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29 gang members responsible for Rikers Island violence and drug smuggling charged
By: ADAM SCHRADER and REUVEN BLAU December 12, 18. 15:08

A major bust of “Mac Balla” gang members nabbed 29 suspects who smuggled in scalpels and ordered slashings in city jails, the Bronx District Attorney announced Wednesday.

Two of the suspected gang members “set out to kill” a man who got into a fight with the mother of a jailed gang member, authorities said.

Two other gang members searched Instagram for people wearing expensive jewelry to rob, according to the criminal complaint. They twice tried to have a female accomplice arrange to meet men to rob them but investigators tipped off the potential victims, the indictment said.

The indictments charged the suspects with everything from attempted murder to robbery to smuggling drugs into an upstate prison.

“This case illustrates the ongoing fight to dismantle the brutal criminal network, which has its hub in Rikers Island, and shows how dangerous this battle can be for our law enforcement officers,” said Bronx DA Darcel Clark.

All told, 13 of the 29 alleged gang members were nabbed during a major takedown on Dec. 6 and 7, and another was arrested on Dec. 10.

Six remain at large and nine are currently incarcerated.

As for the attempted murder, defendants Donte Joe and Michael Winn drove to Harlem to look for their target, authorities said.

But they couldn’t find him so they decided to settle on the man’s brother, saying they would “just do him in,” court papers show.

Police officers in the area scared them off so they drove back to the Bronx, prosecutors said.

Cops there pulled them over and discovered a loaded .357 Magnum revolver, the criminal complaint said.

Some of the gang members allegedly terrorized other inmates in jail.

Jamar Williams, from Rikers, ordered the attack on three other inmates, prosecutors said.

“Defendants Earin Sistrunk, Edwin Toussaint, Keith Rawlins, Jacob Ramirez, Davell Marthone and Michael Hunt allegedly slashed the faces of two ‘Mac Ballas’ who broke gang rules, and sliced open the cheek of a Trinitarios member,” the DA’s press release says.

That rival gang member needed 26 stitches to close an eight-inch cut.

Ramirez is also charged with attempted assault for trying to cut a correction officer.

"This investigation and the resulting indictments send a very clear message to anyone who attempts to bring weapons, violence, and drugs into our jails,” said Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann. “You will be prosecuted if you commit crimes in custody, and if convicted you will face prison time, even if you beat the charges that originally got you here.”

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