A 22-year-old member of the Goodrich Street Boys gang in Connecticut has been sentenced for his role in violent gang activities.
New Haven resident Michael Via, also known as “Mike Live,” was sentenced in Hartford district court to 78 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his role in GSB.
Local and federal investigators began investigating unsolved shootings that had occurred in New Haven and Hamden in 2016. Ballistic examination of recovered cartridge cases determined that three weapons were used in 18 shootings committed in or around New Haven in 2016.
The investigation determined that the firearms were possessed by members and associates of GSB and that gang members also were involved in a number of other shootings in 2016, many of them retaliatory against rival gang members.
On Aug. 3, 2017, Via was among six GSB members indicted by a grand jury in New Haven, charging them with racketeering, attempted murder, firearm, and narcotics trafficking offenses.
Via pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity and admitted that he and other GSB members conspired to kill an individual who they believed had been disrespectful to their gang.
On May 27, 2016, GSB members ambushed the victim and his friend as the two were walking on a busy street in New Haven. The victim - who survived the attack - later identified GSB member Milton Westley as an assailant who shot him in the stomach. After the victim collapsed to the ground, Westley stood over him and shot him in the head.
Another GSB member shot the second victim in the hand as he attempted to shield his face.
The victim who was shot in the stomach and head continues to recover from his injuries. He was in a coma for several weeks and had to learn to walk and talk again.
This was the second time GSB gang members had shot at their victim.
Westley and the other four defendants have also pleaded guilty to similar charges and are currently being detained while they await sentencing.
U.S. Attorney John Durham noted that the investigation also found that Via distributed marijuana, shared pictures and videos of gang members with weapons on social media and used social media to threaten rivals, including some that threatened to go to the police.
Via has been detained since his arrest on Aug. 9, 2017. He pleaded guilty on July 31 this year to one count of conspiracy to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity.
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