1 of 2 | Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced a 140-count indictment Tuesday charging 32 people. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn District Attorney's Office/Facebook
May 17 (UPI) -- Prosecutors have laid nearly 150 charges against more than 30 people, including well-known rapper Sheff G, on allegations of being members of a New York City street gang.
Thirty-two people, including Sheff G, whose real name is Michael Williams, were charged Tuesday in a 140-count indictment accusing the alleged members of the 8 Trey Crips and its affiliate, the 9 Ways, of committing shootings, possessing firearms and using stolen vehicles in their attempt to eliminate members of rival Folk Nation Gangster Disciples and ICG Babiiez gangs.
The defendants were arraigned Tuesday before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on charges including second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder as well as charges of kidnapping, assault and reckless endangerment, among others.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez described the indictment in a press conference as historic that solved passed shootings perpetrated by gang members involved in violence that New Yorkers read about in newspapers and that prevents families from letting their children play in the streets at night.
The indictment, he said, charges men and women involved in two dozen instances of violence that killed one person and injured 12 others.
Gonzalez said Williams, 24, is a prominent member of the gang and was central to their investigation. He said the rapper used money he earned during his music career to fund gang activity.
The district attorney said they accuse Williams of engaging in "social media taunts" with a Folk Nation Gangster Disciples rapper that devolved into real-world violence.
Specifically, those taunts, Gonzalez alleged, led to Williams' gang attacking the Folk Nation Gangster Disciples' headquarters on Oct. 21, 2020, resulting in six people being shot, including 23-year-old Theodore Senior, who was killed.
An hour after the shooting, Williams texted a member of his gang seeking confirmation that the shooting was successful, and two days later, the rapper hosted the shooters in what Gonzalez described as a "very lavish, expensive steak dinner where they celebrate the score against their rivals."
"He has millions of monthly listeners and over a hundred-million views on social media, including on YouTube and Spotify. But instead of using his fame and fortune for the betterment of himself and his family and those close to him, we allege that he used that fame and fortune to elevate gang violence in Brooklyn," Gonzalez said.
"We learned that Sheff G encouraged shootings, often by offering money or jewelry, by hosting extravagant affairs like the dinner we mentioned and used rap songs to hype up other gang members."