Manhattan Gang Member Convicted of 2014 Murder of Orlando Rivera
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the conviction of Christian Pabon, a/k/a “Banga,” of racketeering conspiracy and murder in aid of racketeering. A unanimous jury convicted PABON of every count presented to the jury after a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “For years, Christian Pabon terrorized his northern Manhattan neighborhood as a shooter in a violent street gang. The jury’s verdict holds him accountable for his senseless violence, which injured two young people and ripped a father away from his family. My office remains committed to combatting gang violence and seeking justice for victims.”
According to the Indictment and the evidence at trial:
Pabon was a member of a street gang known as the “200.” The 200 was based in the neighborhood around Dyckman Street in northern Manhattan. Between 2014 and 2018, the 200’s members and associates engaged in armed robberies, shootings, pharmacy burglaries, assaults, and the distribution of heroin, crack, and other drugs. Pabon was one of the gang’s “shooters,” meaning that the gang called upon him to provide guns and commit violence against rivals.
On October 2, 2014, Pabon and other members of the 200 drove to their rival gang’s territory in the vicinity of 193rd Street in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, intending to shoot at members of the enemy gang. After driving to the area, Pabon and three other members of the 200 approached the intersection of 193rd and Saint Nicholas Avenue on foot. Upon reaching the intersection, Pabon and Marcos Espinal, a/k/a “Ito,” who was also a member of the 200, fired at least 15 shots at a group of people standing in front of a bodega. Pabon and Espinal hit three people with their gunshots. Two of the victims—a 17-year old girl and a 20-year old man—survived their injuries. The third victim was Orlando Rivera, a 42-year old father and innocent bystander who was standing in front of the bodega. Rivera was killed by a bullet to his back as he attempted to run away from the bullets that Pabon and Espinal fired. Espinal was previously prosecuted for his participation in this crime by the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
Pabon, age 29, of Manhattan, was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
Mr. Williams praised the investigative work of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New York City Police Department and the New York State Police.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rushmi Bhaskaran, Elizabeth A. Espinosa, and Adam S. Hobson are in charge of the prosecution and represented the Government at trial. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamie Bagliebter, Maurene Comey, Margaret Graham, and Hagan Scotten also participated in the investigation and prosecution of this case.