In the grand scheme of violent crime in South Beach, an October 2014 drive-by shooting outside Ocean Drive's Fat Tuesday seemed far from notorious. In the wee hours of a Sunday morning, a group in a Nissan Altima fired at someone sitting in a dark-colored car and then sped away. No one was hurt.
But as Miami Beach Police untangled the feud behind the gunfire, it became clear the crime was part of something much larger: a deadly, cross-state gang rivalry between two violent Brooklyn crews, all centered on up-and-coming rapper Bobby Shmurda.
Yesterday in Brooklyn, the man behind that South Beach shooting was sentenced for his role in that crime, as well as for gunning down a rival in a New York bodega in 2013.
Rashid Derissant, a 24-year-old member of the GS9 gang, was hit with a 98-and-a-third-year sentence by Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Abraham L. Clott after a jury found Derissant guilty of a score of charges, including murder, attempted murder, and assault.
“They took their New York City-based grievances and rivalries to Miami, assuming that they could act with impunity there, claiming they were merely members of a music group,” Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said in a release. “They spread terror as they fired randomly at a nightclub. ”
At the heart of the crime spree, prosecutors say, was a simmering turf war between the GS9 crew, also called the G Stone Crips, in East Flatbush and the rival Brooklyn's Most Wanted, or BMW, gang.
Shmurda, a Florida native whose real name is Ackquille Pollard, ran with GS9 and scored a viral hit in 2014 with his song "Hot N*gga," which reached number 6 on Billboard's Hot 100.
But even as his hit was peaking, his crew was waging street warfare with BMW, prosecutors say. Derissant and another crew member, Alex Crandon, shot up a bodega in January 2013, killing a 19-year-old rival. The GS9 members sold drugs and bought guns with the cash, police say.
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Nine months later, Crandon and Derissant traveled with Shmurda to South Beach. And they brought their gang war with them, police say. Early in the morning of October 12, shots were fired from a car carrying Crandon, Derissant, and another man outside Fat Tuesday. The target was a BMW rival.
Police caught the car a few blocks away, although Derissant, the shooter, had fled. He was later arrested as well, and all the men were sent to New York to face charges. On April 15, a jury convicted Derissant and Crandon for their roles in the bodega killing and the South Beach shootings.
As for Shmurda, he was arrested in December 2014 on charges of conspiracy to murder. He's scheduled to go to trial in September.