NEW HAVEN -- After a year-long investigation in collaboration with state and federal agencies, police in New Haven said they have removed six violent gang members from the city's streets.
The group of men is now facing federal charges after a grand jury indictment on August 3. The 13-count indictment charges them with conspiring to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity including multiple shootings and narcotics trafficking.
U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly announced Wednesday that the following men are now in federal custody: 19-year-old Milton Westley aka “Reese, 20-year-old Clifford Brodie aka “Cliff G”, 25-year-old Sedale Pervis aka “Scope, 20-year-old Dejuan Ward aka “Hot Boi”, 18-year-old Michael Belle aka “MB” and 20-year-old Michael Via aka “Mike Live.”
The New Haven Police Department’s Shooting Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have been investigating dozens of unsolved shootings in and around New Haven last year.
Ballistic examination of recovered cartridge cases determined that three guns were used in 18 of those shootings. Police believe those guns belonged to members of the Goodrich Street Boys (“GSB”), a New Haven street gang out of the Newhallville area, and that GSB members also were involved in a number of other shootings in 2016, many of them retaliatory against rival gang members.
"These were especially violent individuals and there are other members of that group, but these were the most violent. These were the people that we showed were involved in the shootings,” said New Haven Assistant Chief Achilles Generoso.
The gang is also known to be involved in distributing heroin, crack cocaine and marijuana.
“It was a criminal enterprise. They were involved in drug trafficking. They were involved in robberies. They're involved in intimidation. They were terrorizing the neighborhood,” said Generoso.
This investigation is part of the city’s Project Longevity enforcement action aimed at targeting the city’s most violent criminals.
Generoso said, “this is a message to everyone else out there that if you choose to pick up a gun and use a gun in the city of New Haven we're going to come after you and we're not going to forget. So this investigation took a year but we got them, those 6 people, and if it takes a year that's what we're going to do to get the people and bring them to justice.”
Westley, Brodie, Belle and Via were arrested Wednesday. Pervis and Ward were previously arrested are now detained in federal custody with the others.
“This investigation, which has been a great collaboration between our Office, ATF and the New Haven Police Department, has utilized cutting-edge ballistic analysis to connect 18 recent shootings to three handguns that, we allege, were possessed by GSB members and associates,” said U.S. Attorney Daly.
“The indictment specifically alleges that GSB members were involved in multiple shootings and, as a result, five individuals suffered gunshot wounds. Studies show, and this investigation seems to confirm, that an incredibly small percentage of a city’s population is responsible for most of the gun violence that occurs there. The murder rate in New Haven has plummeted in recent years, and we will continue to identify and root out violent actors to ensure that this positive trend continues," added Daly.