Hamden man pleads guilty in connection to gang activity that ‘wreaked havoc’ in Greater New Haven


NEW HAVEN >>A fourth man has been convicted in connection with a string of drug trafficking arrests made in September 2015, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Keith Young, 27, of Hamden, also known as “Capo,” “Bapo” and “Poncho,” pleaded guilty Monday to one count of engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity and one count of money laundering. Young faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Young was arrested along with five other members of the Red Side Guerilla Brims, a sect of the Bloods street gang, in 2015. The RSGB gang operated in New Haven between 2011 and 2015, trafficking drugs from Maine, trading firearms, and members were known to have committed acts of violence, even murder, according to federal prosecutors.

“The Red Side Guerilla Brims wreaked havoc from New Haven to Bangor, Maine,” U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly said in a statement. “RSGB members were not only responsible for multiple murders and non-fatal shootings locally, they trafficked drugs and firearms from one end of New England to the other. I thank our law enforcement partners who put this gang out of business, particularly the ATF, New Haven Police Department and Hamden Police Department, for their tireless dedication during this long-term and ongoing investigation. They are providing justice for the many victims of this brutal gang, and making New Haven a safer and better place to live.”

Federal law enforcement and local police announced the arrests of Young and five other members of the gang in September 2015.

“The outcome of this case is an example of what happens when agencies cooperate,” New Haven Assistant Police Chief Achilles Generoso said in the release from the U.S. attorney’s office Tuesday. “The collaboration between the NHPD, ATF, U.S. Attorney’s Office and State’s Attorney’s Office, once again resulted in dangerous people — involved in gun violence in New Haven and our neighboring communities — being taken off our streets.”

Another man arrested at the time, Trevor Murphy, pleaded guilty to one count of interference with commerce by robbery and one count of using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence last week. He also faces up to life in prison for his crimes.

Murphy, 28, of West Haven, allegedly killed Joseph Zargo in December 2011 after Murphy robbed the victim of a drug supply.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that Young was present for two other deaths caused by acts of violence of other RSGB members.

Young has been detained since his arrest. A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled, according to court dockets.

Other members of the RSGB arrested and charged in September 2015 include Jeffrey Benton, 31, Robert Short, 30, Robert Harris, 20, and Christopher Graham, 29, all of New Haven.

Benton is serving a 9-year sentence in relation to another case and is due back in federal court in connection with his alleged crimes as a member of the RSGB later this month. Short, also due back in court this month, is facing life in prison if convicted.

Harris and Graham already have been convicted and sentenced in relation to their gang activities, Harris was sentenced in November to three years in prison and Graham was sentenced in August to 5½ years in prison.

Meanwhile, in another RSGB gang case unrelated to these arrests, Roy Isiah Jackson, 22, of New Haven, also pleaded guilty Tuesday in New Haven to offenses stemming from his involvement in the street gang.

Jackson, also known as “I,” pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity, one count of attempted assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, and one count of carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Jackson admitted that he was involved in a gunfight with a rival gang in New Haven on March 19, 2012, and had committed a home invasion robbery on Putnam Street in May 2012.

Jackson is in custody and is scheduled to be sentenced in May.