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.

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.

Oldvet February 14, 2013 at 09:33 PM
Until the residents of Riverhead are willing to pay more to put more law enforcement officers in the ranks Riverhead will always have a rep for the type of dirt bags and skels walking our streets. And when are the feds going to start enforcing immigration laws? We don't need more laws on the books just enforce the laws we have. Wonder if any of these four solid "citizens" are illegals.
Walter S February 15, 2013 at 12:15 AM
I'd like to see the judge order the three who are not from east end townships to never enter any of the east end towns again or they would be put right back into jail, make it a part of their sentence. Three of these guys are not even from the east end so they come here to start trouble or even kill someone which was quite a possibility here. I wonder if they're "legal" gun owners? This is precisely why people need to arm themselves. Some dirtbag lawyer will get them off with a minimum sentence so that they can do this again. Looking at the surnames, don't sound like illegals.
Oldvet February 15, 2013 at 12:36 AM
True, based on the surnames.
MARK TUTHILL February 15, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Yea...I can see those gun laws are really gonna work well. The only people without guns will be those who need them to defend themselves
Arnold Ziffel February 15, 2013 at 09:18 PM
you know it
Marty L. February 16, 2013 at 12:12 PM
HDAttitude: it is certainly time for Law Enforcement to enforce the laws already in place as well as the ProsEcutors handing down maximum sentences. As 18 - 19 year olds these criminals have no regard for the law. The politicians will spin this as a "Gun" problem. It is a crime problem and law abididing citizens must maintain the constitutional right to defend themselves if ever required. Not too long ago someone was caught trying to break into my home while my wife was working on the computer. The dog barked, my wife looked and saw a crowbar at thE window. She called 911 and then me. I made it home from 35 milles away at the same time as Law Enforcement. My wife was waiting, armed to protect herself. Had the dog not scared away the intruder, or she not been armed for self, she could have been dead long before help came. These criminals need to be dealt with and gun owners need to be left alone. Saying guns cause crime is like saying forks and knives cause obesity. gun owners wake up before its to late!
Dennis February 18, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Very heartening to see that the commenters stand by our God-given right to self defense, as codified by our Second Amendment. If Riverhead ever DARED to become the next Kennesaw, Georgia, and made it mandatory that all home owners posses the means to defend their homes and their families, you would see this sort of thing become nearly non-existent: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennesaw,_Georgia "In 2007, the city was selected by Family Circle magazine as one of the nation's "10 best towns for families".[3] The city is perhaps best known nationally for its mandatory gun-possession ordinance.[4]" Seriously.


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