New York, NY - June 26, 2014 - Earlier today, following a month-long trial, Ronald Herron, also known as “Ra Diggs,” was convicted of all counts, including racketeering and three homicides, arising from his leadership of a violent set of the Bloods Street Gang that operated in the Gowanus Housing Development in Brooklyn. The verdict was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, George Venizelos, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, and William J. Bratton, Commissioner, New York City Police Department.
“Ronald Herron and his gang of thugs preyed on their community while glorifying their criminal lifestyle,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “He styled himself a rap artist, but the jury’s verdict makes clear who Herron really is, a drug dealer and murderer who sought power through fear and intimidation.” Ms. Lynch expressed her thanks to the agents and investigators from the FBI and NYPD who worked for years to dismantle this violent gang and bring Herron to justice.
Since 1998, Herron committed numerous crimes of violence in support of his drug trafficking operation in and around the Gowanus Houses and Wyckoff Gardens, two New York City public housing communities located in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn. In 2001, Herron murdered Frederick Brooks. Herron was acquitted of that murder in state court after witnesses refused to testify because they were threatened by Herron and his associates. After being released from state custody and consolidating his control over the drug trade in Gowanus and Wyckoff Gardens, Herron murdered Richard Russo in 2008 and Victor Zapata in 2009.
Herron boasted about his exploits in songs and videos in which he identified himself as the leader of the “Murderous Mad Dogs” set of the Bloods Street Gang and claimed that he had previously “beat a body.” The jury rejected Herron’s claim that the videos were simply exaggerations and that he was an aspiring rap artist rather than a murderer.
Herron’s conviction follows dozens of successful prosecutions over the past ten years conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, along with the FBI and NYPD, of violent gang members and drug dealers from the Gowanus Housing Development. When he is sentenced, Herron faces a mandatory term of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Shreve Ariail, Sam Nitze, and Rena Paul.
RONALD HERRON, also known as “Ra Diggs”