DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of New York

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Preet Bharara
, United States Attorney
Contact: Jim Margolin

Leader of “Trinitarios” Gang Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 10 Years in Prison

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that ANDY SOSA – the former leader of the "Trinitarios," a violent street and prison gang composed primarily of individuals of Dominican descent – was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to 10 years in prison for his participation in a massive conspiracy to distribute narcotics and use and possess firearms. SOSA previously pled guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott and was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: "Andy Sosa is responsible for funneling massive quantities of heroin, marijuana, prescription drugs and cocaine onto the streets of the Bronx, using violence to intimidate anyone who stood in his way. Thanks to the concerted, combined, and coordinated efforts of federal and local law enforcement, Sosa’s brutal reign has ended."

According to the indictment, and other documents filed in the case, as well as statements made during the sentencing proceedings:

From approximately 2009 until his arrest in July 2014, SOSA was immersed in activity with the Trinitarios street gang, which has terrorized certain neighborhoods of the Bronx. He led the "Greenbridge" chapter of the Trinitarios, which controlled the drug markets in the area of Kingsbridge Road and Webb Avenue. Undeterred by the arrests of his fellow Trinitarios in a 2011 sweep, SOSA filled the void, and continued to sell drugs – cocaine, marijuana, pills and what amounted to kilogram quantities of heroin over the years – in that area of the Bronx. Because of SOSA’s leadership rank in the gang, other Trinitario members and associates sold drugs in that area only with his permission or at his direction. SOSA’s drug distribution network also extended beyond the Bronx; the investigation revealed that he gave hundreds of grams of heroin to others to sell for him in Connecticut.

SOSA also kept firearms at his apartment in the Bronx, for use by Trinitarios to protect their drug distribution territory and themselves from rival gang members, or for use in retaliation against other neighborhood gangs. Indeed, SOSA was shot by members of a rival gang, known as "Dominicans Don’t Play" (or "DDP"). He carried a 9mm firearm for protection, and his apartment was used to store guns (including, at various times, a .45 caliber handgun, a .38 caliber handgun, a .357 magnum, and a 9mm) and to stash drugs for gang members. SOSA ran Trinitario meetings at his apartment on a number of occasions.

Mr. Bharara praised the work of the New York City Police Department ("NYPD"), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ("ATF"), the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA"), and the Department of Homeland Security ("HSI").

The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justina Geraci, Rebecca Mermelstein, and Rachel Maimin are in charge of the prosecution.

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Field Division: New York Field Division