A nine-count indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Central Islip charging Dylan Cruz, also known as “L Banga,” an alleged member of the Red Lane Gorillas set of the Bloods street gang, with racketeering, conspiring to murder rival gang members, murder in-aid-of racketeering, armed robbery and related firearms counts. The indictment was returned under seal by a federal grand jury on December 12, 2018. The defendant is scheduled to be arraigned this morning before United States District Judge Joseph F. Bianco.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), Patrick J. Ryder, Commissioner, Nassau County Police Department (NCPD), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the charges.
“The charges in the indictment reflect the extreme danger Cruz posed to communities on Long Island and in Brooklyn as he allegedly killed a man mistakenly thought to have betrayed a gang member, shot and paralyzed a suspected rival gang member and wounded two bystanders in furtherance of the Bloods’ criminal enterprise,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “Cruz will now be brought to justice for his charged crimes, and this Office will continue working tirelessly with federal, state and local law enforcement partners to eradicate violent street gangs.” Mr. Donoghue thanked the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force, the NCPD Gang Investigation Squad, NCPD Homicide Squad, NYPD Gun Violence Suppression Division, Violence Reduction Task Force and the NYPD Firearm Investigation Unit, for their assistance in the ongoing investigation.
Between 2010 and 2016, Cruz and other members of the Red Lane Gorillas allegedly engaged in a violent gang war against rival gangs, including the Crips and the 5-9 Brims set of the Bloods, in Nassau County and Brooklyn. The indictment charges Cruz with the July 2012 murder in Baldwin Harbor of Anthony Richard, whom Cruz and fellow gang members wrongly suspected of betraying the Bloods. Cruz and others followed Richard’s car until it was parked. Cruz then approached the car and fired more than a dozen shots, killing Richard and severely wounding a passenger.
Cruz is also charged with the attempted murder of a suspected rival gang member in Roosevelt in November 2010, in which the victim was shot in the back and paralyzed; the attempted murder of a second rival gang member in January 2013, in which a bystander was shot in the foot; and a gun-point robbery at a used car dealership in North Merrick in June 2016, in which an employee was pistol-whipped by Cruz and a co-conspirator.
The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Several other members of the Red Lane Gorillas set of the Bloods are charged in a separate indictment with conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder in-aid-of racketeering, assault in-aid-of racketeering and related firearms charges.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Nicole Boeckmann and Michael Maffei are in charge of the prosecution.
Dylan Cruz (also known as “L Banga”)
Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-664 (JFB)