Brooklyn gang leader sentenced to 24 years for murder-for-hire scheme

gang murder sentence
A Brooklyn gang member is facing life in prison after being convicted of murdering a rival gang member.
Ajay Suresh/Flickr

A Brooklyn gang leader was sentenced to 24 years in prison on Monday after on multiple charges, including conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire. 

Ronald Williams, the leader of the 90’s Crew street gang, was convicted in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in January 2018, five years after he agreed to kill a Brooklyn resident who his co-defendant Leon Campbell thought informed federal agents of his marijuana selling. U.S. District Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall handed down Williams’ sentence on Monday.

Drug Enforcement Agency officers were following Campbell on April 26, 2013, as he made a marijuana delivery to a Brooklyn customer, but he spotted the agents and fled –  suspecting his customer was a federal informant.  Four days later, Campbell reached out to Williams and offered to pay him $5,000 to kill the suspected informant, to which Williams agreed and began planning the murder. When Campbell said he was willing to carry out the murder personally, Williams told him it would be better to hire someone else to “get it right.” 

He selected a gang member to perform the contract, but the plan never came to fruition as federal agents identified the potential victim before the murder took place. Williams pleaded not guilty to all charges in 2017.

“Ronald Williams showed his indifference for a human life when, without any hesitation, he accepted money to kill someone suspected of being an informant for federal law enforcement,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace. “Today’s lengthy sentence demonstrates the seriousness of obstructing justice and that those who seek to do so will be punished.”

Williams was convicted of additional charges related to three handguns, several pounds of marijuana, a drug ledger, a safe and a police scanner found by federal officials when they executed a search warrant at Williams’ E. 96th Street home in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn. 

Williams was handed down charges for conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice murder, conspiracy to distribute marijuana, use of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition following a two-week federal jury trial in 2018. 

“This sentencing demonstrates DEA’s relentless pursuit to seek justice for drug trafficking and violent crimes,” stated DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Frank Tarentino.  “The investigation underscores the relationship between drug trafficking and violence, and further demonstrates our commitment and resolve to holding those accountable for causing the most harm in our communities.”

Campbell pleaded guilty to charges of murder-for-hire conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute marijuana in June of 2019 and was sentenced to nine years in prison later that year.