New York gang charged with homicide and fraud in extortion case
- Rapper Casanova was among 18 members of the gang of the untouchable gorilla Stone Nation indicted in a 16-point indictment released this week.
- According to prosecutors, members of the gang killed 15-year-old Jalani Jones in September in Poughkeepsie, New York, assaulting rivals, trafficking drugs and guilty of gun crimes.
- Members of the group are also accused of running a fraudulent nonprofit in order to obtain grants and donations to help fund their lifestyles, prosecutors said.
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Eighteen members of a New York street gang were charged on a 16-point indictment this week, and among those charged is rapper Casanova.
In the indictment, which was overturned this week, prosecutors said that gang member of the untouchable gorilla Stone Nation, Brandon Soto, participated in and facilitated the murder of 15-year-old Jalani Jones in Poughkeepsie, New York, in September, while others Members were accused of attacking and attempting to kill rivals, dealing drugs such as cocaine and marijuana, and committing firearms offenses.
Casanova, whose real name is Caswell Senior, faces three of the 16 charges listed in the indictment: conspiracy to commit harassment, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and possession of a firearm to promote a crime against drug trafficking.
According to prosecutors, in addition to firearm drugs and extortion money, the group has also created a fake nonprofit to seek donations and grants to finance their lifestyle.
According to Insider court documents, the nonprofit was run by member Christopher Erskine and named DAEMPIRE – Determined Adults, who overly motivate peers to be responsible entrepreneurs.
A New York State Department company database shows the charity was founded in Brooklyn, New York, in December 2019.
In addition to the fraudulent non-profit organization, the members of the gang have also fraudulently received unemployment benefits and “aid programs to support small businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the prosecutor.
“Enterprise members and employees promoted and celebrated Enterprise’s criminal behavior, namely drug distribution, violence and firearms use, through music and social media,” the prosecutor said in the indictment.
Senior, who records for Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, reported to the police on Thursday and all 17 other defendants have already been taken into custody, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the southern borough of New York said in a statement.
Acting US attorney Audrey Strauss called the alleged crimes “terrible acts of violence” in the statement.
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. added, “The prosecution alleges that the violence and drug activities committed by these gang members threatened the safety of our communities and put innocent people at risk. Their overt criminal conduct, allegedly, included, the murder of a 15 year old and even scam programs for people suffering economic hardship due to the pandemic. Thanks to the partnership and hard work of all the law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation, we were able to stop this violent criminal organization – and show that Gorilla Stone actually did is not “inviolable”. “