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Westchester Man Among Eight Gang Members Facing Racketeering, Drug Charges

A Westchester County man was among eight charged with alleged gang activity in Manhattan federal court.
A Westchester County man was among eight charged with alleged gang activity in Manhattan federal court. Photo Credit: File

A Westchester County man was among eight charged in Manhattan this week on charges of alleged gang activity.

Earlier this week, Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that eight members of the Bronx-based street gang “the Beach Avenue Crew” have been charged with various racketeering, firearm and drug offenses, including attempted murder of rival gang members and drug traffickers.

Among those charged is 24-year-old Jaleel “Jah” Baron - also known as “Youngin” - who has a listed address of Westchester County. He and his co-conspirators are facing life in prison.

According to Bharara, the Beach Avenue Crew operated from 2009 up until last month, with a principal object of selling cocaine base - also known as crack cocaine - around Beach Avenue in the Bronx. They allegedly controlled sales within the area by prohibiting and preventing outsiders or rival drug dealers from distributing in the area.

Bharara said that members of the gang engaged in acts of violence with those who encroached on their territory, including assaults and attempted murder. The attorney cited two shooting incidents, last summer and in May 2015, when gang members fired shots at rivals and caused bodily injuries to their victims.

Among the charges Baron faces include conspiracy to racketeer, assault and attempted murder to promote racketeering, narcotics conspiracy, and using a firearm to further a crime. He faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison and faces life for the drug and gun charges.

“As alleged, through the sale of crack cocaine and their violent conflict with rival crews, the Beach Avenue Crew wreaked havoc on the streets of the Bronx,” Bharara said in a statement. “We and our law enforcement partners are determined to combat alleged gang and drug violence in the Bronx through charges like those brought today.”

“Shootings, turf wars and murders are means to an end for drug crews controlling their distribution strongholds,” DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt added. “Allegedly, the Beach Avenue Crew were the bullies of the neighborhood selling crack and imposing domineering threats on rival drug gangs and innocent neighbors in the Bronx. These arrests have taken more violent criminals off the streets in order to make our communities safe from drug and gun violence.”

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