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Facebook Used To Take Down TBO Gang In Brooklyn

Facebook Logo (credit: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)

Facebook Logo (credit: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Some accused violent gang members in Brooklyn now face charges after ‘friending’ the wrong people.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller On The Story

41 members of the TBO, which stands for True Bosses Only or Team Bang Out, have been indicted by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.

“Today’s indictment and its 68 counts ends what we allege was a reign of terror in Bushwick and other parts of Brooklyn,” Hynes told reporters Wednesday.

After, a year-long investigation, the 41 gang members were indicted and charged with committing a murder, attempted murders and numerous armed robberies and assaults in Bushwick between November 2010 and September 2012.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said detectives made inroads into the organization through Facebook.

“The officers attract messages in which TBO members threaten their rivals,” Kelly said. “When young men plot to take these battles from tweets to streets, the NYPD wants to be there to stop the bloodshed.”

The members started the highly organized gang in middle school and held weekly meetings about their activities.

The gang was created in 2003 and grew significantly over the years in size, recruiting new members, forming alliances with other gangs, such as Hoodstarz and Brower Boys, and expanding their territory into Coney Island and Brownsville. As TBO grew in size, the gang created subsets, 730 Krookz and RGz, with members as young as 12-years-old who had to commit crimes to earn promotions into the gang. The TBO Gang became so confident that they brazenly roamed the streets of Bushwick, openly carrying guns, the DA’s office said.

This indictment charges the TBO gang with the murder of Derrick Bethea. On May 28, 2011, several TBO members searched for Bethea, a rival gang members, in retaliation for a prior attack on a TBO member. Upon learning of his whereabouts, eight TBO members descended on Bethea, and he was ultimately shot and killed by Owen Decaille. The defendants charged with this murder are Owen Decaille and Raul Rivera. Also charged with conspiracy to commit murder are Damian Jackson, Patrick Tucker, Edgar Lopez, Malik Walker, Nyrea Haywood, and Anthony Gooding.

The DA’s office said the indictment also charges TBO with approaching a 19-year-old student on the street, displaying a gun, and stealing his headphones in March 2012. The victim fought back, so TBO member Lewis Davis shot him in the leg. Hours later, TBO member Sunday Medina posted a photo of himself on Facebook wearing the headphones with the tag, “Free Swipe.”

Defendants Jeremiah Davis and Shakein Cook are charged with attempted murder for shooting a 24-year-old man in the face after a dispute at a schoolyard basketball game in July of 2012. The victim has a bullet lodged in his brain and he may never walk again.
Officials say it’s a shame they couldn’t put their talents to better use.