FBI, NYPD Make Huge Bust In New York

Six Members and Associates of Brooklyn “Eight Trey Cowboys” and “Bloods” Street Gangs Arrested for Trafficking Narcotics and Firearms

A Seventh Defendant Allegedly Sold an AK-47 Rifle to a “Crips” Gang Member

Earlier today, a complaint was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn charging seven defendants variously with narcotics distribution in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn and firearms trafficking relating to the sale of an AK-47 rifle.  The defendants Rahmel Smith, also known as “Mello,” Michael Martin, also known as “Scooter,” Jamel Aldridge, also known as “Vooks,” Tiffany Lanier and Shakayna Wheeler, who are members and associates of the Eight Trey Cowboys street gang; Shakim Carr, also known as “Sha,” a member of the Bloods street gang, and Shawn Taylor were arrested this morning and will be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the charges and arrests

“The dangerous mix of street gangs, drug dealing and illegal firearms poses a direct threat to the safety and quality of life of our residents,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “This Office and our partners in the FBI and the NYPD will continue to target and eradicate criminal gangs that contribute to addiction and violence in our communities.”

“The FBI is keenly focused on combating and dismantling local street gangs,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.  “The suspects arrested in this case allegedly spread drugs and crime in our local communities where they believe they have to protect their turf.  The FBI New York Metro Safe Streets Task Force works day in and day out to stop these gangs from terrorizing innocent people and spreading deadly illegal drugs.”

According to court documents, since early 2017, Smith, Carr, Martin, Aldridge, Lanier and Wheeler distributed crack, cocaine, heroin and marijuana.  Smith, a leader of the Eight Trey Cowboys, directed fellow gang members Martin and Aldridge to sell narcotics on a daily basis, as well as Bloods member Carr, who was one of Smith’s main distributors.  Based on wire interceptions, Lanier and Wheeler’s roles in the narcotics trafficking organization included preparing, packaging, delivering and accepting money for the narcotics and storing the narcotics at their residences.  Additionally, Taylor is charged with selling Smith a Romarm Cugir rifle, commonly referred to as an AK-47, which was later resold by Smith to a confidential informant.   

If convicted of the narcotics charges, Smith faces up to life in prison, Carr, Aldridge, Martin, Wheeler and Lanier face up to 20 years’ imprisonment.  If convicted of the firearms charge, Taylor faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

The charges in the complaint are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the FBI and NYPD as part of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute high-level members of illegal drug and weapons trafficking.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The case is being handled by the Office’s International Narcotics and Money Laundering Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Penelope J. Brady, Erin Reid and Temidayo Aganga-Williams are in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendants:

RAHMEL SMITH (also known as “Mello”)
Age: 29
Brooklyn, New York

SHAKIM CARR (also known as “Sha”)
Age:  37
Brooklyn, New York

MICHAEL MARTIN (also known as “Scooter”)
Age: 26
Brooklyn, New York

JAMEL ALDRIDGE (also known as “Vooks”)
Age: 35
Brooklyn, New York

Age: 37
Brooklyn, New York

Age: 25
Brooklyn, New York

Age: 37
Brooklyn, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-MJ-137


U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York



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