Archive for the ‘Gangs of Long Island’ Category

Locked Up

In early 2006, Melvin Daniels was a 20-year-old cocaine dealer for the Prospect Piru set of the Bloods in Westbury. The young man known as “Maniac” had seven years on the streets at that time, when an undercover narcotics detective with Nassau County police picked him up. After surviving what he describes as the “kill-or-be-killed” gang life, he began a three-and-a-half-year stay behind bars. He awaited trial in the relative comfort of Nassau County Jail surrounded by people from the community, then was convicted and sentenced to hard time in a medium-security upstate prison. Later, he was transferred to the maximum-security Elmira Correctional Facility after he slashed another inmate, a member of a rival gang, in the face and chest.

Gangs of Long Island: Rape. Drugs. Murder.

Gang violence is on the rise across Long Island, admits at least one top elected official, and law enforcement efforts to rein in its culture can best be described as a sub-war in itself. For those trapped in the culture’s web—a net cast even for elementary schoolers—life can be a seemingly endless cycle of tragedy, despair and anguish, with an untold number of victims.