NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The United States Attorney’s Office announced a sweeping indictment of seven men who they claim are part of the “Bounty Hunter Bloods” (BHB) gang, an organization started in Watts, California, with a presence in several other states.
Prosecutors say two of the gang’s members were involved in the tragic mass shooting that killed two men and injured seven other people in New Brunswick on September 13, 2020.
It’s still not clear, however, who the other shooters were in the violent attack.
The indictment comes just over two years after the worst mass shooting in the modern history of Middlesex County, and one week after the families of the victims pleaded for information about the investigation at a memorial event organized by this reporter.
“I’m so angry. Mad. Can’t get no answers to no questions, at all,” said Tina Robinson, the mother of Anthony Robinson, one of the two men killed in the mass shooting.
“Lionel was killed two years ago, and it’s still raw. It’s still raw,” said Michaela Macauley, the aunt of Lionel Macauley, the other man killed that night. “The pain is still there, because we have no idea what is going on with the investigation.”
In addition to Robinson and Macauley, alleged BHB gang members are also charged with the murders of Karon Mooring and Nathaniel Edwards.
The federal government took over the mass shooting case in May 2022, just over fifteen months after local authorities made their first and only arrest in the tragic incident.
The indictment accuses the gang of a racketeering conspiracy in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, connecting the four New Brunswick homicides, as well several non-fatal shootings in the city and neighboring towns, heroin distribution, and multiple types of fraud, including fraudulently obtaining federal loans.
BHB gang members allegedly shot at least 15 people in five different shootings during a 20-month period:
- June 12, 2020: Churchill Avenue, Franklin Township (no injuries)
- August 1, 2020: Hope Manor housing complex (3 victims)
- September 13, 2020: Delafield Street between Bristol and Courtlandt Streets (9 victims, including 2 killed)
- June 18, 2021: Easton Avenue between Hamilton and Condict Streets (2 victims, including 1 killed)
- January 9, 2022: Remsen Avenue and Seaman Street (1 victim killed)
The federal indictment charges Joel Lyons, a 21-year-old also known as “Jayski,” and Isiah Daniels, a 33-year-old known as “Ice,” with using a stolen car to perpetrate the mass shooting.
Video from a doorbell camera shows that there were four shooters in the vehicle that drove up to the scene of a house party on Delafield Street, with each hopping out and firing into the crowd during the horrifying attack.
It’s still unclear who authorities believe the other killers are, with at least one of them still totally unaccounted for as the investigation enters its third year.
The indictment characterizes one of the two men killed that night as a “purported rival of the Bounty Hunter Bloods Enterprise,” though it does not make it clear which of the murdered men it refers to, only identifying them as “Victim 4” and “Victim 5.”
Daniels is also facing federal charges related to a June 12, 2020 shooting where he allegedly joined other BHB gang members at a “gathering to pay homage to a purported rival gang member who had passed away” in the area of Churchill Avenue in Franklin Township.
There, gang members “exited their vehicles, brandished firearms, and shot into a vehicle,” discharging at least seventeen rounds of ammunition, according to the indictment.
Meanwhile, Walter Boyd, a 34-year-old also known as “Walt” or “Walt Daddy,” is charged in the federal indictment with the murder of Karon Mooring, which took place in the area of Easton Avenue and Condict Street on June 18, 2021. Boyd had previously been arrested and charged by by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) in the killing.
The MCPO had previously indicated that they believed Mooring’s murder was connected to a shooting that occurred a little over three hours prior in the area of Bergen Court and Gatling Place in New Brunswick’s Schwartz-Robeson public housing complex.
According to the indictment, Boyd and other members of the gang were “gathered outside of a hospital in New Brunswick to support and pay homage” to someone who had been shot by “purported rivals… hours prior.”
“Upon observing a white Jeep occupied by individuals who Boyd and other members of the Enterprise appeared to have recognized to be members of a rival gang, Boyd, and two other members of the Enterprise entered a silver Honda and followed the Jeep to the area of Easton Avenue,” reads the new federal indictment.
