Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Richard Feliz a/k/a “Dirt,” was sentenced to 27 years in prison for murdering Victor Chafla, an innocent bystander, while shooting at a rival gang member. Feliz was sentenced on August 16, 2019, by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, before whom Feliz previously pled guilty to narcotics and firearms offenses.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “On March 26, 2015, Victor Chafla was stocking produce outside a grocery store when he was shot in the head, an innocent bystander struck down by senseless gang violence. For committing this terrible murder, Richard Feliz will now serve 27 years in prison. We thank our partners at HSI and the NYPD for their outstanding work pursuing justice for Mr. Chafla. Our hearts go out to Mr. Chafla’s family for their terrible loss.”
According to the allegations contained in the Indictment and statements made in related court filings and proceedings:
Between 2013 and 2017, Feliz was a member of a racketeering enterprise known as the “Rollin’ 30s Crips,” a street gang that operated in Bronx, among other places. In order to fund the enterprise, protect and expand its interests, and promote its standing, members and associates of the Rollin’ 30s Crips committed, conspired, attempted, and threated to commit acts of violence, including murder and robbery, and conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute narcotics.
On March 26, 2015, during a dispute with a member of a rival gang, Feliz shot at that rival, but instead struck Victor Chafla in the head, while Chafla was working outside at a grocery store. Chafla died from his wounds a few days later.
In addition to the prison term, Feliz, 23, of Bronx, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and the New York City Police Department.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica Fender, Anden Chow, and Jacqueline Kelly are in charge of the prosecution.