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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
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  3. 7 Members of Hyena Crips Gang Charged With Murder, Racketeering Following HSI Investigation

7 Members of Hyena Crips Gang Charged With Murder, Racketeering Following HSI New York Task Force Investigation

Release Date: May 16, 2024

Murder victim, mistaken to be rival, was stabbed in neck by Hyena Crip gang member at 2012 West Indian Day parade

NEW YORK — A Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York investigation, in coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York; the New York Police Department; and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General-Northeast Region has resulted in charges against seven members of the Brooklyn-based Hyena Crips gang for racketeering and using a firearm in the course of a murder in connection with three murders, murder conspiracies, robberies and identity fraud schemes dating back to 2012.

The charges were included in a superseding indictment partially unsealed May 14 in federal court in Brooklyn. Three defendants were arrested May 14 and are scheduled to be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge James R. Cho. The four remaining defendants, who are in state and federal custody on other charges, will be arraigned at a later date.

“As alleged, these defendants and the Hyena Crips gang at-large have, for years, inflicted unimaginable pain on the community and claimed the lives of innocent New Yorkers. While nothing can bring back Leandre Mallinckrodt, Samuel Joseph and Roodson Polynice, HSI New York will never forget its commitment to seeking justice on behalf of victims, regardless of how much time has passed,” said HSI New York Special Agent in Charge Ivan J. Arvelo. “HSI New York will not sit idly by as gangs terrorize the public. I commend our law enforcement partners, including the New York Police Department, for working together to eliminate violent criminal organizations and the fear they cause.”

According to the investigation, the Hyena Crips set of the Crips street gang is a violent criminal enterprise operating in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn. The gang engages in acts of violence, including murder, robbery and assault, and earns money through drug trafficking, bank fraud and access device fraud. Members of the gang refer to each other as “Hyenas,” “Heenz” or some variation of hyena, and use social media emojis depicting a bluish-purple face with horns and an animal resembling what appears to be a hyena, wolf or fox.

On Sept. 3, 2012, defendant Rick Jasmin aka Jab, 31, of Brooklyn, and other members of the Hyena Crips were present at the annual West Indian Day parade in Brooklyn. A fight broke out and Jasmin allegedly stabbed Leandre Mallinckrodt, whom the defendant mistook for a rival gang member, in the neck. Mallinckrodt, who had been visiting from upstate New York and had no gang affiliation, died from the wound.

On Feb. 22, 2019, Martial H. Amilcar aka Drippy, 27, of Brooklyn, and a co-conspirator drove to 15-year-old Samuel Joseph’s apartment building and waited outside until Joseph’s teenage sister arrived at the building’s entrance. While Joseph’s sister prepared to enter the building, the victim was walking down an internal staircase towards the building’s exit. When Joseph’s sister opened the building door to enter, Amilcar walked into the building behind her, pulled out a gun and shot Joseph three times at close range, killing him. The shooting and events leading up to it were captured on security camera footage taken nearby. Amilcar and the co-conspirator allegedly killed Joseph in retaliation for an altercation earlier that day between Amilcar’s relative, a fellow gang member, and Joseph’s older brother, a rival gang member.

In the summer of 2020, Hyena Crips leader Dave Augustin aka Juice, 38, of Brooklyn, allegedly directed Richler Morette aka Breezy, 29, Brooklyn, and Bradley Augustin aka Cradley, 24, of Brooklyn, to retaliate against a rival gang for the nonfatal shootings of two Hyena Crips leaders. On Sept. 2, 2020, Bradley Augustin, Morette and others allegedly carried out the fatal shooting of Roodson Polynice. Polynice, like Mallincrodt, had no gang affiliation and was killed after he was wrongly identified by the defendants as a rival. Following the murder, Morette responded to a group Facebook messages about Polynice’s death in which he replied with three laughing-face emojis and stated, “[d]on’t care who got hit” and “pic [sic] a side or get killed with them Hyenalifestyle or no life.”

The superseding indictment also charges several defendants with the attempted armed robbery of a Caribbean Air check cashing businesses, the attempted robbery of a pharmacy and the nonfatal shooting of an individual following an argument during a dice game.

Amilcar; Dave Augustin; Matthew Harris aka Kappy, 24, of Brooklyn; Jasmin; Wisny Joseph aka Weezy, 32, of Brooklyn; and Morette are charged with allegedly conspiring to commit identity fraud in connection with fraudulently obtaining unemployment benefits and loans issued by the Small Business Administration for relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. All six are also charged with money laundering conspiracy arising from their fraudulently opening bank accounts to conceal the source of ill-gotten gains obtained by members of the Hyena Crips.

If convicted, Amilcar, Bradley Augustin, Dave Augustin, Jasmin and Morette face maximum sentences of life imprisonment. Harris and Joseph face prison terms of up to 20 years.

“For years, the Hyena Crips terrorized our community with brutal acts of violence — including murders, shootings and brazen armed-robberies — and funded their criminal activities through frauds,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace. “The crimes alleged in today’s superseding indictment illustrate well the damage this gang has wrought on individuals, small businesses and the community at-large. This office and its law enforcement partners are working tirelessly to dismantle violent criminal enterprises, take out their leadership, and obtain justice for their victims. It is my hope that today’s indictment brings some measure of solace, particularly to the families of Samuel Joseph, Leandre Mallinckrodt and Roodson Polynice, who were senselessly murdered.”

“The ‘Hyena lifestyle’ was one of wanton violence coupled with acute ineptitude, as the individuals charged today allegedly murdered innocent men they mistook for rival gang members,” said NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban. “The actions of this busy criminal network ranged from robbery to financial fraud, which, for too long, cast a pall over large swaths of our city. I highly commend all the investigators involved in this case, starting us toward a modicum of justice for the grieving families of those senselessly killed.”

“An important part of the mission of the U.S Department of Labor Office of Inspector General is to investigate allegations of fraud involving COVID-19 pandemic unemployment insurance programs. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate these types of allegations,” said Jonathan Mellone, special agent in charge of the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General in the Northeast Region.

Last Updated: 05/16/2024
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