22 Aug 2014
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Police: At Least 2 0f 4 Charged In Shooting Have Gang Ties

A third suspect has not yet been identified as a member of a gang.

Police: At Least 2 0f 4 Charged In Shooting Have Gang Ties

At least two of the four suspects arrested after a Wednesday evening shooting in Riverhead have been identified as having been involved as members of the Bloods gang, police said.

Riverhead Detective Sgt. Joseph Loggia said Thursday afternoon that of the three male suspects arrested and charged after the shooting, two had been identified as having ties to the Bloods as members; he declined to say which of the defendants had known gang affiliations.

A third male suspect, Loggia said, has not yet been identified as a gang member; that information has not yet been confirmed with law enforcement, he said. And a woman arrested with the three men is not believed to have gang ties, Loggia said.

As of Thursday, Loggia added, "I can't say that this was gang-related."

Asked whether he has seen recent gang-related crimes in Riverhead, Loggia said it is not always possible to determine whether crimes are gang-motivated.  "It's hard to say a lot are gang-related," he said. "We've had crimes committed by gang members, but the bad guys don't say, 'It's because I'm a gang member. They keep their mouths shut.'"

Loggia added that on Thursday, no indication was yet clear on why the house had been chosen for the shooting. No one was injured in the shooting, he said.

The four suspects were arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon on Wednesday after police said they shot at a Riverhead home where children were inside.

According to Riverhead police, on Wednesday at 8:53 p.m., police units in the Roanoke Avenue area heard what sounded like "rapid gunfire" coming from the area of 3rd Street.

One of the units, police said, observed what appeared to be a tan Ford Taurus leaving the 3rd street area; the officer followed the car.

A traffic stop was initiated on Peconic Avenue and police found four occupants in the vehicle.

Additional units, police said, responded to the 3rd Street area and were notified by an occupant of a home on the street that someone had just shot at their house. The house was occupied by several adults and young children at the time.

Empty shell casings were found in the roadway in front of the home, police said.

All four occupants of the vehicle were placed under arrest after officers said they observed similar shell casings on the floorboard of the vehicle. Police said while the suspects were being placed into custody, one of the individuals was found to be in possession of a loaded .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun.

A search of the vehicle revealed similar spent shell casings, police said.

Police arrested Jeffrey Despeines, 21, of Centereach, and charged him with reckless endangerment in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and in the third degree, all felonies.

Also arrested was Eric Baldwin, Jr., 18, of Bellport; he was charged with reckless endangerment in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor. Jordan Harrell, 18, of Medford, was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment in the first degree; Jasmine Parsons, 19, of Riverhead, was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment in the first degree

All four suspects were transported to the Riverhead Police Department, where they are being held for arraignment.

At the arraignment Thursday morning, Baldwin's bail was set at $100,000 cash or $500,000 bond. Despeines' bail was set at  $250,000 cash or $750,000 bond; Harrell's bail was set at $200,000 cash or $500,000 bond, and Parsons' bail was set at $200,000 cash or $500,000 bond, according to Riverhead Town justice court.

All four were remanded to the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in lieu of bail, according to justice court records.

Baldwin, Despeines, and Parsons are expected back in Riverhead justice court Friday at 10 a.m.; Harrell is expected to return Tuesday at 10 a.m.

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