Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney and other officials announced the indictment of 18 defendants who stand accused of crimes ranging from murder to armed robbery to the theft of seven French bulldogs Monday.
The suspects are believed to be members of the “No Fake Love” gang, according to Mr. Tierney, who said all 18 suspects have been arrested and charged in a 148-count indictment that covers 31 separate crimes.
Mr. Tierney said the indictments are the result of a new approach his office is taking. “We will focus on Gang violence using every law enforcement tool we possess and take a coordinated approach to ending violent gang activity,” he said. “This case is the beginning of our work – not the end. If you’re committing violent crime in Suffolk County, we are coming for you.”
The only incident in the Town of Riverhead includes a car theft and armed robbery. It took place on April 13 in Wading River, when armed thieves stole a car operated by a Lyft driver, according to Mr. Tierney.
Riverhead police had initially received a call about a suspicious person in the vicinity of East Woodland Drive around 2 a.m., when they learned he was a ride-share driver who had just been robbed and had his vehicle stolen.
The man told police three people, including two with guns, assaulted him and forcefully removed him from his vehicle before fleeing the scene in the car.
According to the indictment, David Trent, 18, of Mastic, Corey Foggy, 18, of Mastic and Shati Roy Jr., 15, of Schenectady ordered the rideshare from a residnece in Wading River.
A short time into the trip, Mr. Roy allegedly reached over and repeatedly began striking the driver in the head. He and Mr. Trent then allegedly pointed guns at the driver’s head while yelling “get out of the car” and “shoot him.”
The driver suffered lacerations to his forehead, head and knee as a result of the crime and as he was forced from the vehicle, a dashboard camera was also thrown from the car and later recovered by Riverhead police.
“They driver is clearly terrified,” Mr. Tierney said during a press conference at county court in Riverside Monday.
All three defendants are charged with first-degree robbery for the gunpoint robbery. The 15-year-old was arrested by Riverhead Town police one week after the incident, though police did not release his name at the time.
The two 18-year-olds could face up to 25 years in prison, while Mr. Roy faces up to 10 years due to his age.
In another gang-related incident, three men were arrested as police executed a search warrant at a home in Wading River on Oct. 7. Authorities recovered a loaded .9 mm Taurus pistol from the home of Matthew Walker, 17, and also apprehended Jason Parker, 21, of Loganville, Ga., and Kevin Cabrera, 17, of Shirley. All three were charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and face up to 15 years’ incarceration for the incident, according to court documents.
“This is just another great example of how effective we are when we work together with out law enforcement partners to rid these heinous criminals from our communities here on the East End of Long Island,” said Riverhead police chief David Hegermiller in a statement thanking the DA’s office for their support.
Monday’s indictment is the result of a months-long investigation between several agencies including the DA’s office, Suffolk County Police Department, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, Riverhead Town Police Department and other regional law enforcement entities.
It also includes charges related to the Dec. 2021 killing of a man outside of a Farmingville nightclub, which Mr. Trent was allegedly involved in.
According to officials, Mr. Trent reportedly got into an argument with the victim, Jorge Barrera, outside the Minx nightclub and fired his gun at point blank range, killing him, the DA said. Two other men suffered non-fatal injuries in the shooting and Mr. Trent is also facing a second-degree murder charge.
The October 2022 shooting incident in front of Congressman Lee Zeldin’s house in Shirley is also believed to be gang related, though the suspects were not targeting Mr. Zeldin, Mr. Tierney said.
Investigators reportedly recovered a firearm linked to the Oct. 9 shooting near Rep. Lee Zeldin’s Shirley home following the arrest of a teenager who was seen entering a stolen vehicle weeks later.
Noah Green, 18, of Shirley, is facing felony charges of criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property.
He was also charged with second-degree attempted murder, according to the indictment.
Mr. Green allegedly was in possession of a loaded Taurus 9mm pistol when he was arrested in late October and a microscopic analysis linked the weapon to the shooting near Mr. Zeldin’s home. Police previously said that they did not believe the shooting was linked to the congressman, who at the time was the Republican candidate for governor. Two teenagers suffered non-fatal injuries in the shooting on Allanwood Drive in Shirley.
The DA said that Mr. Green “boasted” about the incident to fellow gang members after and a bail application submitted after his arrest included a picture Mr. Green posted on Snapchat holding the weapon.
Mr. Zeldin, whose campaign for governor had focused largely on crime, cited the shooting in political advertisements leading up to the election. His 16-year-old twin daughters were home at the time of the shooting and reportedly locked themselves in a bathroom and dialed 911 when they heard the gunshots.
A bullet reportedly landed just 30 feet away from where the girls were sitting.
In a statement Monday, Rep. Zeldin thanked law enforcement and Mr. Tierney’s office for their efforts.
“I am very grateful to Suffolk County law enforcement and DA Ray Tierney for their efforts to not only solve the case of the shooting outside my family’s home and holding the shooter accountable, but indicting 18 gang members in total,” Mr. Zeldin said. “Their efforts and dedication to the rule of law will go a long way towards making our communities safer for all law-abiding New Yorkers.”
The indictment also includes charges related to 15 vehicle thefts, grand larcenies and the theft of seven French bulldogs.
According to the indictment, the defendants are alleged members and associates of the “No Fake Love” or “NFL” street gang, which is affiliated with Crip and Blood gangs. An investigation began in early 2022 as law enforcement agencies executed over 100 search warrants into residences, vehicles and digital sources to gather intelligence.
The gang is primarily active in Mastic, Shirley, Bellport and Riverhead and its members reportedly sought to “establish geographical dominance throughout these communities by committing acts of violence,” according to a press release.
“This takedown is an example of collaborative police work at its finest,” said Suffolk Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr. in a statement. “Gangs have no place in this county and trust me they are no match for the law enforcement agencies in Suffolk. We will continue to work together to keep our neighborhoods safe and get these bad actors off our streets.”