Rick Ross' lyrics don't just get him into trouble, 63 gang members in Harlem can thank The Bawse for being busted by the NYPD. Authorities were led to the gangsters by way of social media posts that included lyrics from Ross and his MMG protegé, Meek Mill.
According to the indictment, released today, members of gangs, Air It Out, True Money, Whoaday, and the True Money Bosses (aka "Trillas"), basically incriminated themselves, using Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to boast about their illegal activity. "God forgives I don't….somebody gotta' die," posted one accused member (and Ross fan) on Facebook. Another AIO member referenced Meek writing "I'm 2 Glocks strapped, rolling down 112th Madison, 116th is the New Iraq," putting a New York City spin on the lyric.
(Also, for those unfamiliar with slang, the ridiculous New York post outlined the story in the form of rap culture crash course.)
The gang members stand accused of numerous assaults, three murders, more than 30 shooting, plus gun possession, and trafficking. The eldest of the suspects is 25, while many of those indicted are younger than the age of 21. Charges range from felony conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree, to fourth degree criminal weapon possession.
"Today's indictments chronicle a bloody gang war that claimed the lives of at least three teenagers, led to the shooting of dozens of individuals and put bounties on people's heads,"said Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. "Since October 2009, 68 shootings have occurred in the swatch of East Harlem that these gangs all call home. Forced to live among this senseless violence is the silent majority–innocent families who live in fear of getting shot while trying to go about their daily lives. Today's cases are a part of my Office's ongoing efforts, working with the NYPD, to strategically target areas that claim a highly disproportionate share of violence in Manhattan."
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly credited the NYPD's "calculated attention" for the "successful interruption of violence street crew rivalries."
Starting in October 2009, members of AIO, TMG, and Whoaday are said to have committed six homicides, 46 non-fatal shootings, and 17 instances of shots being fired between 106th and 116th streets on Manhattan's East Side.
Kelly noted the 2009 shootings of two members of the True Money Gang as the cause of a "tit-for-tat" retaliation. Over the next three years, two more TMG members were killed and a minimum of 10 "retaliatory" shootings broke out on the Harlem streets. "Social media remains a double-edged sword in our crime fighting strategies," Kelly said. "It is used by crew members to brag about past crimes, taunt rivals, and incite violence. On the other hand, we use social media to document past crimes and intercept new ones being talked about openly by crew members on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.”
See photos from today's announcement, and the weapons confiscated, below.
Photo: Vibe/Andrea Swalec/DNA Info