Defendant and Co-Conspirators Shot Nashwad Johnson Because They Believed Johnson was Cooperating with Law Enforcement
October 20, 2015 - Earlier today, an indictment was unsealed charging Rodney Muschette, also known as “Stitch,” with the retaliation murder of a federal informant in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 31, 2008.1 Muschette is a member of the Eight Trey Crips gang, a Crips set operating in and around Brooklyn, New York. If convicted, Muschette will face mandatory life imprisonment. Muschette, who was arrested this morning, was presented for arraignment earlier today at the United States Courthouse in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The charge and arrest were announced by Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI); William J. Bratton, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD); and George N. Turner, Chief of Police, Atlanta Police Department (APD).
“This Office has a long history of prosecuting and convicting Crips gang members who have pursued violence and lawlessness in neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn,” stated U.S. Attorney Capers. “The charged retaliation murder is among the most vicious crimes its members have committed. This prosecution should serve as a reminder that this Office and our law enforcement partners will do everything in our power to hold accountable those who use violence to silence witnesses or otherwise obstruct justice.” Mr. Capers extended his grateful appreciation to the FBI Charlotte, NC, Field Office, the FBI Raleigh, NC, Resident Agency, and the FBI Atlanta, GA, Field Office for their assistance.
“Today’s arrest of Rodney Muschette, also known as ‘Stitch,’ shows that justice has no time limit. Muschette is charged with the retaliation murder of a federal informant in December 2008. The FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice all those involved in gang related activity, especially those who seek to obstruct justice through murder,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Rodriguez.
“In partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Atlanta Police Department has removed another dangerous and violent criminal from Atlanta streets,” said Atlanta Police Chief Turner. “As alleged, Mr. Muschette mercilessly took the life of Mr. Nashwad Johnson and those actions will not go unpunished. The Atlanta Police Department is committed to cracking down on criminal activity and individuals that threaten the safety and quality of life for Atlanta residents and visitors.”
NYPD Commissioner Bratton stated, “Today’s arrest and indictment demonstrate the NYPD’s commitment to bringing justice in the senseless execution of this witness,” said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton. “Thanks to the continued efforts of the investigators and prosecutors who aggressively pursued this case, Rodney Muschette will be held accountable for this murder, as alleged.”
On December 30, 2008, the leader of the Eight Trey Crips was sentenced in Brooklyn federal court to 110 months’ imprisonment based on his conviction for possessing a firearm as a felon in connection with a June 2005 shooting in Brooklyn, New York. Fellow gang member Nashwad Johnson, also known as “Nash,” had witnessed that shooting. At the leader’s sentencing proceeding, he stated his belief that Johnson was a federal informant, and he repeated this belief in a telephone conversation with his sister that night and confirmed that his fellow gang members also knew about Johnson’s status as an informant.
At or around the time of that sentencing, Muschette and other members of the gang traveled with Johnson from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Atlanta, Georgia. Shortly before midnight on New Year’s Eve in 2008—one day after the leader was sentenced—Muschette and others carried out their plan to kill Johnson because they believed that he had provided information to federal law enforcement about their gang. Muschette and his coconspirators drove Johnson to a wooded area off of an Atlanta highway. There, Muschette shot Johnson eleven times, including five shots in Johnson’s back, ending his life.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth A. Geddes and Patrick T. Hein are in charge of the prosecution.
RODNEY MUSCHETTE, also known as “Stitch”
1 The charge contained in the indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York
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