Gangs. Same as always, just with weirder names.
A joint effort by the U.S. Attorney Office of South Florida, the Miami Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives resulted this week in the arrest of 21 members of a gang known as the Big Money Team.
The gang operated in the Little Havana and Allapatah neighborhoods and had their hands in everything from guns, crack cocaine, Molly, marijuana, and prostitution to armed robberies, assaults, car jackings, and intimidating locals. And yes, they had some sweet nicknames.
Ranging in age from teens to early 30s, the gang used intimidation techniques to control the neighborhoods all while bragging about their exploits on social media.
Seventeen men were named in the indictment.
- Maurin Chacon a/k/a "Tiny," a/k/a "Peludo," a/k/a "Yung Patron," 27;
- Christopher Altamirano a/k/a "Tango," a/k/a ""Peter Baitz," 22;
- Rodolfo Portela a/k/a "Papo L. Desperado," 29;
- Dayaan Zerquera a/k/a "Dsbf BMT Kid," 24;
- Raymond Moore a/k/a "Flaco," a/k/a "Dinero Banks," a/k/a "Young Gunna," 22;
- Alioth Salas, a/k/a "Ali," 27;
- Luis Salas a/k/a "Chico Black," 22;
- Christian Ramirez a/k/a "Joker," 31;
- Joseph Thompson a/k/a "Joe," 29;
- Carlos Tinoco a/k/a "C-Lo," 22;
- James Dixon a/k/a "Smoke," 20;
- Steven Castro a/k/a "YM Stevo," 23;
- Dwight Forte, 22;
- Jay Anthony Flores a/k/a "Jay Gambino," 19;
- Joel Diaz a/k/a "Borie," a/k/a "El Paisa," and a/k/a "Buom Clock,"
- 25; Fernando Roberto Darce a/k/a "Bonesz," 20;
- Mario Balboa, 29.
- Nadim Guzman, 21;
- Angel Martinez, a/k/a "Telly," a/k/a "Tboy," 22;
- Kevin Diaz, 19;
- Miguel Rodriguez, a/k/a "Fat Boy," a/k/a "Barba," 19.
Each defendant could face life in prison for "conspiring to possess controlled substances with intent to distribute." Other charges leveled against various members of the group include possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute (which comes with a max punishment of 20 years), possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking or violent crime (a life sentence), firearm and ammunition possession by convicted felons (10 year), commission of violent crime in aid of racketeering charge (20 years) and carjacking (15 years).
"The arrest of these defendants represents a significant victory to the residents of Little Havana and Allapattah, as we have effectively removed eighteen members and associates of the violent street gang, 'Big Money Team,'" said U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer in a statement. "We will continue to prosecute individuals whose violent criminal conduct and brazen threats paralyze neighborhoods with fear as federal law, including the Violent Crime in Aiding and Abetting Racketeering statute, charged today, provides stiff penalties for repeat offenders, drug traffickers, and firearm violators."