Sunday 25 June 2017

'The Wire' comes to life as Bloods secrets revealed

Jon Swaine in New York

IT IS a case that could have been lifted from the scripts of 'The Wire', the gritty television drama series portraying the sophisticated intricacies of gang life in urban America.

A vast criminal indictment unveiled in Manhattan yesterday alleged in remarkable detail how a 20-strong mob, with nicknames ranging from Hellboy to Little Bill, controlled the streets of a city in upstate New York.

The Newburgh Bloods, a branch of the notorious Los Angeles-based gang, are accused of multiple murders, robbery, drug trafficking and threatening witnesses who might give evidence against them.

The document detailed an alleged gang hierarchy, explained the powers members possessed depending on rank, and claims they used children as lookouts and couriers of drugs and weapons.

The gang is said to have spoken in code to avoid detection, referring to targets for murder or robbery as "food". Those being ordered to commit acts of violence were told: "Let your nuts hang."

Members such as Anthony Boykin, known as Double O, and Marco Boykin, also known as Sparks or Polo Shine, are accused of murdering several people deemed to have wronged the gang. Their targets are said to have been lured to locations by other members and then shot.

Marco Boykin is alleged to have ordered several members to "assault and shoot" members of the regional branch of the Crips, the nationwide gang with which the Bloods have a long-standing and intense rivalry. It is alleged that a group of Bloods travelled to Crips territory and attempted to murder several members of that gang.

It is also alleged that the gang controlled the crack cocaine market in a 10-block area of Newburgh, and delivered "beatings, stabbings and shootings" to outsiders "encroaching on their territory", such as the Latin Kings.

Most rival dealers were driven out but some, including those who had grown up on Blood-controlled streets, or sold them marijuana, were allowed to stay.

However, they "did so at the risk of being robbed by members of the Newburgh Bloods".

The indictment explained that the Bloods is "a nationwide criminal organisation that is organised into sub-groups known as 'sets'". The Newburgh Bloods, it is alleged, is a regional organisation comprised of leaders and members of several local sets, "including the Bounty Hunter Bloods, G-Shine, 5-9 Brim, Stone and the 9 Trey Bloods".

A table constructed by New York prosecutors sets out in detail which Newburgh members belonged to which subset.

"Newburgh Bloods with rank could, and did, call meetings of all the Newburgh Bloods at which attendance was mandatory," the indictment said.

Bloods could also allegedly "direct punishments against other members".

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

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