Gang Members Indicted for Thwarted Hit, Selling Drugs

Gang Members Indicted for Thwarted Hit, Selling Drugs

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The gang’s bosses allegedly coordinated a hit against two rival gang members in a parking lot at 69th Street and 34th Avenue in Woodside.

By Forum Staff

A borough grand jury has indicted six purported members of the notorious ABK (Always Bangin’ Kings) street gang for plotting to kill two rival gang members in December 2016, and that an additional 11 individuals affiliated with ABK have been indicted or summarily arrested for selling drugs in Elmhurst and Maspeth at various times between January 2016 and November 2016, According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

As part of the takedown, Brown noted, three other alleged ABK gang members – two women and a man – were apprehended lastweek and charged with gang assault and other crimes for a vicious attack on a man at a fast-food restaurant in Woodside last month.

According to the attempted murder indictment, defendants Francis “Franchise” Cortes and Michael “Ceoz” Aalil acted as the gang’s bosses and coordinated the hit against two rival Latin King gang members. The pair allegedly organized the other four defendants to get a vehicle and weapons and set a location for the hit. On Dec. 4, 2016, Aalil and Cortes allegedly instructed the other defendants to go to the parking lot at 69th Street and 34th Avenue in Woodside and wait for the targets to walk out of a nearby bar. However, unbeknownst to the suspects, police allegedly had been eavesdropping on their telephone communications as part of a larger investigation and were at the location to prevent the murders from happening and to arrest the defendants.

Aalil, 20, of Elmhurst, is charged with second-degree attempted murder, second- and fourth-degree conspiracy, first degree attempted gang assault, first-degree attempted assault, second-, third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm. He was arraigned last Tuesday and bail was set at $2 million. His next court date is April 6. If convicted, Aalil faces up to 25 years in prison.

Carias, 29, of East Elmhurst, is charged with second-degree attempted murder, second- and fourth-degree conspiracy, first degree attempted gang assault, first-degree attempted assault, second-, third and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a firearm and resisting arrest.  He too was arraigned last Tuesday, and was remanded into custody. If convicted, Cortes faces up to life in prison.

Brown also said that six purported ABK members – John Gutierrez, Michael Diaz, Joshua Bonilla, Michelle Mendez, Jonathan Francisco and Javier Trivino – are charged in three separate indictments for allegedly selling drugs to undercover detectives on one or more occasions. It is alleged that during the buys, police seized marijuana, cocaine, Ketamine and Xanax pills mixed with fentanyl.

In executing the takedown last week, eight additional purported ABK members were summarily arrested on either drug or gang assault charges.

“A long-term investigation, which included court-authorized wiretaps, is alleged to have thwarted the death of two individuals in Queens three months ago when an investigator allegedly overheard the defendants planning to kill rival gang members. Fortunately for the victims, the defendants were arrested as they are alleged to have been laying in wait for their targets to exit a bar,” Brown added. “This investigation also netted three purported gang members allegedly responsible for an assault on a diner at a fast food restaurant, as well as nearly a dozen alleged drug dealers who are accused of selling undercover detectives everything from marijuana to prescription opioids dangerously mixed with fentanyl. Drug dealers have no place in Queens County and my office will continue to aggressively pursue those who would make it their business to sell illegal narcotics and prescription drugs in our neighborhoods.”

Police Commissioner Jim O’Neill added, “Today, the defendants find themselves under arrest for selling cocaine and other drugs in the Elmhurst and Maspeth neighborhoods of Queens. The investigation also prevented at least two homicides, as detectives were able to intervene before the killing of two rival gang members.”

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