What to Know
- Alleged Chico gang members face charges, including murder, for “waging a deadly campaign of retaliation for a 2016 death,” authorities say
- Indictment alleges 17 shootings, resulting in six victims, in and around Jefferson Houses, East Harlem neighborhoods over course of 3 years
- Allegedly gang members sought to kill rival gang members largely in retaliation for the unsolved murder of Juwan “Chico” Tavarez
Twelve alleged Chico gang members are facing numerous charges, including murder, for “waging a deadly campaign of retaliation for a 2016 death,” authorities say.
The alleged gang members, based in and around NYCHA’s Wagner Houses — located in East Harlem between Second Avenue and Harlem River Drive between East 120th and East 124th streets — engaged in violent acts in retribution for the March 2016 fatal shooting of “Chico” Tavarez and in response to any perceived slights against him after his death, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. and NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said Friday.
The indictment alleges 17 shootings, resulting in six victims, in and around the Jefferson Houses and other East Harlem neighborhoods over the course of three years as well as multiple alleged weapons-related crimes.
The alleged gang members are charged with 37 counts, including: conspiracy in the first, second, third and fourth degrees; attempted murder in the second degree; attempted assault and gang assault in the first degrees and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, among other charges.
“As alleged in the indictment, these defendants waged a deadly campaign of retaliation, spraying East Harlem with bullets with no regard for the lives of their neighbors or the safety of their community,” said District Attorney Vance. “Areas of East Harlem have violent crime rates twice as high as the rest of the City, driven in no small part by the individuals indicted today.”
The indictment alleges the gang members sought to kill rival gang members largely in retaliation for the unsolved murder of Juwan “Chico” Tavarez, who was fatally shot inside the Jefferson Houses.
On multiple occasions, the accused enlisted 14- and 15-year-olds to carry weapons and commit shootings, who were typically accompanied by older gang members, prosecutors say, adding that some of the accused discussed alleged criminal activity on social media and discussed their crimes in calls made from Rikers Correctional Facility.
“It is our obligation to ensure that New Yorkers in every neighborhood not only are safe, but that they feel safe at all times, too. To that end, our work identifying and dismantling gangs and crews, and preventing the violence so often associated with their activities, continues to be of paramount importance to the NYPD and all our law enforcement partners,” O’Neill said.