The NYPD arrested ten Trinatarios gang members, including two that are connected to the murder of 15-year-old Lesandro ‘Junior’ Guzman-Feliz at ten separate locations in the Bronx between Tuesday, October 8 and Wednesday, October 9.
The raids were a crackdown on the gang’s general activity in the Bronx and parts of Manhattan rather than a continuation of Junior’s case.
Although the names of the arrested have not been disclosed as of press time, they did appear in Manhattan court on Thursday, October 10.
The defendants are members of the ‘Los Sures,’ a subset of the Trinitarios gang that feuded with members of the ‘F.E.B.,’ a rival subset of the gang based in Washington Heights, according to court documents, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and statements made on the record in court.
The alleged ringleader, Diego Suero Lorenzo, is being charged with ordering other gang members to carry out attacks on members of the F.E.B., the District Attorney’s office confirmed.
“They instilled fear in communities across Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, chasing their victims into bodegas and restaurants and brutally attacking them with knives, batons, and machetes,” said Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance.
Those arrested are being rung up on 11 counts of attempted murder, gang assault, and conspiracy, according to the Manhattan DA.
“They used WhatsApp to send encrypted messages with instructions to a group of more than 100 Los Sures members, as well as to a smaller group that was tasked with carrying out their ‘missions.’ In one message, an alleged gangmember, Ramirez Perez, notes that they use WhatsApp to evade law enforcement, writing “Encryption is what maintains this app that the government cannot see anything…So we good for now,” the DA’s office disclosed.
One specific incident disclosed by the DA’s office was when a group of approximately 20 men, including five of the defendants, gathered in Fort Tryon Park before chasing the first victim into a bodega on the corner of West 192nd Street and St. Nicholas Avenue.
The defendants, holding a bat, knives, and a machete, attempted to attack the victim, who hid behind the deli counter. They then chased the victim outside and attempted to strike him with the weapons, but he managed to escape with only minor injuries.
Soon after, a block away on Audubon Avenue between West 192nd and West 193rd Streets, the group attacked a second man, repeatedly stabbing him and striking him with the bat and machete.
“We believe this is random acts of violence,” said NYPD Chief Tim McCormack on Wednesday, October 9; mentioning it likely has to do with the gang expanding and claiming territory throughout the boroughs.
“(We are looking at) very vicious acts of violence with knives and machetes,” the chief said. “They’re random acts that occurred against innocent bystanders,” he continued
Police also arrested a person they believe to be a high-ranking member of the gang in the two-day raid, McCormack announced, noting that five of the suspects had outstanding warrants..
Cops also recovered a shotgun and handgun at one of the ten Bronx locations.
The takedown was part of a larger, ten-month long operation, the police said.