On May 16, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, and New York City Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell held a press conference announcing that rappers Sheff G, real name Michael Williams, and Sleepy Hallow, real name Tegan Chambers, were arrested as part of a 32-person, 140-count gang indictment alleging murder, attempted murder, gun possession, and other crimes. Gonzales claimed that the men charged are members of the 8 Trey Crips and 9 Ways gangs, who collectively waged war on the Folk Nation Gangster Disciples and ICG Babiiez over a period starting in March 2019.
The indictment attributes 12 shootings to the gangs, including the fatal October 2020 shooting of Theodore Senior, AKA Sniper Blixky, an alleged member of the Folk Nation Gangster Disciples and ally of Sheff G rival 22GZ. During the press conference, Gonzales said, “What we allege and what we learned during the course of this investigation is that Sheff G used a lot of the money he earned to help facilitate further gang activity, encouraging gang members to participate in violent crimes.” Sheff G is an RCA Records artist and founder of the Winners Circle label and crew, where Tegan and rapper Eli Fross are signed. He’s regarded as a pioneer of the Brooklyn drill scene, best known for his “No Suburban,” “We Gettin Money,” and “Weight On Me” singles, which have amassed hundreds of millions of streams on DSPs and YouTube. Investigators allege that Williams rewarded people who carried out shootings for him with jewelry, appearances in videos, and money.
Williams is accused of ordering, coordinating, and bankrolling Brooklyn shootings, and allegedly being a getaway driver for an April 6th, 2021 Flatbush shooting. Surveillance footage allegedly captured Williams driving defendants Olivel Martinez, Tony Darden, and Kenrick Austrie in a Trackhawk registered in his name. The three men got out of Williams’ car and shot at a rival, instead hitting a 53-year-old man and a 43-year-old woman who were on the scene. The video captured the men running from the shooting back into Williams’ car. The next day, Darden allegedly shared a news report about the shooting in a group chat with Williams and others.
The indictment frames the shooting as revenge for a member of the Babiiez shooting at Williams’ home in Short Hills, New Jersey the day before. “Over the next several months, Williams and some of the other defendants allegedly embarked on a campaign to seek revenge against the rival Babiiez gang and an 8 Trey member who they believed betrayed Williams by giving the rivals his address in New Jersey,” the indictment claims. In June, 10 defendants are alleged to have kidnapped the 8 Trey member and assaulted him at a Brooklyn cemetery until they were stopped by cops.
Tegan, a platinum artist and close friend of Williams known for his “Deep End” and “2055” singles, is framed as a conspirator in the gang in part for being in a video in possession of a gun with codefendants, being present with codefendants when they had guns, and a social media post where he’s purportedly “throwing down” the Folk Nation hand gesture, which investigators perceive as a sign of disrespect. The indictment also references Tegan making phone calls and texts with codefendants Jovanie Choloutte and Daniel Jean Louis in October 2021, the same day Choloutte allegedly stole a car that codefendant Kamondre Demattu is accused of using in a Flatbush mass shooting that killed Theodore Senior and injured five other alleged Folk Nation members. After Senior was killed, investigators claim Williams held a celebratory dinner for nine people at Manhattan’s Brooklyn Chop House. Tegan is also charged in the indictment as a co-conspirator for attending the dinner.
The police were heavily surveilling the defendants, with the indictment teeming with alleged records of phone calls, text messages between members, and social media posts. The indictment alleges that the defendants frequently used coded pig latin in an attempt to evade surveillance. During one alleged phone call, defendant March Wright used pig latin and english when asking codefendant Jaquan Brown, “Bro, you think cops can understand Pig Latin?” he added, “Bro, you know how I know they can’t understand Pig Latin? Cause . . . they was asking [Kamondre Demattu] ‘what’s that shit you talking on the phone.’ They don’t understand that shit bro.”
During an alleged February 2022 phone call between Williams and his sister Crystal Williams, they discussed the police raiding Martinez and Darden’s homes on the same day. Williams allegedly told his sister “[T]his is something. . . . They rush Ollie crib and Micc crib at the same time…That mean for the same shit.” On the same call, Tegan joined the line and Williams noted, “Listen, let me tell ya’ll if it’s seven oh it’s it’s over bro, clip bro…If it’s seven oh, it’s clipped gangsta,” allegedly referring to the 70th NYPD precinct where the April 6th, 2021 shooting occurred. Williams was incarcerated at the time of the February phone call. He has six months left on a two-year sentence for a state gun charge and was anticipating an early release in June.
There are two instances of rap lyrics being mentioned in the indictment. Investigators recall Williams posting, “FOR GANG…FOR GANG SHIT !…out here playing for the members,” in March 2019. The lyrics are from his February 2018 “For The Members” song, but were framed in the indictment as “a message about committing shooting on behalf of the 8 Trey Crips.” In another instance they retrieved Olivel Martinez writing “All of them soft if you ask me / I was on a drill last week / He tried to run like a athlete / Shit got him shot on the ass cheeks” in a January 2021 phone note. The lyrics were entered a week after investigators alleged that he shot a Folk Nation member in the buttocks.