Several Guns Recovered From Search Warrants of Suspected 31st Street Gang Members
HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro and District Attorney Larry Krasner today announced the results of search and arrest warrants for 15 individuals believed to be 31st Street Gang members after an investigation into 18 shootings in Philadelphia dating back to 2016. As a result of the search warrants, several guns were recovered from multiple locations. This collaborative investigation was conducted by the Gun Violence Task Force, a joint task force between the Office of Attorney General, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and the Philadelphia Police Department, in partnership with the Pennsylvania State Police and the ATF.
“This is incredibly difficult and dangerous work, but it’s work we are committed to and we won’t stop, because all our neighborhoods deserve to be safe from gun violence, and no family should be ripped apart,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “We are increasing our efforts, across the board, to combat the causes that lead to gun violence and hold accountable the small number of people responsible for so many shootings.”
This morning, agents from the Gun Violence Task Force along with the Philadelphia Police Department and Pennsylvania State Police, executed search warrants at several Philadelphia addresses, leading to the arrests of four individuals and the recovery of three handguns. Those four individuals are currently in custody — charges are as follows:
- Haneef Wilkins, charged with three counts attempted murder and two counts Person Not To Possess Firearms, for one shooting incident;
- Eric Woodard, charged with one count homicide, four counts attempted murder, and three counts Person Not to Possess Firearms, for three shooting incidents;
- Aquil Collins, charged with four counts attempted murder, for two shooting incidents; and
- Javaun Parris, charged with two counts conspiracy, receiving stolen property, and unauthorized use of auto.
Of the 15 arrest warrants issued today, five were already in custody for related crimes. Six individuals currently remain at large.
“Today’s Gun Violence Task Force sweep effectively dismantles the current members of the 31st Street Gang, which has terrorized communities in Southwest Philadelphia for years,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said. “These complex investigations of criminal networks require cooperation and collaboration across law enforcement agencies, and often patience, but they yield real results. I want today’s law enforcement actions to be a warning to those who engage in these senseless crimes that justice will eventually come for them. Shooters: We are watching you, and with the help of the community you harm and terrorize daily, we will find you.”
In March 2019, after a year of testimony and investigation, the Philadelphia Investigative Grand Jury recommended charges against eight people in connection with multiple shooting incidents in the city, including a homicide in South Philadelphia on December 19, 2017 and a retaliatory double shooting in Northwest Philadelphia on December 27, 2017.
After the first round of indictments, this investigation was re-submitted to a new Grand Jury, resulting in the charges filed today related to 18 shootings throughout Philadelphia that are believed to be related to gang activity, including two homicides. Using information gleaned from electronic evidence and witnesses, investigators were able to corroborate the circumstances surrounding these shootings, specifically the murder of 15 year-old Rasul Benson at a gas station on Passyunk Avenue.
This case is being prosecuted by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office. All charges are accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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