Schenectady County

First Four Block gangster admits to affiliation

An accused member of the Four Block gang pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count in federal court Tuesd

An accused member of the Four Block gang pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count in federal court Tuesday, the first alleged member to do so.

Shaquan Hayes, 20, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy count before U.S. District Judge David Hurd. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison, however, his sentence is expected to be between 4 years, 9 months and 5 years, 11 months.

Hayes admitted to being a part of the gang, which he described to Hurd as a “bunch of kids from the neighborhood.” Hurd though, presiding by teleconference from Utica, became frustrated by Hayes’ responses, believing Hayes was being evasive.

After a break where Hayes conferred with his attorney Joseph McCoy, the plea continued. Hayes admitted to being involved in the drug trafficking portion of the gang.

Specifically, Hayes admitted to taking part in a telephone conversation with another gang member July 3, 2010, where Hayes was asked for some “food,” which prosecutors said meant crack cocaine.

Later that month, Hayes admitted to being hit by flying glass during a shootout between the Four Block gang and a rival gang. Hayes, though, told Hurd he didn’t see who was involved in the shooting, because his head was down.

Then, on Sept. 11, 2010, Hayes said he possessed about 9 grams of crack cocaine in Schenectady.

He was not involved in any murders or attempted murders, Hayes added.

Hayes’ plea deal only concerned himself. There was no agreement to testify against other members of the gang.

Hayes was among 19 people indicted in May related to the alleged Four Block Gang conspiracy. In all, 44 were indicted in related offenses.

Authorities believe the Four Block gang controlled much of the drug dealing in Schenectady’s Hamilton Hill neighborhood, committing drive-by shootings to protect turf and feuding with rival gangs.

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