NEW HAVEN – U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly, ATF Special Agent in Charge Daniel J. Kumor and New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman today announced federal murder, racketeering, firearms, narcotics and money laundering charges against several members and associates of the Red Side Guerilla Brims, a violent New Haven street gang. In 2011 and early 2012, members and associates of the gang are alleged to have committed six murders and four attempted murders.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in January 2014, ATF and the New Haven Police Department began “Operation Red Side” through a series of controlled narcotics purchases and firearms seizures. The investigation revealed that members and associates of the Red Side Guerilla Brims (“RSGB”), a sect of the Bloods street gang based in New Haven, were engaged in narcotics trafficking and related acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, assaults and armed robberies. In addition to distributing crack cocaine and other narcotics in and around New Haven, the investigation indicated that members and associates of the RSGB, under the direction of one of its alleged leaders, JEFFREY BENTON, transported crack cocaine and heroin to Bangor, Maine, and sold the drugs in Bangor and its surrounding communities. The RSGB also traded narcotics for firearms, brought the firearms back to New Haven and distributed them to gang members.
“The Red Side Guerilla Brims were a plague on the streets of New Haven,” said U.S. Attorney Daly. “This indictment charges six members of this violent New Haven street gang with racketeering to include murders, shootings, armed robberies and assaults, as well as firearms and narcotics offenses. Other Red Side gang members and associates have or are expected to plead guilty to similar charges shortly. We thank our law enforcement partners, particularly the ATF and New Haven Police Department, for their tireless dedication to this long-term investigation. We are confident that these prosecutions targeting our most violent offenders, together with our anti-violence program Project Longevity which calls upon gang members to give up their violent lifestyle, have reduced the number of murders and shootings in New Haven making New Haven a safer and better place to live.”
“Today’s announcement demonstrates ATF’s commitment to working with its federal, state and local law enforcement partners to combat violent gun crime and to dismantle criminal street gangs and their ongoing criminal enterprise,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Kumor. “Moreover, it shows that these criminal street gangs will not get away with such acts of violence, which wreak fear and havoc on the citizens of our communities.”
“Cooperation between all levels of law enforcement and the community are what’s required to achieve progress, and this impressive collaboration between the New Haven Police, ATF, U.S. Attorney’s Office and other valuable partners has solved many violent crimes,” said Chief Esserman. “Too many young men in our community have been lost to gun violence, and too many family members and friends are grieving. Violence in our city will not be tolerated. I’m proud of those who’ve put in the long hours to see this operation through. The City of New Haven is safer for it.”