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Gang member tied to 2015 murder in Riverside pleads guilty

A gang member who had been charged in connection to the 2015 murder of 27-year-old Thomas LaColla pleaded guilty Friday in federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Terrill Latney, 39, an associate of the Red Stone Gorilla “set” of the Bloods street gang based in Riverhead, pleaded guilty to racketeering, including conspiring to distribute narcotics and participating in Mr. Lacolla’s murder, officials said.

“We hope today’s guilty plea begins to bring a measure of closure to the victim’s family,” U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said in a statement.

On Nov. 17, 2015, Mr. Latney assisted members of the Bloods in their attempt to kill a rival gang member. Mr. Latney, who has addresses listed for both Riverhead and Mastic Beach, drove three Bloods members to Old Quogue Road in Riverside where they fired at least 39 shots into a vehicle parked outside a home that they erroneously believed was occupied by the rival gang member. Instead, they killed Mr. Lacolla.

Mr. Latney faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Officials previously said the gang’s alleged leader, Jimmy Dean of Calverton ordered the killing.

They were among six alleged gang members arrested in October following an investigation by the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force. Mr. Latney was described as Mr. Dean’s “right hand man” in the distribution of large quantities of cocaine.

 “As a result of the outstanding work by our prosecutors, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Suffolk County East End Drug Task Force, Latney has been held accountable for his role in a large-scale narcotics distribution operation and a senseless act of violence that took a man’s life,” Mr. Donoghue said.