Maria Mejia, the leader of the Bad Barbies all-female gang operating in the Bronx, has been apprehended, reports say.
According to Capital Bay
, Mejia was among the 40 members of the Bronx Trinitarios gang caught by federal officers. Gang member, some of whom have been identified as “Webb Killa,” “Machete” and “Blood,” will be tried for crimes dating back to 2003.
The Barbies are a splinter faction of the Trinitarios. At first, police did not think they were involved in criminal activity.
“We weren't surprised to learn that the Trinitarios were up to no good in the Bronx. But the Bad Barbies? Who knew?
“Maybe it's a sign of the times that gender is no bar when it comes to murder, robbery and other crimes,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly says.
The Trinitarios are dubbed responsible for nine murder and 24 attempted murder cases, in New York. 24-year-old Mejia herself will be charged with killing a rival gang member in 2005, racketeering and assault.
She allegedly shot Miguel Perez, of the Don't Play Dominican gang, to avenge the death of Trinitarios' Gil Lanier. She would have been 14 years old at the time.
Mejia is being held in jail, without bail. She pleads not guilty to charges against her and accuses police officers of performing an act of injustice.
It is “inappropriate for law enforcement to castigate people charged with capital crimes by using loose language,” her lawyer describes.
The Trinitarios have been around since 1989, as a small gang formed in prison that erupted to the streets of New York. Their name is reminiscent of the three main Dominican Republic revolutionaries, the national heroes that won the country's independence from Haiti in 1844. A total of 100 Barbies have been connected to the gang over time.