YONKERS, N.Y. -- A member of the Yonkers street gang known as the "Strip Boyz" was sentenced to 188 months in prison by a federal judge in Manhattan on Friday, April 4, according to Preet Bharara, U.S. district attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Jose Cruz, who had already pleaded guilty to participating in his gang's narcotics conspiracy, was testifying at the trial of Steven Knowles, the leader of a rival gang known as the “Elm Street Wolves.”
During that trial, Cruz denied conducting crack sales and retracted prior statements he had made to Yonkers Police Department officers after he was shot multiple times in April 2010 that supported evidence that suggested Knowles was the shooter.
U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled that Cruz' testimony about his crack sales at Knowles’ trial was false and an obstruction of justice.
“If there was ever any doubt that lying under oath was a foolish and costly decision, then Jose Cruz joins the long list of incarcerated defendants who should dispel that doubt," Bharara said in a statement. "It may be a peculiar badge of honor among gangs to perjure yourself, but in the end you will lie your way into being locked up.”
The case arose out of an investigation, which began in 2010 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and the Yonkers Police Department, of narcotics trafficking and gang violence in a part of southwest Yonkers known as Nodine Hill.
The Strip Boyz, were operating in and around Yonkers between 2000 and June 2012.
The Strip Boyz and their affiliates sold crack cocaine and marijuana in and around the Schlobohm Housing Project on Schroeder Street — described by the the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a major hub of crack distribution in Yonkers.