of the NYPD’s Gun Violence Suppression Unit and her Violent Criminal Enterprise Bureau for their role in apprehending these dangerous individuals.
Commissioner Sewell reiterated the NYPD’s commitment to pursuing justice for crime victims and holding violent gang members accountable for their actions. Sewell expressed gratitude to the Queens District Attorney’s office and others involved in the case for their dedication to justice and public safety.
The defendants, aged between 17 and 40, were arraigned by Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder on a 151-count indictment, which included charges such as first, second, and fourth-degree conspiracy, and second-degree murder. The defendants are scheduled to return to court in the second week of May.
At the heart of the indictment is an ongoing feud between Southeast Queens street gangs Money World and their rivals Local Trap Stars and Never Forget Loyalty. The conflict was initially sparked by a slashing incident in April 2019, but tensions escalated following Griffin’s murder in October 2019. Since then, over 22 shootings have occurred, resulting in one fatality.
The rivalry has been further fueled by social media and rap videos, with both sides boasting about their violent acts and taunting their adversaries, often disrespecting the memory of deceased friends and family members.
Throughout the investigation, 34 firearms have been seized during arrests and search warrants.