Gang member charged with murder in Flatiron

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Brooklyn gang member Frank Smith, 31, was recently charged in connection with the murder of two men in 2010 who were reportedly in a rival crew on Park Avenue South and East 19th Street.

According to the indictment, Smith and other members of Rival Impact began conspiring to murder members of a rival crew, Thirty-O, specifically Terrance Serrano and Rashawn Washington, in October 2009. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District said that Smith and other members of the gang planned and carried out the murders in retaliation for the victims’ perceived involvement in the 2009 drive-by shooting of Rival Impact member Vincent Carmona.

On Monday, October 4, 2010 at around 4 a.m. police arrived on East 19th Street between Park Avenue South and Broadway after getting a call about a person shot. Serrano and Washington were getting into their car after leaving a nightclub and Smith, who had been lying in wait in a nearby vehicle, allegedly approached their car, opened fire and fled.

Both Washington and Serrano were shot in the head and died at the scene.

The five-count indictment, which was unsealed when Smith was arraigned in Brooklyn last Thursday, includes a slew of additional charges of racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, narcotics trafficking and unlawful use of firearms.

According to the U.S. Attorney, Smith and other members of Rival Impact engaged in widespread narcotics distribution and violence between January 2001 to October 2014 to maintain the gang’s power and hold in Coney Island. Smith and other members of the gang allegedly earned money by trafficking in crack-cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, marijuana, prescription pills and other drugs.

Smith has a total of three felony convictions relating to possession of narcotics with intent to sell and according to the U.S. Attorney, he has been on the wrong side of the law since he was a teenager. The U.S. Attorney said that Smith has also committed a number of armed robberies targeting other narcotics traffickers and narcotics customers, during which the victims were held at gunpoint and in at least once instance, shot.

Smith had previously been arrested in June, 2011 because he was reportedly found to be in possession of nearly 200 packets of heroin and $668 in cash. Smith ultimately pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with possession of heroin with intent to distribute and possession of cocaine base stemming from this incident and other previous arrests. He was sentenced to 36 months behind bars followed by three years of supervised release.

From 2003 to 2015, Smith was convicted of various other crimes, including criminal possession of a controlled substance, bail jumping, criminal possession of marijuana and petit larceny, and was sentenced to imprisonment on six other occasions.

Smith faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment if he is convicted of all the charges on the recent indictment.

“We are hopeful that today’s indictment is a milestone along the path to this individual’s conviction,” NYPD Commissioner Bratton said of Smith. “The defendant, as alleged, terrorized Coney Island and other parts of the city by selling illegal narcotics, murdering members of a rival gang and using violence and intimidation to achieve his criminal objectives.”

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