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$40,000 Bergen Jewel Thief Who Also Killed 2 Rivals Gets 40 Years

Upson must serve nearly all of his sentences. There's no parole in the federal prison system.
Upson must serve nearly all of his sentences. There's no parole in the federal prison system. Photo Credit: Wikipedia photo

The theft of $40,000 of jewelry from a Bergen County store was directed by a Westchester gang leader who was sentenced Thursday to 40 years in federal prison for killing two rivals just months earlier, authorities said.

Jamel "Flynt" Upson, 33, ran the Mount Vernon-based "Boss Playa Family" -- or "BPF" -- which waged open warfare on its rivals, authorities said.

Upson, in particular, displayed "disturbing indifference to the lives of others," including two rivals he shot down in cold blood, said Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Upson was the sixth convict sentenced in the case following guilty please to racketeering conspiracy and other crimes. The five others already have been sentenced.

Each must serve nearly all of the individual sentences: There's no parole in the federal prison system.

He directed the criminal organization, which expanded it territory and increased its power from 2007 to 2014 through shootings, assaults, thefts, arson and by selling cocaine and marijuana, Berman said.

Its main rival was the "Goonies" gang.

Twice in 2008, Upson killed Goonies gang members -- both times ambushing the victims on foot, the U.S. attorney said.

DNA retrieved from gun found near the scene of one of the killings matched that of Upson, who pleaded guilty to two murder counts last fall.

Upson also shot others between 2008 and 2010 while also carrying out the $40,000 jewelry theft from a store at an unidentified Bergen County mall in January 2009, Berman said.

The U.S. attorney praised the investigative work of the FBI and Mount Vernon police for making the case. He also thanked the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney George D. Turner of Berman's White Plains office is handling the prosecution.

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