HAMILTOWN TWP., Pa. - A gang member notorious throughout the Northeast has been charged in connection with a drive-by shooting in the Poconos, according to state police.
Sirvonn Taylor, 31, of New York City, was arrested Saturday night, state police said.
He was the sixth person to be arrested and charged in the fatal January shooting of Darcey Kravchenko in Hamilton Township, Monroe County.
Taylor is the reputed "Amir" -- or high ranking gang member -- of the Black P Stones Street Gang in Pennsylvania, New York and Maine, according to state police.
Mike Knox, author of "Gangsta in the House: Understanding Gang Culture," described the street gang as dangerous and criminal.
"They are a hazard to the community wherever they happen to exist," Knox said.
According to Knox, the Black Stones have roots in Chicago.
He said the gang was a rival of the Black Panthers in the 1960s, and called the Black P Stone Rangers at the time.
"Their stated goal is to make money," Knox said. "They became an extremist group following the teachings of Malcolm X: equality by any means necessary.
"That attracted some people, but they kind of got distracted off of civil rights issues and more on to crime. They were more into making money selling drugs, selling arms, different things like that. Nowadays, it's evolved to more of a street gang," Knox added.
Although it's one of the oldest gangs in U.S. history, Knox said the gang has changed over the years.
"It started as black males, but now they're equal opportunity thugs," Knox said.
Taylor has been charged with criminal solicitation to commit criminal homicide, tampering with physical evidence and hindering apprehension.
He is being held at the Monroe County Correctional Facility on $250,000 bail.
According to court papers, the Jan. 14 shooting was apparently in retaliation over a robbery during a drug deal.
Police said Kravchenko was inside his home in the 5000 block of Old Timber Road when he was hit and killed by one of several bullets shot at the home.
So far, six people have been arrested for having alleged roles in the deadly shooting.
In addition to Taylor, the other suspects who have been arrested include: Kaylynn Bunnell, Jackie Harrigan, Bruce Murray, Dygunn Mitchell and Bradon Wilson.
Police said the shooting remains under investigation.
Police said the suspicious death of a man found in his Schuylkill County home earlier this week has been ruled a homicide.Read More »
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