MANCHESTER, NH – Below is an update on Manchester Police Department’s newly-formed Gang Prevention Unit, which since June has resulted in more than 30 arrests, seizure of $2,900 in cash, 143 grams of crack, 49 grams of marijuana, 15 grams of cocaine, 2 grams of heroin, three firearms and a knife. In addition, 18 warrants have been issued for suspects connected to various criminal activity in the city.
Sgt. Michael Biron, Officer Casey Seigle, Officer Ryan Hardy and Officer Michael McGee began working together earlier this summer as part of the unit, and as part of their work they visit local youth centers on a regular basis and engaging with members of the Manchester Police Athletic League, Boys and Girls and Club, Salvation Army and the YMCA of Manchester. They speak candidly to youth in the city by denouncing the glamorization of “thug” life or the “gang” life as often depicted in social media and music videos..
All of the subjects in this press release have self-identified as gang members.
Gang Prevention Unit Update
In June of 2017 a fight involving multiple individuals at the Mall of New Hampshire was captured on video. The video went viral on social media, so the officers viewed it multiple times and were able to identify several individuals on the video. They completed warrants on four Manchester residents who were part of the fracas, which occurred in the middle of the day on June 3, 2017.
Gang Prevention Unit officers arrested Ayei Akot, 18, of Manchester on July 3, 2017, on a riot warrant, which was signed on June 19, 2017. Akot was picked up without incident at Sheridan Emmett Park and appeared in appeared in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on August 8, 2017. He has another court hearing scheduled for November 1, 2017.
Erwin Gonzalez, 18m of Manchester, turned himself in at police headquarters on July 11, 2017 for the charge of riot. He was released on $1,500 personal recognizance bail and also is scheduled to appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on November 1, 2017.
The two individuals who fought against Akot and Gonzalez were arrested as well. Chad Nagy, 18 and Matthew Cotoni, 18, both of Manchester, were charged with riot. Nagy was also charged with simple assault once officers determined he started the brawl on June 3, 2017.
Nagy was arrested during a motor vehicle stop on July 21, 2017 and was released on $2,000.00 personal recognizance bail. He is scheduled to appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on November 1, 2017.
Cotoni was booked in absentia on July 7, 2017 from Hillsborough County House of Corrections. He was charged with riot and two counts of violation of bail conditions. He is scheduled to appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on September 15, 2017.
The gang prevention unit also arrested Marc Joseph, 29, of Manchester, on June 27, 2017, after they stopped Joseph on Union Street for a pedestrian in a roadway violation. Joseph was initially less than cooperative by keeping one of his hands inside of his pants pocket. The officers located a .22 caliber handgun and small amount of marijuana in the same pocket his hand was in so he was arrested without incident.
Joseph was charged with possession of controlled drug and two counts of violation of bail conditions. He was released on $500 cash/surety bail and appeared in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on August 8, 2017.
Officers Hardy and McGee also arrested Enrique Castro on August 14, 2017. He was arrested for displaying the butt end of a gun to a passing motorist who happened to be a plain clothes detective.
The Manchester Police Gang Prevention Unit was recently formed under the direction of Chief Nick Willard and works out of the Community Policing Division. The goals and objectives of the unit include daily outreach with the youth of the city, as well as enforcement aimed at those who claim gang affiliation