Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that defendants RANDY TORRES, a/k/a “Rico,” was sentenced to 39 and 1/2 years in prison and WALSTON OWEN, a/k/a “Purpose,” was sentenced to 39 and 1/2 years in prison today for their roles as leaders of the violent Rollin’ 30s Crips street gang. DERRICK RICHARDSON, a/k/a “J-ROCC,” who served under Torres in the Rollin’ 30s Crips, received a sentence of 24 and 1/2 years in prison today for shooting and killing Nestor Suazo, 25, on September 19, 2015, in the Bronx, New York. Richardson’s sentence was imposed to run concurrently with a previously imposed sentence of 11 years in prison for related Crips offenses. United States District Judge Victor Marrero imposed today’s sentences.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Randy Torres and Walston Owen were leaders of a violent gang that terrorized the law-abiding citizens of the Bronx neighborhoods where the gang operated. Under their leadership, two individuals were killed, and others were caught in the crossfire of the gang’s shootings. One of those individuals, Nestor Suazo, was killed at Torres’s direction by Derrick Richardson. Nothing can undo the trauma experienced by his family and the many others affected by the defendants’ crimes, but justice requires that those responsible be held accountable. Today, Torres, Owen, and Richardson were rightly sentenced to decades in prison for their horrific crimes.”
According to the allegations contained in the Superseding Indictments, other documents in the public record, and the evidence at trial:
From at least in or about 2009 up to and including in or about 2017, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, RANDY TORRES, WALSTON OWEN, DERRICK RICHARDSON, and others were members or associates of a racketeering enterprise known as the “Rollin’ 30s,” also known as the “Harlem Mafia Crips” or “Dirt Gang.” In order to fund the enterprise, protect and expand its interests, and promote its standing, members and associates of the Rollin’ 30s committed, conspired, attempted, and threatened to commit acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, and robbery; and they conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute narcotics.
TORRES, a “Big Homie,” described himself as “four levels from the top” of the Crips national leadership and oversaw the management of multiple Crips sets and hundreds of Crips members in New York City and elsewhere. TORRES was employed as a maintenance worker in a Bronx elementary school during part of the offense and used the school and its gym to hold gang meetings where he handled gang business. The evidence at trial showed that TORRES committed and ordered multiple acts of violence, including ordering a shooting in September 2015 that killed Nester Suazo, a/k/a “Smacc.” The shooting was carried out by RICHARDSON, a soldier in the Rollin’ 30s who served under Torres. RICHARDSON was captured on surveillance footage fleeing the scene of the murder and discarding the gun he used in the shooting.
OWEN was the leader of the “Stratford Avenue Rollin’ 30s,” a subset of the gang in the Bronx. As the head of that set, Owen stored guns for the gang, collected money, issued directives to younger or less powerful members, and participated in numerous acts of gang violence, including committing a shooting in May 2015 that injured two innocent bystanders and ordering a shooting that resulted in the March 2015 Bronx murder of another innocent bystander, Victor Chafla.
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TORRES and OWEN were convicted after trial before United States District Judge Victor Marrero in February 2022 of racketeering conspiracy offenses. OWEN was also convicted of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering, and related firearms offenses. Those charges were brought in the case United States v. Torres, et al., 16 Cr. 809 (VM). As part of that same case, RICHARDSON previously pled guilty in January 2019 before Judge Marrero to narcotics conspiracy and racketeering conspiracy. In October 2021, RICHARDSON pled guilty in a related case to narcotics offenses in connection with Suazo’s homicide. Those charges were brought in the case Unites States v. Richardson, 20 Cr. 299 (VM).
In addition to the prison terms, Judge Marrero sentenced Torres, 41, of New York, to three years of supervised release, Owen, 38, of New York, to five years of supervised release, and Richardson, 29, of the Bronx, New York, to three years of supervised release.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York City Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Anden Chow and Jacqueline C. Kelly are in charge of the prosecution.