Feds Bring Additional Charges In Gang Member Murders

From Connecticut U.S. Attorney’s Office:

As part of an ongoing investigation into gang-related drug trafficking and related violence in Bridgeport, a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned a superseding indictment charging an additional four Bridgeport men with conspiring to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity, including drug trafficking, murder and attempted murder.

Today’s announcement was made by Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Joseph T. Corradino, State’s Attorney for the Fairfield Judicial District; Bridgeport Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia; David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Kelly D. Brady, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division; and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England.

The superseding indictment, which was returned on May 3 and unsealed yesterday, charges

TREVON WRIGHT, also known as “Tre,” 19
ERIC HAYES, also known as “Heavyweight Champ,” 24
TRAVON JONES, also known as “Budda,” 19
TYRONE MOORE, also known as “Ty Ralph Lauren,” 19
CHARLES ANTHONY BONILLA, also known as “30 Cal” and “Ant,” 22
HARRY BATCHELOR, also known as “Bookie,” 22

Donald, Wright, Dangerfield and Hayes were originally charged by indictment in January 2021, and the original indictment included overt acts related to four murders. The superseding indictment adds Jones, Moore, Bonilla and Batchelor as defendants, and includes overt acts related to an additional two murders.

Batchelor was arrested this morning. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Spector via videoconference and is detained. The other defendants are detained in federal or state custody.

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, in an effort to address escalating violence in Bridgeport, the FBI, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals, and Bridgeport Police are actively investigating multiple Bridgeport-based groups whose members are involved in narcotics trafficking, murder and other acts of violence. The eight defendants are members or associates of the “East End gang,” which began as a local street gang based in the East End of Bridgeport, but currently has members and associates who are either incarcerated or living throughout Bridgeport and surrounding towns. The East End gang has been aligned with other groups, including the PT Barnum Gang, the East Side gang and 150, which is a geographic gang based on the West Side of Bridgeport. These groups were aligned against rival organizations in Bridgeport, including the “Original North End” (“O.N.E.”) and the “Greene Homes Boyz,” (“GHB/Hotz”), based in the Charles F. Greene Homes Housing Complex in Bridgeport’s North End.

The indictment alleges that the East End gang distributed heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana and Percocet pills; used and shared firearms; and committed murder and other acts of violence against rival gang members and other individuals. East End members celebrated their criminal conduct on social media websites such as Facebook and YouTube, and committed acts of intimidation and made threats to deter potential witnesses to their crimes and to protect gang members and associates from detection and prosecution by law enforcement authorities.

Among the violent acts committed by the gang, the indictment alleges that:
— On January 30, 2018, Donald shot and killed Eric Heard, a.k.a. “Fetti,” a member and associate of the GHB/Hotz gang;
— On March 5, 2019, Hayes shot and killed Jerrell Gatewood;
— On July 4, 2019, Bonilla shot and killed Richard McDonald, a member and associate of the GHB/Hotz gang;
— On July 12, 2019, Jones and Moore shot and killed Shawn Warren, also known as “Kujoe,” a member and associate of the O.N.E. gang;
— On September 15, 2019, Wright shot and attempted to kill Marquis Isreal, a.k.a. “Garf” or “Gbaby,” a member and associate of the O.N.E. gang;
— On October 17, 2019, Jones shot and attempted to kill Joshua Gilbert, a member and associate of the O.N.E. gang;
— On December 8, 2019, Wright shot and attempted to kill Arvan Smith, a.k.a. “Arv Barkley,” an associate of the O.N.E. gang;
— On January 26, 2020, Wright shot and killed Myreke Kenion and shot and attempted to kill D’Andre Brown, both members and associates of the GHB/Hotz gang;
— On June 25, 2020, Dangerfield and “JW,” an East End associate who is now deceased, and another individual, shot and killed Tyler Ballew, a member and associate of the O.N.E. gang;

If convicted, Donald, Wright, Dangerfield, Hayes, Jones, Moore and Bonilla face a maximum term of imprisonment of life, and Batchelor faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

Acting U.S. Attorney Boyle noted that, in the past year, 24 members of the East End, O.N.E. and GHB/Hotz gangs have been charged with federal offenses as a result of this ongoing investigation.

Acting U.S. Attorney Boyle stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s Safe Streets and Violent Crimes Task Forces, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, Bridgeport Police Department, Connecticut State Police and the Bridgeport State’s Attorney’s Office, with the assistance of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory and the Waterbury Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rahul Kale, Jocelyn C. Kaoutzanis, Peter D. Markle and Karen L. Peck.

This prosecution is a part of the Justice Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), Project Longevity and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) programs.

PSN is a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Longevity is a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities. Through Project Longevity, community members and law enforcement directly engage with members of groups that are prone to commit violence and deliver a community message against violence, a law enforcement message about the consequences of further violence and an offer of help for those who want it. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.


One comment

  1. Eight young men from this community (?), average age of 21 and some months, maybe. They are currently behind bars for one reason or another for gang member criminal activity and drug sales that maintain our addicted community, and for outrageous violence that scares the community. As a public seeking safety we continue to pay a significant price for their behavior with no expected return on our investment, don’t we? Is this story unique or merely underreported and ignored?
    I question the ongoing War on Drugs as a former volunteer fifty years ago with a local attempt at dealing with increased addiction called the Greater Bridgeport Regional Narcotics Program. This WAR continues for over two generations and what have we learned that will change individual and community lives for the better?
    This article comes from a government source and not the CTPost so only some bare, official facts are presented. But where did these young men spend their last 30 years? Schools attended? Clubs, sports or teams engaged in? Personal achievements of any level? When did they depart from daily engagement with our vaunted educational system? What alternatives were available, discussed and provided as they turned from members of the community with rewarded behavior to live outside the law? Is the violence home grown or a threat from outside Bridgeport? Where do we oversee such facts, trends and threads represented by choices made? Time will tell.


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