Investigation Followed Wild Shootout in Brooklyn: 12 Guns Seized
Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill and Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced today the arrest and indictment of eight members of a Brooklyn-based criminal organization charged with trafficking in narcotics, attempted assault and weapons possession. Several defendants are charged in connection with two incidents of shots fired in Brooklyn in August of 2018, including a broad daylight shootout on August 27, 2018 in which over 20 bullets were fired.
The 59-count indictment filed by the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office is a result of a long-term wiretap investigation by the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Narcotics Borough Brooklyn North. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez reviewed and submitted multiple eavesdropping applications for court authorization.
Seven arrests took place this morning, including multiple members of the same family, brothers MICHAEL WATSON and MARVIN WATSON and their nephew JERRY WATSON. Arraignments are scheduled to take place this afternoon before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Abraham Clott, Part 61, 111 Centre Street. An eighth defendant who was previously incarcerated is scheduled for arraignment tomorrow.
A total of 12 guns were seized during the investigation. Court authorized searches early this morning resulted in the seizure of five firearms and evidence of a suspected heroin packaging mill from 134 Thomas S. Boylan Street, 3rd floor in Brooklyn, a stash location allegedly linked to JERRY WATSON. Police also recovered approximately $25,000 cash from JERRY WATSON’s residence, 94-04 80th Street, Queens, and quantities of suspected heroin and cocaine from MICHAEL WATSON’s residence, 400 Hancock Street, Brooklyn.
Shooting Incidents and Weapons Possession
The investigation began following two shootings in Brooklyn in August of 2018. The indictment charges that on August 27, 2018, MICHAEL WATSON and MARVIN WATSON conspired to target a rival in the vicinity of 233 Bainbridge Street. Several security cameras captured the shootout in which over 20 bullets flew in broad daylight on a residential block.
At approximately 10:30 a.m., the defendants allegedly entered a black SUV that was parked at the curb and pulled out into the street to double-park, blocking the flow of traffic. Seconds later, as a suspected rival approached in a silver Lexus, MICHAEL WATSON and MARVIN WATSON emerged from the SUV carrying weapons. The rival fired a shot and MICHAEL WATSON and MARVIN WATSON returned fire. Video shows pedestrians dove for cover as MICHAEL WATSON allegedly ran in the direction of the rival carrying a large silver gun in his outstretched hand. As traffic cleared behind the rival’s silver Lexus, the rival accelerated backwards, hitting multiple vehicles. After the shootout, the WATSON brothers retreated into 233 Bainbridge Street. Police later recovered extensive ballistics evidence from the street, including shell casings, and determined bullets had pierced multiple cars. No one was struck as a result of the shootout.
MICHAEL WATSON and MARVIN WATSON are charged with Attempted Assault in the First Degree, Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second and Third Degrees and Criminal Possession of a Firearm in connection with this incident.
Two days later, at approximately 11:45 a.m. on August 29, 2018, police received a report of shots fired in the vicinity of Bushwick Avenue and Halsey Street and observed MICHAEL WATSON speeding away from the area in a vehicle. Officers established surveillance outside a suspected drug and gun stash location controlled by the WATSONS at 10-15 Wyckoff Avenue, Apt. 1A in Queens. Police observed MICHAEL WATSON run into the building and knocked on the door. MICHAEL WATSON, MARVIN WATSON, JERRY WATSON and WILLIAM BOWMAN came out of the apartment.
Police obtained a court authorized search warrant and recovered three guns, a quantity of cocaine and drug paraphernalia. A fourth gun was recovered from a white Lexus that police had observed MARVIN WATSON, JERRY WATSON and WILLIAM BOWMAN driving earlier in the day. A ballistics analysis of one of the guns recovered from 10-15 Wyckoff Avenue matched shell casings recovered from the shots fired at Bushwick Avenue and Halsey Street.
As detailed in the indictment, the defendants engaged in multiple phone conversations about the sale and possession of firearms and bullet-proof vests. They also discussed multiple incidents in which police seized guns from their organization. On May 5, 2019, MICHAEL WATSON allegedly gave a female associate a .40 caliber pistol and a .454 caliber Taurus revolver. On June 5, 2019, police arrested the associate in possession of the two guns. A subsequent ballistics analysis of these two guns revealed that the .454 caliber Taurus, a large silver gun, matched shell casings recovered from the August 27, 2018 shootout.
MICHAEL WATSON, MARVIN WATSON, JERRY WATSON and WILLIAM BOWMAN face charges of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second and Third Degrees and Criminal Possession of a Firearm, as well as Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree in connection with these incidents.
Sale and Possession of Narcotics: Heroin, Fentanyl and Cocaine
The wiretap investigation revealed the defendants coordinated with one another to obtain narcotics and make sales to customers. Charges in the indictment include 10 sales of narcotics to an undercover officer for nearly $6,000 between September of 2018 and March of 2019. The defendants primarily sold heroin, as well as the potent synthetic drug fentanyl and cocaine. Individual dose glassine envelopes of heroin and fentanyl were stamped with various brand names, including “Breaking Bad,” “World Wide” and “Fire.”
WILLIAM BOWMAN and WILLIAM WHITE, who are father and son, are charged with multiple sales to the undercover officer between September of 2018 and March of 2019. JERRY WATSON allegedly served as a narcotics supplier for WILIAM WHITE and also sold directly to the undercover. MICHAEL WATSON allegedly coordinated with JERRY WATSON and JEFFREY MERRITT to obtain and sell heroin.
MICHAEL WATSON, JERRY WATSON, MARVIN WATSON, WILLIAM WHITE, WILLIAM BOWMAN, JOSE CASTILO and JEFFREY MERRITT are charged with Conspiracy in the Second Degree in connection with the sale and possession of narcotics between August 29, 2018 and July 2, 2019. WILLIAM BOWMAN, WILLIAM WHITE, JOSE CASTILLO, VICTOR STARLING, JERRY WATSON and MICHAEL WATSON face substantive counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan thanked SNP’s Special Investigations Bureau, the NYPD Narcotics Borough Brooklyn North and Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
“In addition to narcotics trafficking, the defendants are charged in connection with brazen daytime shootouts with rivals that endangered innocent bystanders. Not only did heroin, cocaine and lethal fentanyl sales endanger lives of those who use the drugs, the profits undoubtedly paid for weapons that put entire communities at risk,” said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan. “My office and our partners in the NYPD and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office are committed to investigating and prosecuting narcotics traffickers who disrupt neighborhoods through acts of violence.”
“Targeting and dismantling gangs and preventing the violence so often associated with their illegal activities continue to be among the highest priorities for the NYPD and our law enforcement partners. By precisely targeting the relatively small percentage of people responsible for committing this violence in New York, we are making the safest large city in America even safer. I commend the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, the King’s County District Attorney, and the NYPD investigators of Narcotics Borough Brooklyn North for their important work in this investigation,” said Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, “These defendants allegedly sold heroin, fentanyl and cocaine on the streets of Brooklyn with no concern for the lives they were destroying, and allegedly took part in two shootings – including one in which 20 shots were fired. I am committed to keeping Brooklyn residents safe from illegal narcotics and gun violence and commend the New York City Police Department and the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for their work in putting this case together.”
The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Download Press Release
Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office
New York City Police Department
Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office