A former New York police officer has admitted to using her position to help a murderous gang leader whom she was in an intimate relationship with evade cops and intimidate a witness against his crew in the Bronx.
Gina Mestre admitted to feeding intel to the gang, the Shooting Boys, about a key witness against them, said Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The members of the gang then used that information to allegedly attack and intimidate the witness, preventing him from cooperating with police further.
As previously reported, Mestre, 33, helped her boyfriend evade law enforcement, according to prosecutors, telling him that he was wanted for the murder of a rival gang member. That information gave the boyfriend enough time to flee the country in an effort to dodge arrest.
The Mohegan Lake resident was an NYPD officer from July 2013 to May 2022, in the public safety unit for the 52nd precinct in the Bronx. During June 2020, the unit was focusing on reducing gun violence in the area. That's when Mestre began talking with Andrew Done, the leader of the Shooting Boys gang that was responsible for much of the violence the unit was looking to curb in the University Heights neighborhood, prosecutors said.
The pair soon began an intimate relationship, during which time Mestre handed over confidential law enforcement information about a federal grand jury investigation into the gang — including a warning that authorities were preparing to bring a federal indictment, Williams alleged. She also gave the gang heads up about police operations at the time, allowing them to hide their alleged drug trade and other criminal activity.
In Nov. 2020, Done shot and killed a member of a rival gang as he sat in his car in the Bronx, and the shooting was captured on security camera video. As police worked to identify and catch Done, otherwise known as Caballo, Mestre was one of the officers assisting with the case, Williams said. She secretly told her beau that police had been looking for him, and sent him a copy of the video showing him carry out the deadly shooting — proving that police had plenty of evidence to make their case.
In the days and weeks after the murder, Mestre's information she fed Done helped him duck authorities and eventually flee the country. She was aware of the phone numbers that law enforcement could use to track Done, so the duo used other cellphones to discretely communicate.
Months later, in March 2022, 10 members of the gang were charged in a 15-count indictment with various federal offenses, including racketeering conspiracy and murder. Done was charged with the murder of the rival gang member, and was caught by police in the Dominican Republic months later.
In Nov. 2022, Done pleaded guilty to both charges he faced. He is currently serving 35 years in prison. At her sentencing in March 2024, Mestre could get up to 15 years in prison. Attorney information was not immediately available.