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April 18, 2013

DA Rice, Co. Exec. Mangano, NCPD Comm. Dale, and the FBI Announce Largest Gang Takedown in Nassau County History

Months-long investigation results in 18 arrests for attempted murder, weapons sales, drug sales, and robbery

WATCH VIDEO OF PRESS CONFERENCE HERE

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice joined with County Executive Ed Mangano, NCPD Commissioner Tom Dale and FBI officials to announce the most significant gang bust in County history, arresting 14 members and four associates of the ultra-violent “Rollin’ 60s” for crimes including attempted murder, assault, robbery, gun sales, and drug sales.DA Rice

The arrests are the result of a months-long collaborative investigation between the agencies and include the arrest of the gang’s leader, Raphael “Gusto” Osborne, 27, of Roosevelt. The Rollin’ 60s are a violent set of the Crips street gang and have been operating in Roosevelt since approximately 2001.

While many members of the gang have been arrested for various offenses, law enforcement efforts accelerated when gang member Michael Benitez shot a Hempstead Police Department officer in December 2011. The collaborative investigation began when law enforcement learned from a witness that members of the Rollin’ 60s were selling guns out of the homes of Osborne and high-ranking gang member Derick Hernandez. Law enforcement learned that fellow gang member Aaron Halyard would make trips to southern states, purchase firearms, and bring them back to Nassau County to be sold illegally at a mark-up. Gang member Timothy Fenner was also involved in the sales. Three sales of five guns were documented in May 2012.

A June 2012 sale to a witness was called off when Fenner and Osbourne saw police activity in the area. In October 2012, Hernandez lured a person he believed to be a witness to illegal gun sales to a secluded area where Osbourne was waiting. Osbourne shot the victim multiple times, but the victim survived.

Osbourne and Hernandez are charged with Attempted Murder in the First Degree for this incident. Gary Mosley and Aaron Halyard have made attempts to lure the victim out of hiding. Mosley is charged with Conspiracy in the Second Degree, and arrest warrants have been issued for Halyard and Fenner.

Rice said that Rollin’ 60s members were responsible for other shootings. On August 30, 2012, Hernandez and Mosley spotted a man with whom they had a long-standing conflict. Hernandez pulled up next to the victim’s vehicle and Mosley shot him in the arm. When the victim abandoned his still-moving vehicle and ran, Hernandez exited his car and fired additional shots at him, striking a bystander’s backpack. In a separate incident on October 6, 2012, gang member Devon Johnson shot another individual outside of a party after an argument.

Other incidents include:

  • A January 2, 2013 incident where gang member Tyshawn Gitto was arrested in possession of a loaded handgun.
  • A January 6, 2013 incident where gang member Tyrell Edwards robbed a victim of their cell phone. He was arrested a short time later in possession of the phone.
  • A February 10, 2013 incident where gang members Hernandez, Kwame Lake, and Kurtis Phillip robbed a local business person at gunpoint.
  • A March 2, 2013 incident where shots were fired in Roosevelt from a car believed to be connected to the gang. Detectives attempted to pull over a vehicle matching the description but a chase ensued. The driver, Rohmel Loban, attempted to flee but was arrested.
  • An April 7, 2013 incident where gang members Wesley Reyes, Leshont Rodney-Saunders, and Jeffrey Lee, and gang associates Abdul Robinson and Brian Marshall, punched and kicked a male victim and stole his money. The five defendants were arrested a short time later.
  • Multiple members being arrested for selling drugs, including Merlin Benitez, Daquanne Nunn, and Mosley.
  • Search warrants executed at the homes of Osbourne and Hernandez yesterday uncovered felony-level amounts of heroin, powder and crack cocaine, and marijuana.

 

“These arrests are a crushing blow to a notorious gang that has flooded the streets with guns, drugs, and violence for more than a decade,” Rice said. “It’s a shame to see so many young lives wasted, but our communities will be safer with these dangerous and violent criminals locked behind bars for a very long time. I thank the Nassau County Police Department and the FBI for their outstanding work and cooperation and the US Attorney’s Office in Islip for their assistance in this matter.”

“I want to commend the members of our Nassau County Police Department’s Gang Unit, Intelligence Unit and Electronics Squad along with the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the FBI for a job well done,” said County Executive Mangano.“Working together on this investigation we have been able to penetrate the heart of this gang with the arrest of these individuals.Proactive joint investigations such as this, with talented and well respected law enforcement professionals that utilize all of our resources collectively will only help improve the safety of our residents as we already enjoy one of the lowest crime rates in the nation.”

“The bravery of the Nassau County Police Department officers who went out on the streets and stood toe to toe with these violent criminals cannot be overstated,” Dale said. “This takedown proves yet again that violence and intimidation is no match for the relentless effort and determination of cooperating law enforcement agencies, and I want to thank the DA’s Office and the FBI for their outstanding work on this case.”

The DA’s Street Narcotics & Gang Bureau is prosecuting the cases.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.