Indictment Alleges 5 Brutal Gang Assaults in Upper Manhattan
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., and New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill today announced the indictment of 15 members of the Bronx-based “Los Sures,” a subset of the Trinitarios, for committing multiple brutal gang assaults against men they believed to be members of “F.E.B.,” an unrecognized subset of the Trinitarios based in Washington Heights. The defendants are charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with 11 counts, including Conspiracy in the Third and Fourth Degrees, Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, Assault in the First and Second Degrees, and Gang Assault in the First Degree, among other charges. The indictment follows an investigation led by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit and the NYPD’s Bronx Gang Squad.
“These Trinitario members used encrypted messages to strategize, Fort Tryon Park as their meeting place, and Upper Manhattan as their hunting ground,” said District Attorney Vance. “They instilled fear in communities across Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, chasing their victims into bodegas and restaurants and brutally attacking them with knives, batons, and machetes. Alongside our partners in the NYPD, we are committed to protecting our neighbors in Washington Heights and Inwood, and will do everything in our power to stop the violence that continues to harm those communities, even as crime continues to fall across Manhattan.”
“This case highlights the NYPD’s ongoing commitment to eradicating gang and crew-related violence wherever it arises,” said Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill. “Our specialized units, working together with prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, have built a strong case to increase public safety for our residents in the neighborhoods where this gang operated. I thank everyone involved for their sustained efforts in carrying out this comprehensive investigation.”
According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, the 15 defendants are members of the “Los Sures” subset of the Trinitarios gang, and feuded with members of the “F.E.B.,” a rival subset of the Trinitarios based in Washington Heights. Los Sures leader DIEGO SUERO LORENZO, a/k/a “El Menor,” along with RICHARD RAMIREZ PEREZ, a/k/a “Stackz,” a/k/a “Menol de Robbinnn,” are charged with ordering other gang members to carry out attacks on members of the F.E.B. They used WhatsApp to send encrypted messages with instructions to a group of more than 100 Los Sures members, as well as to a smaller group that was tasked with carrying out their “missions.” In one message, RAMIREZ PEREZ noted that they used WhatsApp to evade law enforcement, writing “Encryption is what maintains this app that the government cannot see anything…So we good for now.”
As alleged in the indictment, on October 19, 2017, a group of approximately 20 men, including five of the defendants, gathered in Fort Tryon Park before chasing the first victim into a bodega on the corner of West 192nd Street and St. Nicholas Avenue. The defendants, holding a bat, knives, and a machete, attempted to attack the victim, who hid behind the deli counter. They then chased the victim outside and attempted to strike him with the weapons, but he managed to escape with only minor injuries. Soon after, a block away on Audubon Avenue between West 192nd and West 193rd Streets, the group attacked a second man, repeatedly stabbing him and striking him with the bat and machete. He suffered three chop wounds to the head, a skull fracture, stab wounds about his body, collapsed lungs, and a severed tendon in his wrist.
On November 6, 2017, another group of men, including six of the defendants, again gathered in Fort Tryon Park before attacking two men in the vicinity of Broadway and Dongan Place. Armed with a gun, knives, batons, and a lock, they stabbed one of the victims several times about his body, and slashed the other from the back of his neck to the middle of his cheek. Afterward, they attacked a fifth man on the corner of 192nd Street and St. Nicholas Avenue. They pointed the gun at the victim, stabbed him in the abdomen, and hit him in the head with the lock, before chasing him into a nearby Kennedy Fried Chicken Store.
Washington Heights Community Outreach
The Manhattan D.A.’s Office maintains an ongoing commitment to reducing youth and gang violence by making key investments in community-based crime-fighting strategies and engaging community and law enforcement partners. In 2017, District Attorney Vance announced $58 million investment in youth and family services, including the creation of five “Youth Opportunity Hubs” across Manhattan. The office has also invested an additional $3.75 million to support young people aging out of foster care and $7.1 million in social enterprises that employ young people and formerly incarcerated New Yorkers. And in September, District Attorney Vance announced a $1.4 million investment to expand Saturday Night Lights, office’s signature youth violence prevention program, into each of the five boroughs.
Assistant District Attorney Maria Strohbehn is handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant D.A. Christopher Prevost, Chief of the Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit, as well as Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Special Projects Coordinator Ofelia Defran and Investigative Analyst Bradley Austin assisted with the investigation.
District Attorney Vance thanked the NYPD, particularly the Bronx Gang Squad.
 The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court, including the indictments, and statements made on the record in court.