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They call themselves El1te Society, a group of car enthusiasts known for driving flashy supercars around New York City.
On Sundays, the group gathers at undisclosed locations before riding together on road trips to areas outside of the city on expeditions they refer to as El1te Society car runs.
Social media posts give a glimpse into how these events work. Typically an Instagram user with the handle @mpireboyz_ceo posts a photo several days before the run indicating the group’s destination that week, how many spots are available and a meetup time. Those interested are instructed to send a direct message to the organizer for more details.
For the group’s latest run, this past Sunday, July 21, @mpireboyz_ceo informed followers they’d be starting their day at 7 a.m. Their destination: Shelter Island.
“We taking our Exotic Cars on the Ferry and will be taking some dope photos,” @mpireboyz_ceo wrote in an Instagram post shared Saturday. “SO GET READY!!”
Mpireboyz is a self-described international car club “aiming to unify car enthusiasts from all around the world,” according to its website.
Unlike previous trips, where photos and videos flooded social media with el1te hashtags and mpireboyz mentions, very little was posted Sunday by the social media accounts which typically share the thrilling events of the day. Past posts show high-speed luxury vehicles — Ferraris, McLarens, Porsches — glamming their way through nearby cities in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
In the days since Sunday’s run to the East End, what little social media posts did exist of the run have slowly disappeared, having been deleted off pages or, as in the case of @mpireboyz_ceo, lost to a deactivated Instagram account.
What remains is a murky puzzle with pieces that could provide the answer to a looming question since Sunday — who was driving when a police officer witnessed a group of sports cars line up along Route 48 in Peconic before two of them burst to speeds in excess of 130 miles per hour, setting off a wild chain of events that culminated in the two expensive automobiles found abandoned near a popular tourist destination in Mattituck.
The racing incident, which one witness described as “something out of a movie” and another wrote on social media “scared the @&$ out of [him],” began shortly after 1:30 p.m.
The two lead vehicles, a blue 2017 McLaren with the license plate “EL1TE” and a red 2016 Ferrari, sped through at least two red lights at speeds of more than 80 miles per hour, according to Southold Town police. At the Wickham Avenue intersection, they drove past a police officer who had stopped north and southbound traffic.
Branding on the two vehicles, which remain at Southold Town police headquarters, suggest the involvement of El1te Society and mpireboyz members. The McLaren featured not only the EL1TE personalized plate, but both cars had mpireboyz license plate frames. Mpireboyz Inc. is a corporation registered to Gaston Castro of Flushing, Queens, according to a listing with the New York Department of State. Mr. Castro did not return a telephone message seeking comment.
The @mpireboyz_ceo Instagram account was deactivated Monday, one day after the speeding incident and hours after a reporter from The Suffolk Times attempted to interact with the private account.
A cached image from the page published Saturday and still visible through a Google search, shows the blue McLaren, its EL1TE license plate visible, with the caption “TAMO READY FOR TOMORROWS CAR RUNS #supercarsunday #el1tesociety #el1te #thewinningteam.” At least three other posts on the account promoted Sunday’s run to Shelter Island.
A public Instagram user, @eliteboy_, shared a photo Sunday of a man standing in front of a Porsche onboard the South Ferry from North Sea to Shelter Island. Minutes after a reporter attempted to reach Emmanuel Diaz, the name publicly displayed on the account, by phone Wednesday, the photo was deleted along with other car images on the page. The account was then made private later that same day. Another Instagram account frequently tagged in El1te Society posts, @el1te.society, was also deactivated this week.
Southold Town police chief Martin Flatley said Thursday that investigators are looking into the El1te Society and mpireboyz club’s possible involvement in Sunday’s incident.
“Obviously part of our investigation is attempting to trace where the group was prior to this incident and we have also received feedback from people in the community that saw them at various places,” Chief Flatley wrote in an email. “We do know that they were on Shelter Island and made a stop at Claudio’s in Greenport and we have searched for video from various locations along the route, as well as social media posts.”
The car enthusiasts’ trip to the East End was captured on a video story posted on the Claudio’s Instagram account. The video showed several sports cars, including a blue McLaren and red Ferrari driving in front of the well known Greenport restaurant, and included the tag @mpireboyz.
The website elitesocial.nyc, which promotes luxury lifestyle events and includes photos of a blue McLaren and red Ferrari at some of those meet-ups, removed all of its listings under luxury rentals this week. A cached version of the site from July 18, visible through a Google search, shows a red Ferrari listed among the rental items, though it is unclear if it’s the same vehicle in Sunday’s incident.
This is not the first time this type of activity has attracted attention from law enforcement.
Derlin Colon of Flushing is also frequently tagged in Instagram posts along with different El1te Society and mpireboyz handles at his handle @mr_tci. Reached by telephone Thursday, Mr. Colon denied being a member of El1te Society.
“I know guys there, but I’m not a part of it,” he said.
He said he heard about Sunday’s ride to Shelter Island and the North Fork, but wasn’t there.
“I’m on vacation,” he said.
Online records show Mr. Colon had an appearance in Queens Criminal Court Tuesday in relation to a 2016 crash on Grand Central Parkway. Last September, he was named as one of two defendants in a 66-count indictment stemming from the incident, including a top charge of first-degree felony assault. In a criminal complaint, a peace officer with the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority said he used a measuring device to observe Mr. Colon and a co-defendant driving 150 mph in a 40 mph zone moments before they were involved in a five-vehicle collision near the Triborough Bridge.
Mr. Colon’s attorney, Oliver Storch of Manhattan, vehemently denied that Mr. Colon attended the Shelter Island ride. He also noted that the criminal charges arising from the 2016 crash were only allegations and that the case is still ongoing.
Chief Flatley said that while his department’s investigation into Sunday’s incident is progressing, no arrests have been made. The names of the registrants of the two abandoned vehicles were redacted from the incident report released by police. The chief declined to comment on that aspect of the investigation.
Top Caption: The blue McLaren at the Southold Town police impound lot Wednesday afternoon. (Credit: Mahreen Khan)