The document does not explicitly name which gang member “exited the Honda, brandished a firearm, and shot into the Jeep,” killing Mooring and injuring another person. At least seven rounds of .40 caliber ammunition were discharged from a single firearm, according to the indictment.
In a major departure from their standard practice, the MCPO did not identify the victim of the murder to the public in their original statement on the June 2021 shootings, and did not issue a press release announcing the arrest of Boyd.
“The… prepared statement regarding the arrest was initially withheld to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation,” stated MCPO Assistant Prosecutor Connor Oullette at the time.
Malik Stringer, a 24-year-old nicknamed “Rambo,” is also named in the federal indictment in connection with the January 9 murder of Nathaniel Edwards.
Stringer, too, had already been arrested and charged by the MCPO. Oullette also confirmed that charges of “hindering apprehension” were filed against Chucky Stringer and Mildred Porter in the matter, though they were not mentioned in the office’s press releases on the murder.
Stringer was reportedly the gunman in that incident, allegedly discharging “approximately nine rounds of 9mm caliber ammunition,” killing Edwards and injuring another, before fleeing the area and meeting up with a “high-ranking member” of the gang.
The indictment states Stringer had gotten into “a confrontation regarding narcotics distribution within the Bounty Hunter Bloods territory with purported rival gang members.”
Stringer also allegedly “attempted to fire a firearm” after being shot at by a “rival gang member” somewhere in New Brunswick on July 24, 2021. Neither the indictment or the press release that came with it named a specific location. It was one of many shooting incidents in the city where local police and the city did not notify the public.
Notably absent from the indictment was any mention of the only man who had previously been named in charges connected to the September 2020 mass shooting: Somerset resident Jeron Pitt, who was arrested in February 2021 at age 19, and is now 20 years old.
Pitt was released to the custody of the the United States Marshals Service on May 11 of this year, when federal authorities quietly took over the investigation.
Pitt faced a slew of charges: two counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of first-degree attempted murder, and one count each of conspiracy to commit murder, second-degree conspiracy to possess a firearm for an unlawful purpose, second-degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose, and fourth-degree tampering with evidence.
But all of those charges were administratively dismissed by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, according to the Administrative Office of the Courts. Pitt is still in the custody of the US Marshals Service, but is not currently a defendant in any federal case.
A Honda Accord allegedly stolen from Plainsboro appeared to be central to the initial investigation into the deadly attack on Delafield Street, according to criminal complaints against Pitt, which were obtained by New Brunswick Today before they were dismissed this May.
The grey vehicle was found outside a home on Jefferson Street in Somerset, just a few blocks outside of New Brunswick, a half-mile from the residence of one of the suspected killers, and less than a mile from the violent scene at Delafield Street in New Brunswick.
“The State submits there is probable cause to believe that [Pitt] stole the aforementioned Honda utilized in the homicide, he participated in a mass shooting where two individuals were killed and seven others were shot, then fled from the scene of the crime, disposed of the car, bleached the interior of the vehicle and attempted to retrieve and discard evidence all in furtherance of the conspiracy which resulted in the crimes committed,” reads the initial 19-page charging document filed by the MCPO on February 4, 2021.
Police say in the charges that they obtained a video of Pitt and others “singing about the shooting” in the hours immediately following the tragic incident, and jail recordings of Pitt saying, “I am trying to do anything to beat this murder,” and asking a friend to wipe his Instagram page in an effort to erase the video.
They added a theft count to the list of charges facing Pitt on March 11, 2021. According to the charging document, Pitt had admitted “he may have stolen the Honda Accord from Plainsboro that was used in the homicide.”
The complaint warrant stated that Pitt stole the grey Honda Accord on September 12, less than 24 hours before he and three other men hopped out of the car on Delafield Street and fired into a crowd outside a party.
And it wasn’t Pitt’s first time stealing a vehicle, according to the documents: “Pitt stated that he has stolen cars from several towns as well.”
As we reported, Pitt had been arrested and investigated by other law enforcement agencies in Central Jersey. An auto theft investigation in Monmouth County landed him in jail in October 2020, around the time he began speaking to cops looking into the mass shooting.
