MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- Seven members of Mount Vernon's "Boss Playa Family" (BPF) were indicted on charges of racketeering and firearms on Wednesday. One of the members will also be tried for murder, according to United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara.
The BPF street gang was a criminal enterprise that operated principally in and around the City of Mount Vernon from 2007 up to and including 2014. BPF members and associates sought to enhance the gang’s power, protect and expand its territory, and enrich its members through a wide array of criminal activities, including murder, attempted murder, larceny, arson, and the distribution of cocaine and marijuana, the U.S. attorney said.
The seven suspects charged are:
- Jamel Upson, 31, of Mount Vernon
- Shawn Evans, 27, of Mount Vernon
- Antoine Little, 32, of Bedford, Tx.
- Tyrone McCallum, 28, of Mount Vernon
- Portland Ramseur, 30, of Mount Vernon
- Gorham Valentine, 30, of Mount Vernon
- Jason White, 32, of Mount Vernon
All seven suspects were charged with racketeering conspiracy and use of or carrying a firearm during and in relation to, or possessing a firearm in furtherance of, a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime. All suspects face a mandatory minimum of 10 years for the firearm charges and a maximum of life in prison, the U.S. attorney said.
Upson also faces several murder-related charges including two counts of murder in the aid of racketeering, and two counts of murder through the use of a firearm. Upson faces the death penalty if convicted, the U.S. attorney said.
Upson, Ramseur and White were also charged with narcotics conspiracy.
“Members of the BPF gang allegedly unleashed a terrifying wave of violence on the streets of Mount Vernon. Over the course of several years, BPF gunfire erupted in and around the gang’s territory with shocking and tragic frequency," Bharara said in a statement. "On two of those occasions, the defendant Jamel Upson, one of BPF’s leaders, allegedly shot and killed members of a rival gang. The charges brought today serve as a reminder that we and our law enforcement partners are determined to combat the scourge of gang and drug violence in Mount Vernon.”
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