U.S. District Court in Central Islip. Image: Google Maps

Six local men accused of being members of the Red Stone Gorillas “set” of the Bloods street gang have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of murder, racketeering, robberies, narcotics trafficking and firearms offenses.

Jimmy Dean, 41, of Calverton, the alleged gang leader, Terrill Latney, 39, of Riverhead, Roger Foster, 22, of Baiting Hollow, Corey Belcher, 34, of Riverhead, Willie Belcher, 33, of Flanders, and Eric Ross, 27 of Flanders, were charged in an indictment unsealed yesterday by United States District Judge Joanna Seybert.

All but Dean and Latney, who were already in custody, were arrested yesterday morning and were arraigned before Seybert yesterday afternoon. Dean and Latney will be arraigned at a later date, according to prosecutors.

“Through murder, assaults and drug sales, these members and associates of the Bloods’ Red Stone Gorillas posed a grave danger to communities on eastern Long Island,” U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said.

The FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force and the Suffolk County East End Drug Task Force worked together with Riverhead Town Police, Suffolk County Police and N.Y. State Police, Donoghue said.

“These arrests are the culmination of several years of intensive investigation to take out the worst-of-the-worst gang members terrorizing Eastern Long Island communities,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney Jr. said.

Sweeney said the gang members “created such a violent environment in parts of the town where they operate that they were dealing out in the open, without fear.”

The defendants’ gang committed acts of violence and distributed large quantities of crack cocaine, powder cocaine and heroin in the Riverhead area on Long Island for nearly a decade, according to the indictment.

On Nov. 17, 2015, while attempting to carry out Dean’s order to kill an individual, Latney, and others fatally shot Thomas Lacolla as he sat in the intended victim’s car, according to the indictment.

On Aug. 1, 2015, Foster and others shot and wounded a suspected member of the rival Crips gang and a female bystander, according to the indictment. Following Dean’s arrest in 2016, Latney, Foster and others assumed control of the gang’s drug distribution operations, prosecutors said.

“We truly appreciate the unprecedented cooperation and assistance from our federal, state and county law enforcement partners in helping us to remove these criminals from our local communities here on the east end of Long Island,” Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller said.

If convicted, the defendants face maximum sentences of up to life imprisonment.

Editor’s note: A criminal charge is an accusation. A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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