The text of charges against Pitt were never fully made public, but New Brunswick Today received redacted versions of the complaints that are missing entire pages of information, as well as other smaller portions throughout.
For example: “There was a fight at the party and [redacted] was an intended target and got ‘tagged up.’ Pitt explained he got rid of the car. [Redacted] further stated that Pitt then showed them a video on Instagram”
Even without the redacted info, the documents reveal a lot of unpublicized details of the violent attack and the ensuing investigation.
Police cited “phone extractions” and “jail calls” as well as statements of witnesses and Pitt himself in support of their probable cause to arrest Pitt.
According to the story laid out in the now-dismissed complaints, Pitt drove someone else’s vehicle, a white Dodge, to Plainsboro before stealing the Honda Accord. An automated license plate reader allegedly captured the license plate on that Dodge in the area of the theft at 1:37 am, almost exactly one day before the mass shooting in New Brunswick.
The car was missing when the owner went to look for it at 9:30am and he reported it stolen at 11:03pm, fourteen hours and fifteen minutes before it rolled up to Delafield Street.
Police said they were able to track down the vehicle by 5pm on September 13, and “noticed a strong, potent [odor] of bleach from it,” and confirmed it was the same one that had been reported stolen a day earlier.
Pitt allegedly admitted information about the theft of the car on October 15 and 19, telling officials with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) and New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) that he and a friend stole it.
However, Pitt “believed the theft occurred on September 7,” according to the report.
Others charged in the new indictment include Gede Maccelus, a 24-year-old nicknamed “G Baby,” and Kimani Wanyoike, a 21-year-old nicknamed “Ki,” who are both allegedly behind the August 1, 2020 shooting that injured three adults in the Hope Manor housing complex at the intersection of Remsen Avenue and George Street in New Brunswick.
“The preliminary investigation suggest the shooting occurred during a dice game amongst multiple individuals in the Hope Manor complex,” said then-Captain JT Miller of the New Brunswick Police Department at the time, declining to provide more information.
Gang members were also allegedly caught in possession of weapons that had been used in an April 30, 2021 shooting somewhere in North Brunswick, and a January 20, 2022 shooting on Throop Avenue in New Brunswick.
The MCPO had already filed charges against Maccellus and 19-year-old Corey Fuqua in the Throop Avenue shooting.
According to the new indictment, Maccelus was found in Franklin Township in possession of “a .40 caliber Taurus Semi-Automatic G2 handgun,” which authorities claim was the one used in the shooting. Six days later, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office announced that Maccelus and Fuqua were charged with first-degree attempted murder and second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun related to the shooting of a “teenage male.”
The final of the seven defendants named thus far, Armando Ortiz, a 24-year-old also known as “Mando,” is accused of dealing heroin, but no violent crimes.
“Members and associates of the Bounty Hunter Bloods Enterprise engaged in, or controlled, drug trafficking and other criminal activities in various neighborhoods and public-housing complexes in and around New Brunswick and Somerset, New Jersey,” according to the indictment, which named the area of Lee Avenue and Suydam Street as their “primary area for narcotics distribution.”
The other areas listed were “the area around” Namaan Williams Park in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, and New Brunswick’s Robeson Village public housing complex on the other side of Route 27.
The indictment also says that “numerous members and associates” of the BHB gang engaged in “multiple acts of wire fraud and bank fraud,” including fraudulently obtaining loans through the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), one of several government programs meant to blunt the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Boyd, Daniels, Lyons, and Stringer each face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for the racketeering conspiracy, according to the US Attorney’s Office, while Maccelus, Ortiz, and Wanyoike each face a maximum sentence of twenty years’ imprisonment.
Each of the defendants also face a maximum fine of $250,000.
Daniels and Wanyoike are in federal custody on “previously filed related federal charges,” according to the US Attorney’s Office, while Lyons and Ortiz are currently serving terms of imprisonment in state prison.
Meanwhile, Boyd and Stringer are currently at the Middlesex County Jail in North Brunswick, while Maccelus is in a state prison.
U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, as well as investigators of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, investigators of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, the New Brunswick Police Department, and the Franklin Township Police Department, for the investigation leading to the charges.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.