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26 Trinitarios Gang Members Indicted for Violent Stabbings At Rikers Island

Handcuffs over rap sheet

Law enforcement officials and New York personal injury attorneys who advocate for gang violence victims are aware that violent crime in New York is once again on the rise. The power of transnational gangs operating inside correctional facilities to carry out acts of extreme violence amplifies the brazen ruthlessness of the gang mindset, which eventually extends outside prison walls and should be of concern to us all.

The Details Supporting a Personal Injury Case are Key

After a lengthy investigation by multiple New York agencies, 26 Trinitario gang members were indicted on June 25, 2020, for a series of violent stabbings at Rikers Island Prison. According to Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark, the defendants allegedly orchestrated and carried out numerous slashings and stabbings within the prison to “preserve and protect the power of the Trinitario Gang.”

Operation Green Fury,” named after the gang’s colors, details a total of 14 violent acts by Trinitario gang members incarcerated in Rikers Island Prison between Sept 2015 and July 2019. The attacks were dispatched equally against rival gang members and fellow Trinitarios who had fallen out of favor with the Trinitario gang. 

The 26 defendants include two alleged gang leaders, Jesus Zapata, 30, and Hector Hernandez, 25, who allegedly orchestrated attacks carried out by other Trinitarios between 2017 and 2019. The defendants are believed to have used coded language, letters, and phone calls to communicate and plan the attacks. The assailants used makeshift shivs to stab, slash, and mame their victims’ faces and bodies. 

Successful Indictments Bring Some Safety Back to Communities

In total, 14 alleged stabbing and slashing incidents led to a massive 69-count indictment. The indictment spans attempted assault in the first degree, attempted gang assault in the first degree, attempted assault in the second degree, second-degree assault, third-degree assault, attempted assault in the third degree, and fourth and fifth-degree conspiracy. Of the 26 named defendants, 16 remained incarcerated, and ten had been previously released, with four of those ten still uncaptured at the time of the indictment. 

In response to the sweeping indictment of the 26 Trinitario gang members, Department of Corrections Commissioner Cynthia Brann issued the following remarks, “We will not tolerate violence in City jails, and are doing everything possible to bring those responsible to justice. The safety and security of the people who live and work in our facilities is our top priority.  

Brann later underscored the importance of this investigation by adding that “gang activity drives a disproportionate amount of violence on city streets and amongst those in custody, and because of the indictments… both communities are safer”. 

Working Against Brutality is Advocating for Victim’s Rights

Those working against crime and advocating for victims who suffer at the hands of others understand and accept the activity unveiled by Operation Green Fury as a microcosm of a broader gang problem in our communities. The brutality against incarcerated individuals by the Trinitario gang, and others like them, is evidence of the complete irreverence and disregard under which criminal organizations operate, entirely without boundaries, both in and outside prison walls. Be vigilant and be safe. 

If you or someone you love has suffered due to another person’s willful misconduct or negligence, contact a NY personal injury attorney today.

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