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Gang Member From LI Sentenced For Murder Of College Basketball Star

Rivera was sentenced at the Central Islip federal courthouse.
Rivera was sentenced at the Central Islip federal courthouse. Photo Credit: United States District Court Eastern District of Long Island

A member of the Latin Kings street gang from Long Island will spend nearly two decades behind bars after being sentenced for his role in the murder of a promising college basketball star.

Federal officials announced that Freeport resident Jaime Rivera, age 35, a member of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation street gang, has been sentenced to 220 months (18.3 years) in prison for the 2005 murder of C.W. Post college student and basketball star, Tafare Berryman.

US Attorney Breon Peace said that on April 2, 2005, Rivera and other Latin King gang members were present at La Mansion bar and nightclub on Long Beach Road in North Long Beach, along with several C.W. Post students, including Barryman and several of his friends. 

According to court documents, at least one altercation occurred in the club between gang members and a C.W. Post student and later continued outside in the parking lot. 

They noted that Berryman was not involved in either of the altercations.

When Berryman and a friend left the club and were walking to their car, the latter was struck in the head with a bottle, causing a cut to his head.

Peace said that the two were able to drive away, and later stopped so Berryman’s friend could tend to his wound. At that point, Rivera drove up alongside the car and fatally shot Berryman, under the misguided belief that Berryman and his friend had been involved in the prior altercation that posed a threat to the gang.

Rivera pleaded guilty to the gang-related murder in March 2019.

“Tafare Berryman, a college student, athlete, and beloved member of the Brooklyn and Long Island communities, was senselessly murdered, depriving him of the bright future he worked so hard to achieve and leaving his bereaved family shattered,” Peace said in a statement on Friday, May 6. 

“This murder, which occurred 17 years ago, was never forgotten and is an example of this Office’s unwavering commitment to justice for the victims of gang violence.” 

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