Suffolk DA announces arrest of 18 suspects following 10-month gang investigation
Prosecutors and law enforcement officials were in Riverhead Monday to announce more than a dozen arrests after a long-term gang investigation.
Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney announced a 148-count indictment against 18 defendants who have been arrested.
All of the people who were arrested were allegedly part of the "No Fake Love" gang.
The DA says their crimes happened mostly in the Mastic, Shirley, Bellport and Riverhead areas. The crimes included armed assaults, armed robberies, armed carjackings, larcenies and shootings - including the shooting outside of Rep. Lee Zeldin's home. They were also indicted in the murder of Jorge Barrera outside of a nightclub.
"On the first day we were elected, we said we were going to work with our law enforcement partners, we were going to build conspiracy cases and we were going to marry the violence to those conspiracy cases," said Tierney.
He said the gang has been known to law enforcement since October 2021, with over 100 search warrants executed and weapons seized in a collaborative effort by several law enforcement agencies.
Two reputed leaders of the gang, KeAndre Hudson and Janell Johnson, allegedly operated from inside prison and were indicted as part of the investigation. Tierney said they were a key piece of organizing some of the 31 separate crimes.
Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said their collaborative approach to the takedown was precision policing.
"Identifying our problematic crew out here in Suffolk County, going after them, building a case and making sure we hold them responsible," Harrison said.
Rep. Lee Zeldin also released a statement about the takedown, saying in part, "I am very grateful to Suffolk County law enforcement and DA Ray Tierney for their efforts to not only solve the case of the shooting outside my family's home and holding the shooter accountable, but indicting 18 gang members in total."
The last person in the group of 18 was arrested on Monday. All previously indicted have been held without bail.
Harrison says violent crimes overall are down in Suffolk because of arrests like these.