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Gang enforcer meets justice with TrueAllele® computer results

Mount Vernon, NY

On August 13, 2008, 19-year-old Shomari Knox was about to become a father. Instead he was fatally shot while driving in Mount Vernon, NY. His passengers could not identify the shooter in the darkness of early morning. But police found a glove near the scene.

The investigation—involving the FBI, the Westchester County District Attorney's Office, the Westchester County Forensics Lab, and the Mount Vernon Police—initially pursued local Leroi Bouche as a suspect. Bouche was acquitted in April 2010.

Six years later, Assistant United States Attorney George D. Turner contacted Cybergenetics with the glove evidence. The TrueAllele computer separated the DNA mixture data developed from the glove. It found that the match statistic between the glove and suspect Jamel Upson was 5.22 trillion times more probable than a coincidence. On October 5, 2017, Mr. Upson pleaded guilty to Mr. Knox's homicide and another 2008 homicide.

Mr. Upson was an "enforcer" of a rival gang, Boss Playa Family (BPF). A press release from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, "As alleged, members and associates of the BPF street gang wreaked havoc in and around Mount Vernon, engaging in shootings, attempted shootings, larcenies, and narcotics trafficking. A scourge on Mount Vernon, the BPF gang allegedly unleashed a wave of violence in the city’s streets…. The perpetrators of gang violence in Mount Vernon will not escape the reach of law enforcement." Seven other members of the Boss Playa Family were also indicted for gang-related crimes.

  • Family grieves over slain Mount Vernon teen - Westchester News12
  • Bouche v. City of Mount Vernon - Court Opinion
  • 'Goonies' gang charged with racketeering, weapons, drug sales - USA Today
  • Eight Members And Associates Of Violent Mount Vernon Street Gang Known As "Boss Playa Family" Or "BPF" Charged In Superseding Indictment With Racketeering Offenses - Department of Justice
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