Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that four members of the “Jack Boyz” street gang have been sentenced in connection with the October 30, 2018, shooting of an off-duty NYPD officer and other Bronx violence. NAZAE BLANCHE, a/k/a “Zae,” was sentenced yesterday to 14 years in prison. Previously, LEON SMALLS, a/k/a “Smoove,” was sentenced on August 27, 2020, to 15 years in prison; PATRICK AVILA, a/k/a “Pat,” was sentenced on September 24, 2020, to 12 years in prison; and JALEN COLDS, a/k/a “Jay Gunz,” was sentenced on September 29, 2020, to 16 years in prison. All four defendants were sentenced by United States District Judge Valerie E. Caproni. Each defendant previously pled guilty to using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to, or possessing a firearm in furtherance of, a crime of violence, which firearm was discharged or brandished, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c).
Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “From 2017 through 2019, Leon Smalls, Patrick Avila, Jalen Colds, and Nazae Blanche, all members of the Jack Boyz gang, engaged in senseless violence against their gang rivals in the Bronx. Now they face significant prison time for their actions. We thank the NYPD for its outstanding work on this case.”
According to allegations in the Indictment and other documents filed in federal court, as well as statements made in public court proceedings:
The Jack Boyz is a criminal enterprise involved in committing numerous acts of violence, including shootings, in and around the Bronx. Members and associates of the Jack Boyz engage in violence to retaliate against rival gangs, to promote the standing and reputation of the Jack Boyz, and to protect the gang’s narcotics business. Members and associates of the Jack Boyz enrich themselves by committing robberies and selling drugs.
On October 30, 2018, SMALLS, AVILA, COLDS, BLANCHE, and others engaged in a shootout with gang rivals, during which a nearby off-duty police officer was shot. In addition to this shooting, the defendants each engaged in other acts of violence in the Bronx and Manhattan from 2017 through 2019. As part of their plea agreements, the defendants pled guilty to these additional violent acts. In total, these defendants pled to participating in four additional Bronx shootings in 2017 and 2018, as well as a Manhattan assault and robbery in 2019. Multiple victims were injured during these incidents.
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Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York City Police Department.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Jamie Bagliebter, Michael Longyear, and Mathew Andrews are in charge of the prosecution.