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Accused Gun Runner Afrika Owes Free After Church Posts $25K Bail

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Afrika Owes (center) is released on bail back in April. (credit: Juliet Papa, 1010 WINS)

Afrika Owes (center) is released on bail back in April. (credit: Juliet Papa, 1010 WINS)

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Juliet Papa is an award-winning reporter for 1010 WINS Radio, the...
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A prep school student charged with being a gun courier for a notorious Harlem drug gang was freed from jail Tuesday after her church posted bail.

Afrika Owes, 17, was all smiles after the Abyssinian Baptist Church posted her $25,000 cash bail. Her supporters bowed their heads in prayer as she left the courthouse in Lower Manhattan after two months behind bars.

Deacon Gerald Barbour told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa, that the church would continue to be a source of support.

“We realize this is going to be a long journey. We’re here until the end. You know God didn’t forsake us and we will not forsake Afrika,” Barbour said.

Owes toppled from a scholarship to the exclusive Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts to being arrested as part of the gang “137th Street Crew.” Prosecutors said the gang terrorized West 137th Street in Harlem with mid-day shootings and by selling crack in building lobbies.

Owes is accused of running guns for the gang’s leader, who was also her boyfriend. She has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and weapon-possession charges. She will go on trial in September.

An attorney for the church, Ted Shaw, said the church would not “abandon somebody who grew up in the church.”

“Whatever the facts are, she’s one of ours,” he said.

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