For Immediate Release
Four Members of Violent Bridgeport Gang Guilty
More Than 40 Members and Associates of Warring Gangs Now Convicted; 8 Murders and Approximately 20 Shootings Solved
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — On Dec. 5, a federal jury in New Haven found Keishawn Donald, 22; Trevon Wright, aka “Tre,” 22; Eric Hayes, aka “Heavyweight Champ,” 26; and Travon Jones, aka “Budda,” 21, guilty of racketeering offenses related to their involvement in a violent Bridgeport street gang.
Today’s announcement was made by Vanessa Roberts Avery, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Joseph T. Corradino, State’s Attorney for the Fairfield Judicial District; Bridgeport Police Chief Roderick Porter; Robert Fuller, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the FBI; James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England; and Acting U.S. Marshal Lawrence Bobnick.
According to the evidence presented during a month-long trial, the FBI, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service and Bridgeport Police have been investigating multiple Bridgeport-based gangs whose members are involved in narcotics trafficking, murder and other acts of violence. Donald, Wright, Hayes and Jones have been members of the “East End gang,” which began as a local street gang based in the East End of Bridgeport, but currently has members and associates who are either incarcerated or living throughout Bridgeport and surrounding towns. The East End gang has been aligned with other groups, including the PT Barnum Gang, the East Side gang and 150, which is a geographic gang based on the West Side of Bridgeport. These groups were aligned against rival organizations in Bridgeport, including the “Original North End” (“O.N.E.”) and the “Greene Homes Boyz,” (“GHB/Hotz”), based in the Charles F. Greene Homes Housing Complex in Bridgeport’s North End.
East End members distributed heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana and Percocet pills; used and shared firearms; and committed at least six murders and other acts of violence against rival gang members and other individuals. East End members celebrated their criminal conduct on social media websites such as Facebook and YouTube and committed acts of intimidation and made threats to deter potential witnesses to their crimes and to protect gang members and associates from detection and prosecution by law enforcement authorities.
During the trial, the government presented evidence that:
- On Jan. 30, 2018, Donald shot and killed Eric Heard, aka “Fetti,” a member and associate of the GHB/Hotz gang.
- On March 5, 2019, Hayes shot and killed Jerrell Gatewood.
- On July 12, 2019, Jones and another East End Member, Tyrone Moore, shot and killed Sean Warren, aka “Kujoe,” a member and associate of the O.N.E. gang.
- On Sept. 15, 2019, Wright shot and attempted to kill Marquis Isreal, aka “Garf” or “Gbaby,” a member and associate of the O.N.E. gang.
- On Oct. 17, 2019, Jones shot and attempted to kill Joshua Gilbert, a member and associate of the O.N.E. gang.
- On Dec. 8, 2019, Wright shot and attempted to kill Arvan Smith, aka “Arv Barkley,” an associate of the O.N.E. gang.
- On Jan. 26, 2020, Wright shot and killed Myreke Kenion and shot and attempted to kill D’Andre Brown, both members and associates of the GHB/Hotz gang.
The jury found Donald, Wright, Hayes and Jones guilty of conspiring to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity. At sentencing, Donald, Wright and Jones face a maximum term of imprisonment of life, and Hayes faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. All are detained pending sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Avery noted that due to rising level of gun violence Bridgeport was experiencing, this wide-ranging investigation commenced in January 2020, shortly before the violence culminated on Jan. 27, 2020, when GHB/Hotz and O.N.E. members, in retaliation for the Myreke Kenion murder and D’Andre Brown shooting, attempted to kill East End gang members and associates in a brazen afternoon shooting in front of a state courthouse on Golden Hill Street in Bridgeport. After a Shot Spotter activation detected approximately 20 shots being fired in front of the courthouse, law enforcement and first responders discovered that four victims had been shot while sitting inside a car.
