Christine CorradoAug 17, 2017, 8:51 pmAug 17, 2017, 9:08 pm

Officials: 31 gang members, associates charged in the murders of 2 Poughkeepsie men

Prosecutors say social media played large role in identifying alleged criminals


Caval Haylett was only 18-years-old when he was shot and killed in March of 2016 while at a barbecue; he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, according to Acting Attorney General of the southern New York district, Joon Kim.

"The bright future and hopeful dreams of this promising scholar athlete was extinguished in a hail of senseless gunfire. A victim of this alleged war between uptown and downtown gangs in Poughkeepsie," Kim said.

The two gangs, the "uptown" gang and the "downtown" gang were both allegedly involved in selling heroin, crack cocaine, and marijuana on the streets of Poughkeepsie from 2012 to 2016.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, 31 gang members and associates have been charged in connection with Caval's murder. Charges were also brought in the killing of alleged gang member Daquell Leblanc. These gangs dealt in racketeering, narcotics, attempted murder, and firearms, offenses all carrying federal penalties.

"There's no question gang activity in our community resulted in drug dealing, shootings, violent crimes, and homicides, and this cannot be tolerated," said William V. Grady, Dutchess County district attorney.

Prosecutors say social media was a big part of the investigation and helped them in identifying these alleged criminals. Officials say gang members posted stacks of money they earned from allegedly selling drugs on social media.

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