Bronx DA indicts 10 alleged gang members for violence at Rikers Island

A jail on Rikers Island.
Photo Dean Moses

The Bronx District Attorney’s office announced Friday that four current Rikers Island inmates, as well as six people who were formerly incarcerated at the jail, were indicted on various assault charges in what was described as a “jailhouse war.” 

The assaults, according to the announcement, were allegedly committed by members of the Bloods against the Crips — both groups the U.S. Department of Justice categorizes as narcotic trafficking “street gangs.” The alleged Bloods defendants are Marlon Willocks, 28, Joshua Straud, 26, Akieme Nesbitt, 43, Javon Morris, 26, Donnell Hickman, 23, Kali Brown, 23, Jacquin Gordon, 27, Durail Miles, 31, and Andy Punnette, 37. 

The DA’s office didn’t specify any gang affiliation for the 10th defendant, David Gonsalves, 33. 

An indictment is a formal accusation and not a conviction of guilt.  

We continue to prosecute violence in our jails, even when the victims do not cooperate with the investigation out of fear, because we must send the message that no one should be subjected to wanton brutality,” said Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark. 

The DA’s investigation alleges that Willocks, Straud, Nesbitt, Morris, Hickman and Brown attacked a supposed Crip gang member in October 2022. Later that month, Gordon, Miles and Punnette also allegedly came after “a rival Crip gang member.” Then in March of this year, the investigation alleges Gonsalves attacked a new detainee who was moving his bedding.

The 10 were indicted on charges of attempted gang assault in the first degree and second-degree assault. Additionally, nine of the defendants were also charged with third-degree assault, though the DA’s announcement didn’t specify which nine. 

Just three of the 10 were arraigned this week in Bronx Supreme Court — Nesbitt, Gonsalves and Miles. For Nesbitt and Gonsalves, bail was set with an option of $200,000 cash or a $200,000 bond each. Miles’ bail was set at $100,000 cash or a $100,000 bond, according to the DA’s office.

Reach Camille Botello at [email protected]. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes