Fourteen Flatbush gang members are behind bars, as Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced the arrests of several members of the so-called “Babiiez” crime syndicate, who are allegedly responsible for at least 11 shootings.
None of the arrested individuals are older than 21, but prosecutors hit them with an 81 count indictment, including charges for conspiracy to commit murder and possess weapons.
“It is disturbing that young people in our communities are engaged in the type of brazen and senseless gun violence described in this indictment,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “We will continue to target the drivers of crime and incapacitate street crews that disregard the life and safety of others.”
The alleged gang members, a subset made up of younger members of the Insane Crip Gangsta crew, operated in Flatbush — mainly out of two apartment buildings at 131-141 East 21st Street between Caton and Church Avenues, which the gang members nicknamed “The Castle” according to the DA.
Authorities said the two apartment buildings served as a hub for the crew, where they gathered before and after various shootings.
Prosecutors allege that, between May 2019 and July 2021, the gang members were involved in multiple shootings and acts of violence against rival gang members in Brooklyn, several of which were captured on surveillance footage. The shootings were intended to help the gang maintain dominance on their turf, and retaliate for social media taunts over the death of a former Insane Crip Gangsta member, according to the DA’s office.
In one shooting that set off a chain of retaliation that saw an uninvolved bystander catch a bullet, a group of alleged members walked from ‘The Castle’ to 50 East 18th Street, in rival 8 Trey Gang territory at 7:05 pm, and fired a number of shots at a group of men standing outside the building, striking one man in the leg before fleeing the scene.
Later that same evening, a group of 10 alleged members were hanging outside on East 21st Street when a shot was fired at them, striking nobody, sending the group running inside the building to escape. One member is then seen on surveillance footage passing a gun to another member, who then leaves with five other members to Bedford Avenue and Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, where surveillance footage captures him allegedly shooting another man, who was not a rival gang member, in the leg as he exited his car.
Those named in the indictment were allegedly responsible for several other shootings in Brooklyn as gun violence in New York City spiked during the pandemic and has continued to reach highs not seen in a decade. Shootings in May 2021 were up 73 percent compared to May 2020, the month immediately preceding the concerning surge in violence.
“Taking shooters off the streets has been a focus of my office and the NYPD, and long-term investigations such as this are making a real impact in restoring safety and driving down violence across Brooklyn,” District Attorney Gonzalez said.
All the defendants were offered a substantial bail to be released, but no one was able to pay, and therefore will stay behind bars while they await trial.