Approximately 47 members and associates of the East End, O.N.E. and the GHB/Hotz gangs have now been convicted of federal offenses stemming from this investigation, which has and solved eight murders and approximately 20 attempted murders.
“We believe that the investigation of these warring gangs and resulting prosecutions have had a significant and substantial impact on the violence being perpetrated in Bridgeport,” said U.S. Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery. “In 2020 and 2021, when many other cities saw significant surges in gun violence, much of it caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and longstanding societal issues, Bridgeport saw a significant decrease in gun violence, with a 61 percent decline in gang-related homicides and a 59 percent decrease in gang shootings not resulting in death. Moreover, the gun violence, and particularly the gang related violence, has decreased from 2022 to 2023. While these statistics are encouraging, the amount of gun violence in our cities remains unacceptable and a top priority for our office and our federal partners. I thank all of the law enforcement officers who have contributed to these investigations and commend and acknowledge the trial teams that are prosecuting these cases.
“Every Connecticut resident, regardless of where they reside or their race, ethnicity or socioeconomic class, should be able to feel safe in their community,” U.S. Attorney Avery continued. “No person, or group of people, is entitled to wreak havoc by engaging in repeated acts of violence, instilling fear and trauma on the children and families who reside in our communities. Every life matters. We implore anyone engaged in, or planning to engage in, senseless violence like these defendants to reconsider so you don’t end up either killed or facing the prospect of wasting your life sitting in a federal prison.”
“The continuing cooperation between local, state and federal officials in Bridgeport is a model of effective law enforcement,” said Fairfield Judicial District State’s Attorney Joseph T. Corradino. “The net result of these sustained efforts is a safer community for the people who live and work in the Greater Bridgeport area. We are committed to maintaining this successful long term relationship with our federal counterparts for the benefit of the people we serve.”
“The level of complexity involved in this long term investigation proved to be no match for our Connecticut professional law enforcement partners’ ability, skills and determination to bring about justice,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Fuller. “We here in Connecticut have a unified partnership with local, state and federal partners that is second to none in the country. Justice has been served.”
“Keishawn Donald, Trevon Wright, Eric Hayes and Travon Jones have been found guilty in federal court of gang related racketeering offenses, including murder and other violent crimes,” said James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Boston Field Division. “The ATF alongside our local, state and federal partners remain dedicated to protecting the citizens of Bridgeport from violent gangs like the East End gang.”
“Drug trafficking, along with the violence that all too often accompanies it, is a serious threat to the safety and security of our communities,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “Drug dealers and street gangs value their own profits over human life and are responsible for fueling drug addiction and much of the violent crimes across New England. These crimes hold law abiding citizens of Connecticut hostage to drug-fueled lawlessness. This is unacceptable and will not be allowed to happen. DEA and its local, state and federal partners are dedicated to bringing to justice those that commit these crimes.”
“On behalf of the City of Bridgeport and the Bridgeport Police Department, I want to the thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and all of the federal law enforcement agencies for their continued support and partnership in helping to reduce violent crime in the City of Bridgeport and bringing those responsible for violence in our city to justice,” said Bridgeport Police Chief Roderick Porter.
This investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s Safe Streets and Violent Crimes Task Forces, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, Bridgeport Police Department, Connecticut State Police and the Bridgeport State’s Attorney’s Office, with the assistance of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory and the Waterbury Police Department. The East End gang cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jocelyn C. Kaoutzanis, Rahul Kale and Stephanie T. Levick.
This prosecution is a part of the Justice’s Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), Project Longevity and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) programs.
PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders works together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develops comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
Project Longevity is a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities. Through Project Longevity, community members and law enforcement directly engage with members of groups that are prone to commit violence and deliver a community message against violence, a law enforcement message about the consequences of further violence and an offer of help for those who want it. If a group member elects to engage in gun violence, the focused attention of federal, state and local law enforcement will be directed at that entire group.
OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations through a prosecutor-led and intelligence-driven approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.