Nineteen competing gang members in the Hudson Valley are facing federal drug, weapon and murder charges.
Geoffrey Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced this week that 19 members of two rival gangs operating out of Middletown, have been indicted. Six Guap Gang members are charged with narcotics conspiracy and firearms offenses, while 13 Coke Wave Boys members have been charged with a host of crimes.
On Monday, three more men, John McGuigan, Duane Kirby and Desmen Agosto, were taken into federal custody. Another suspect, Christopher Shelp, remains at large. Two others, Christopher Anderson and Darius Monroe, had already been in federal custody and are facing new charges.
“To protect their drug territory, these alleged rival gang members sowed fear in the community by acquiring and using guns to escalate their feud,” Berman said in a statement. “Today’s arrests are a product of continued cooperation between federal, state, and local partners to stamp out gang violence and stem the tide of drugs in Middletown.”
McGuigan, 28, Kirby, 29, Agosto, 29, Anderson, 27, Monroe, 28, and Shelp, 25, were each charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one or more kilograms of heroin. Additionally, McGuigan and Kirby were charged with possession of a firearm to further a drug trafficking scheme. Monroe was also cited for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Middletown Police Chief John Ewanciw added, “the alleged crimes of the individuals charged in today’s indictments are understandably very disturbing to the residents of the City of Middletown.
"For too long, the Coke Wave Boys and Guap Gang engaged in violent and dangerous activities that threatened the safety of our community, and it was their reckless disregard for human life that resulted in the death of Coree White on Aug. 17, 2017.
“I will not stand for this type of violence in our City, and I am committed to continuing our work with our partners on the federal, state, and local levels to ensure that these types of gangs are eradicated from our community.”
“We will not tolerate the rise of violent street gangs hoping to profit from the devastation that narcotics are already wreaking on our communities,” Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler added in a statement. “The murder of Coree White is further proof that where there is organized narcotics dealing, gun violence inevitably follows.”
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