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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Federal prosecutors build case against leaders of Yonkers' Cliff Street Gangsters

09:36 |

 Nine reputed members of the Cliff Street Gangsters have admitted to conspiring to sell drugs and to violently keeping rivals at bay in the Nodine Hill section of Yonkers, as prosecutors continue to build their case against a chief enforcer of the group. An indictment detailing some of the men’s activity was unsealed last August during a sweep of dozens of city gangsters. Since then guilty pleas for many of the reputed Cliff Street Gangsters members have trickled in. Prosecutors have now turned their focus to the gang’s leaders like 21-year-old Preston “Peanut” Hardy, who, as top gang enforcer, is accused of committing multiple shootings against rival gangs, authorities said. Few, if any, of the men connected to the Cliff Street Gangsters graduated from high school, but now seven — the youngest of whom is 18 — face up to life in prison when they are sentenced in U.S. District Court in White Plains later this year. The latest guilty plea was Monday, when 26-year-old Gene “J-Biz” Thomas, pleaded guilty to two counts of drug charges. He faces up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced July 9. At their plea hearings, some of the men spoke plainly of gang life. “During the conspiracy, there was a time that I carried guns to protect the money I made,” Miguel “Corleone” Marquez, 26, said in January. Another reputed gangster, Brandon “Big Boy” Williams, implied in his plea hearing that guns were a necessary part of the trade. “At times, they would be threatening me so I one time had a gun and displayed it to one of these guys,” Williams said March 26, referring to rival gang members. Neither Williams nor Marquez completed high school. Both pleaded guilty pleaded guilty to drug and firearms charges, including conspiring to distribute 50 kilograms or more of marijuana. They face up to life in prison at sentencing. Prosecutors have said that Cliff Street Gangsters, known commonly as the CSG, operated for at least six years selling crack, marijuana, and other drugs and threatening rivals who encroached on their turf with guns that were stashed in secret locations known only to the gang’s members. Page

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