NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Thirty one members of three violent Queens street gangs were rounded up as part of an investigation into an alleged murder plot, authorities said Wednesday.

They allegedly conspired to kill two rival gang members, authorities said. They also planned to commit a string of robberies to raise bail money for an alleged gang leader who’s being held on Rikers Island on weapons charges, authorities said.

The three affiliated gangs are known as SNOW, Loyalty Over Everything and Young Bosses. They operated primarily in the Rosedale, Laurelton and Rochdale Village neighborhoods of Queens.

“An alleged leader of the SNOW gang is accused of brazenly assuming that he could continue to run criminal activities from his jail cell – specifically, order other gang members to commit robberies so that they could raise bail monies to secure his release from jail,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “Unfortunately for him his plan failed and his associates, if convicted, will join him behind bars.”

“The arrests and indictments of these SNOW gang members and their affiliates sends a clear message that the New York City Police Department, along with our partners from the Queens District Attorney’s Office, will continue to rid our communities of gang activity and gun violence,” said Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.

The 31 defendants range in age from 15-22. They face a variety of charges including conspiracy, robbery, possession of stolen property, larceny and more.

Authorities said they monitored conversations spread out across more than 1.1 million Facebook pages belonging to gang members in which they spoke about plans to commit the robberies.

You may also be interested in these stories: