Judge: ‘Too risky’ to release alleged Bridgeport gang member
BRIDGEPORT — A judge has denied a reputed Bridgeport gang member from being released from custody after the prosecutor detailed a variety of crimes she claims the defendant has been accused of committing.
Tyiese Warren, 20, appeared Tuesday in court via video conference on federal charges in connection with his alleged involvement in a crime spree in Bridgeport and Stratford earlier this year.
Authorities say Warren was linked to a series of robberies, car thefts and carjackings in Stratford and Bridgeport in March. He also faces state charges in connection with those crimes.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges of Hobbs Act robbery; brandishing, carrying and using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence; and federal carjacking in federal court during a Sept. 3 court appearance.
Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel denied a motion for Warren’s release with conditions, which stipulated the defendant would stay at his mother’s home in Bridgeport.
Those reasons were detailed before the court by Assistant U.S. Attorney for Connecticut Karen Peck, who tied Warren to numerous other alleged crimes, including a series of shootings in Bridgeport that led to a murder last December. She said Warren was also a “fellow gang member” of at least one person charged in the shooting outside the Bridgeport courthouse in January.
“In all honesty, I don’t think there’s a judge in the country who would release Mr. Warren under these circumstances,” Garfinkel said. “He’s very young, but the track record he’s been compiling since his late teens, it’s just too risky. I can’t take the chance.”
Garfinkel said the choice for continued detention wasn’t a decision he made lightly, adding that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic he was making an effort to “release as many folks as possible.”
Warren’s attorney said he believes the death of Warren’s brother contributed to his “immature actions.” Peck later said she believed Warren used his brother’s murder as “part of a gang war” to motivate him to “acts of violence.”
“The weight of evidence against Mr. Warren is literally overwhelming,” Peck said.
Peck then outlined the events Warran is accused of committing during one night in March, starting with the alleged theft of a pregnant woman’s vehicle in Stratford. Peck mentioned another vehicle theft, where the victim tried to stop the suspects from stealing his car and was dragged for several hundred yards after grabbing on to the car.
A Bridgeport carjacking, during which Warren allegedly told the victim “drive or I’ll shoot you,” happened shortly after, followed by a robbery at gunpoint at Stratford gas station convenience store, Peck said.
“These cases alone give a picture of what this defendant has been up to,” Peck said.
But she didn’t stop there.
A month before the March crime spree, Peck said, Milford police arrested Warren on a larceny charge connected with a stolen Mercedes. She said Milford police found a 40-caliber shell casing in the vehicle that, when run through law enforcement systems, matched forensics connected to shootings in Bridgeport.
Among those shootings, Peck said, were a series of gunfire throughout December 2019, “culminating in the death of Ty’Quess Moore.” The 18-year-old was found shot multiple times in a Newfield Avenue driveway. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Peck said investigators have text messages from Warren in a group chat “with other gang members linked to these shootings.” She said investigators have videos and pictures of Warren with guns, including 50-round drums and extended magazines.
Video footage showed Warren and “fellow gang member” Marquis Israel in the Subaru used in the shooting outside the Golden Hill Street courthouse in January, according to Peck. She said one of the four victims shot during that incident was paralyzed by the bullets.
She said text messages showed Warren talking about killing an East End gang member who went by the nickname “Scrap.” Peck said he was “ultimately killed,” although she did not speculate whether police believe Warren is a suspect.
On March 10, 2019, 21-year-old Tyron “Scrap” Heard was fatally wounded in a shooting in Bridgeport that also wounded a 17- and 22-year-old. No arrests have been made in that homicide.
Peck said beyond video footage and text messages, Warren’s rap lyrics also allegedly highlight his crimes.
“He raps about various acts of violence and shooting he intends to do, and has done, against opposition gang members,” she said. “He is totally committed to the life of the gang.”
Court records show Warren also faces state charges of first-degree larceny, interfering with an officer/resisting arrest, engaging police in a pursuit and operating a motor vehicle without a license. He’s next in court on those charges on Oct. 13.