New Haven man admits to gang shooting, racketeering
NEW HAVEN — A member of the Goodrich Street Boys, a violent drug gang, admitted he sold drugs and was involved in two city shootings including walking up to a downed victim and shooting him in the head, federal officials said in a release.
Milton “Reese” Westley, 20, pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate federal racketeering laws during his appearance before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford Monday morning. The charge carries a maximum 20-year prison term. However, Shea did not set a sentencing date at this time.
Meanwhile Westley remains detained without bond since his Aug. 9, 2017, arrest. His arrest was part of a federal round-up in which six members of the Goodrich Street Boys were charged in a 13-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in New Haven.
The indictment alleges that, between September 2015 and May 2016, the gang members and associates were were involved in six gang-related shootings that caused injuries to five individuals. They are charged with racketeering, attempted murder, narcotics trafficking and firearm offenses.
Westley admitted being involved in two shootings, officials said.
The first occurred after Goodrich Street’ members believed an individual had disrespected them over social media and had to be taught a lesson. So on Jan. 23, 2016, members of the Goodrich Street Boys fired numerous shots into the individual’s New Haven home. Westley filmed himself at the scene while shots were being fired and sent the video to gellow gang members.
The second took place during the morning of May 27, 2016, near the Sperry Street and Whalley Avenue intersection. Prosecutors said Westley shot an individual from a distance and then walked up to the downed victim and shot him in the head. However, the victim survived.
This matter is being prosecuted in the District of Connecticut by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jocelyn Courtney Kaoutzanis, Peter D. Markle and Rahul Kale.
The prosecutors said the New Haven Police Department’s Shooting Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have been investigating approximately 40 unsolved shootings in New Haven and Hamden. Ballistic examination of recovered cartridge cases determined that three firearms were used in 18 shootings committed in or around New Haven in 2016.
The investigation has revealed that the firearms were possessed by members and associates of the Goodrich Street Boys who they believe were involved in a number of other shootings in 2016, many of them retaliatory against rival gang members.
U.S. Attorney John “Bull” Durham said this prosecution is a part of the Justice’s Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods and Project Longevity. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Longevity is a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities. Through Project Longevity, community members and law enforcement directly engage with members of groups that are prone to commit violence and deliver a community message against violence, a law enforcement message about the consequences of further violence. An offer to help those who want job training, substance abuse assistance and other assistance is provided.
This investigation is being conducted by ATF and the New Haven Police Department. The FBI, Hamden Police Department and New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office have provided critical assistance in the investigation.
Durham credited the work of the Connecticut State Crime Laboratory in utilizing the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network to analyze ballistics evidence.