NEW YORK – Raymond P. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Dermot Shea, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, and Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations, today announced a superseding indictment in United States v. Lawrence, et al. 19 Cr. 761 (JPO).
In the initial indictment, unsealed on October 24, 2019, 13 defendants were charged in connection with the activities of the Mac Baller Brims gang that operated in and around the Mount Hope section of the Bronx between 2017 and 2019. In the superseding indictment, defendants Derrick Casado, aka “Big Bank,” aka “Papa D,” and Carlos Rosario, aka “Baby Bottle,” aka “Carlito,” aka “Barlito,” aka “Barlos,” are charged with offenses relating to an October 5, 2019 robbery in Manhattan, during which Rosario shot and killed Jonathan Rodriguez, 27. A racketeering conspiracy charge was added against defendant Juan Tejeda, aka “Gotti.” The case is proceeding before U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken.
“With many acts of violence alleged to be committed by members of the Mac Baller Brims gang – none were as savage as the murder of Jonathan Rodriguez,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Donovan. “Gang violence threatens the safety of New Yorkers and puts communities in the crosshairs of drug trafficking and drug-related crime. I applaud our partners at the US Attorney’s Office, the NYPD, and HSI for their diligent work.”
“As charged in the superseding indictment, Carlos Rosario and Derrick Casado were responsible for the murder of Jonathan Rodriguez.” said Acting U.S. Attorney Strauss. “This is one of many acts of violence alleged to have been committed by members and associates of the Mac Baller Brims gang. Thanks to the outstanding work of our law enforcement partners at the NYPD, HSI, and DEA, Rosario and Casado now face federal charges for murder.”
“Today’s indictment reflects our continued focus on keeping criminal gangs off the city’s streets,” said Police Commissioner Shea. “I thank our NYPD detectives, agents, and prosecutors for their sustained work on this case.”
“Members of the Mac Baller Brims gang allegedly brandished firearms and fired those guns in order to preserve their territory and protect their illicit business,” said HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Fitzhugh. “As alleged, in this case, gang members Derrick Casado and Carlos Rosario are charged with murder, after having shot and killed Jonathan Rodriguez in a Manhattan robbery. HSI New York’s strong partnerships with the NYPD and DEA, and the continued collaboration in criminal investigations, has led to the arrest of these two individuals and they will now face the consequences for their alleged deadly act.”
The Mac Baller Brims gang was a criminal enterprise, and its members and associates committed numerous acts of violence, including shootings, in and around the Bronx. They engaged in such acts to preserve and protect their power, territory, and profits, and to promote and enhance the gang and its criminal activities. Members of the gang also enriched themselves by committing robberies and by selling drugs, such as crack cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, oxycodone, and marijuana, including in New York and in Maine. While conducting their drug business, members and associates of the gang used, carried, and possessed firearms, and members of the gang brandished and fired those guns on multiple occasions since 2017.
On October 5, 2019, Casado and Rosario robbed two victims in the vicinity of 20 East 116th Street in New York, New York, and in the course of that robbery and the immediate flight therefrom, Rosario shot and killed a third victim, Jonathan Rodriguez. The superseding indictment charges Casado and Rosario with one count of assault in aid of racketeering, and aiding and abetting the same; one count of brandishing a firearm, and aiding and abetting the same; one count of murder in aid of racketeering, and aiding and abetting the same; and one count of murder through use of a firearm, and aiding and abetting the same. Casado and Rosario face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
In addition, the superseding indictment charges Juan Tejeda with conspiring to conduct and participate in the conduct and affairs of the Mac Ballers enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. The maximum sentence for this charge is life in prison.
The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.
Strauss praised the outstanding work of the NYPD, HSI, and DEA on this investigation.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Frank Balsamello and Jamie Bagliebter are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the superseding indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.