Defendant Conducted Drive-By Shooting, Then Hid the Weapon under a Child’s Mattress.
Long Island, NY - June 11, 2018 - In federal court in Central Islip, Andre Chandler, a Bloods street gang leader, also known as “Mac Dre,” was sentenced by United States District Judge Joan M. Azrack to 366 months’ imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute crack and heroin, discharging a firearm in connection with that conspiracy, illegal possession of three firearms, and possession with intent to distribute crack, heroin, oxycodone, and hydrocodone, and a related violation of the conditions of his supervised release. Chandler was convicted by a federal jury in October 2016 following a two-week trial.
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), Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), New York Field Division, and Patrick J. Ryder, Commissioner, Nassau County Police Department (NCPD), announced the sentence.
“Any gang member who thinks they can sell drugs and commit acts of violence on Long Island without consequence should think about where Andre Chandler will spend the next 30 years,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “This Office and our partners are completely committed to relentlessly pursuing and prosecuting gang members to protect our community.” Mr. Donoghue thanked the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force, NCPD Gang Investigations Squad and Nassau County District Attorney’s Office Special Operations Bureau for their assistance in the investigation. The FBI Long Island Gang Task Force also includes the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department, Suffolk County Police Department, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, Rockville Center Police Department, Suffolk County Probation Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Hempstead Police Department, New York State Police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations.
“The belief these drug dealers and gang members have that they control territory, and have to defend their turf by shooting, and killing rivals defies comprehension,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “While they’re playing at who is the nastier, meaner gangster, people are developing debilitating and deadly additions to their wares. The FBI Long Island Gang Task Force has proven with several of these gang investigations that we will do all we can to safeguard the community from more violence by going after the leadership, and keeping them from returning to their so-called turf.”
“Chandler as alleged showed no regard for life or the rule of law. Today’s sentence sends a strong message to those like him who choose that reckless and dangerous path,” stated ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Benedict. “I would like to thank our federal, state and local law enforcement partners that stand with ATF as one united front to protect our citizens from individuals who look to do harm to their fellow citizens. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the United States Attorney’s Office for their work in prosecuting the case.”
According to evidence presented at trial and court filings, Chandler began selling heroin and crack shortly after his release from prison in July 2014, declaring parts of Hempstead, New York, to be “my blocks, my streets.” On December 13, 2014, Chandler carried out a plan to hunt down a rival drug dealer, luring the dealer to his car and then shooting him repeatedly with a 9mm. semiautomatic handgun. Several weeks later, in January 2015, officers from the United States Probation Department searched Chandler’s residence and car, discovering heroin, cocaine base, oxycodone, hydrocodone, equipment for packaging narcotics for sale, and multiple firearms, including the same 9mm. semiautomatic pistol that Chandler had used to shoot the rival dealer. Law enforcement officers found that handgun hidden under the mattress in a young child’s bedroom.
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. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Lara Treinis Gatz and David K. Kessler are in charge of the prosecution.