Seventeen suspected members of three different rival gangs who merged to form one super gang known as YPF, are facings series of charges (a total of 118 counts) after being arrested and variously charged in two indictments with conspiracy to commit murder, possession of weapons, and other crimes in connection to shootings that resulted in 14 victims, including four who died.
The defendants, 14 of whom are teenagers, are accused of hunting down rival gang members and committing a series of armed assaults, killing four people and wounding 10 in the process, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said.
“One of the most disturbing aspects of this case is the age of the defendants in this indictment. Some of them were as young as 14 or 15 years old” when the crimes were committed, said Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez at a news conference.
“That is heartbreaking, that some of our youngest residents in our county are involved in this gang and gun violence … it’s devastating and it’s truly destructive.”
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced the suspects face charges in connection to various incidents including a shooting inside a bodega on New Lots Avenue, a house party in Crown Heights, and an incident at MetroTech plaza.
The alleged babyfaced killers are members of the YPF gang — an alliance of three street gangs FNO (Fort N**** Only or Fear No One), PPP (Pistol Packing Pitkin) and YAWAH (Young and Wild and Hustling). Collectively, they became known as YPF and banded together to increase their power as they waged a war against their enemies, prosecutors said.
Videos obtained throughout the investigation allegedly show the teens flaunting their guns in a series of social media posts, including one that depicts a defendant shoving a gun inside a puppy’s mouth as he holds the dog by its scruff.
“These videos really show, and they were all uncovered during the course of the investigation, how deeply ingrained the problem is, how this gang and gun culture has obsessed these young men. They wave these guns around. They show them off. They brag about them. These guns are in a way something that they think makes them men,” Gonzalez told reporters.
“It just shows how deep our challenge is to change the culture that we have in some parts of our community.”
Additionally, according to prosecutors, the alliance allowed the alleged gang members to commit violence against their common enemies and maintain geographic dominance. Other benefits included access to more weapons, the freedom to travel safely to their allies’ neighborhoods and the ability to hunt down more rivals, prosecutors said.
At the start of the conspiracies, the alleged gang members arrested ranged in age from 14 to 20 years old.