Nearly a dozen alleged members and associates of a violent New York street gang were busted Thursday — including a pair of crooked correction officers accused of helping smuggle sheets of K-2 into Rikers Island.
The 10 new arrests are part of a superseding indictment filed in Brooklyn federal court naming a total of 45 defendants connected to the Bed-Stuy-based Bully Gang and accused of crimes ranging from attempted murder to drug trafficking conspiracy and extortion.
City Department of Correction officers Johnny Chiles and Darius Murphy are accused of taking cash bribes to help smuggle papers soaked with K2, a synthetic cannabinoid, into Rikers, according to a detention memo.
Chiles and Murphy allegedly delivered the drug-laced papers to jailed co-defendants, who sold them to other inmates, earning thousands of dollars for the enterprise.
Defendant Nehemie Eril — who is nicknamed “Poca” and is the longtime lover of Bully Gang founder and imprisoned co-defendant Moeleek “Moe Money” Harrell, according to prosecutors — was allegedly instrumental in the scheme.
Harrell, who was behind bars at Rikers at the time, allegedly relied on Eril to coordinate deliveries, bribe correction officers and collect sales proceeds, according to a detention memo.
“For years, members and associates of the Bully Gang have committed brutal and wanton acts of violence while spreading the poison of dangerous and illicit drugs throughout communities and even correctional institutions, said Acting US Attorney Seth DuCharme in a statement.
Part of the gang’s expansive operation was a sophisticated drug trafficking conspiracy based in Maine and overseen by Derrick Ayers, who was previously indicted and is currently being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center, prosecutors said.
The organization allegedly trafficked large quantities of crack, heroin and fentanyl between New York and Maine and laundered the proceeds through luxury car and jewelry purchases.
Ayers — who’s charged with attempted murder alongside Harrell for conspiring to knock off a rival — once used a Taser-like device to electrocute a woman as she begged him to stop, court papers allege.
“Victim-1 fell, screamed in pain, and repeatedly yelled, ‘please don’t,’ ‘stop,’ and ‘sorry,’ —but Ayers allegedly continued the caught-on-video assault. Prosecutors did not disclose what prompted the disturbing 2018 electrocution.
Trap houses were scattered throughout Maine and there was one in New Jersey. During the investigation, agents seized $380,000 in cash, 15 guns, six kilos of cocaine, 600 grams of fentanyl and four cars outfitted with elaborate “trap” compartments.
The concealed compartments were professionally installed and opened by hydraulic lifts “that an occupant triggered using a complex string of commands entered via switches for the vehicle’s headlights, radio, windows, among other things,” the detention memo states.
Chiles is still a correction officer while Murphy is no longer with the DOC, according to the feds.
“These allegations of corruption and misconduct are deeply disturbing,” DOC Commissioner Cynthia Brann said in a statement. “We have zero tolerance for behavior that makes our jails more dangerous and puts our hardworking staff at risk. This is the type of misconduct that warrants termination.”
The newly arrested defendants — Chiles, Murphy, Eril, Kassin “Killa” Appling, Robert “Ghost” Holt, Terrell “Rello” Ratliff, Ronald Davis, Brittany Duncan, Laron Estrada and Jamel Smith — will be arraigned later Thursday or at a later date.
Attorneys for the defendants couldn’t immediately be identified.