Newburgh Vehicle Used in Murder, Burned to Destroy Evidence
An alleged gang member has pled guilty to charges stemming from a gang-related murder involving a vehicle stolen from Newburgh.
The FBI, ATF, DEA and U.S. Marshals Service have been investigating several east coast gangs for their involvement in "narcotics trafficking, murder and other acts of violence." The gangs include the Original North End (“O.N.E.”), the East End gang, the East Side gang, and the PT Barnum gang. These gangs are accused of money laundering, racketeering, the burning of evidence and murder.
On Tuesday, Ta'ron Pharr, also known as “250,” pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a racketeering charge stemming from a gang-related murder in 2018. According to court documents, Pharr and other O.N.E. gang members stole a white Jeep Grand Cherokee in Newburgh and drove it to Bridgeport, CT where it was used in a drive-by shooting.
Prosecutors say that early in the morning on August 13, 2018, the gang members drove the stolen Jeep to Union Avenue in Bridgeport where they shot and killed Len Smith, 25, who they mistook for a rival East End group member. The O.N.E. members also shot and seriously injured a female passenger who was also seated in the parked car. After the incident, Pharr and other gang members transported the jeep to Indian Wells State Park where they burned the vehicle in an attempt to destroy evidence.
Pharr pleaded guilty to "one count of engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity," which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. Several federal agencies are continuing to investigate incidents where gang members stole cars from inside and outside Connecticut and used the cars to commit crimes.
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