Whiting opened the door to a wave of New York dealers seeking refuge and fresh hunting grounds in Boston. Between 1987 and 1990, nearly 100 drug dealers from Whiting's old neighborhood of Corona, Queens, arrived — usually in groups of two or three — to work the growing industry. Orchard Park residents dubbed them the New York Boys.
To Boston's growing gang culture, the New York Boys were outsiders who had overstepped their bounds. The Orchard Park gang, the Trailblazers, regularly robbed the New York Boys' customers. There were shootouts and beatings. When local Grove Hall drug dealers tried to retake some of the ground lost to the New York Boys, a New York enforcer named Chill Will arrived to deliver a fatal message — shooting one of two cousins to death, and wounding the other.
>> READ: "Gangs, Inc.: A special report," by Sean Flynn and Ric Kahn <<
In a recent phone interview from federal prison, Whiting painted himself as less an instigator than a negotiator. "I took on somewhat of a mediator role for conflicts between New York and Boston dudes," Whiting said. "Before I introduced the New York dudes to Boston there were certain things that they had to agree to. Because dudes in Boston, they weren't having it — they'd run them right out of town, bag 'em up, and the whole nine. So we set an agreement: don't try and take over the whole town, just sell coke up there and let [locals] sell the heroin and the reefer. Also, don't travel out of the Orchard Park area. Don't go to other projects trying to sell shit, because those gangs will run you right out. Finally, don't get involved with those guys' girls. That was the agreement."
But Whiting was more likely to surround himself with triggermen than peacekeepers. Enforcers like Steven (Mohammad) Wadlington, William (Cuda) Bowie, and Kenneth (Shyan) Bartlett still inspire fear in Orchard Park 20 years later; residents and police recall grisly murders, including one in which the victim was dismembered.
'I GUESS I'M JUST A HUMANITARIAN'By 1989, Whiting had largely won the turf wars. The New York Boys were selling more than a kilo of cocaine a day in $40 and $60 bags; Whiting was getting a steady supply of high-quality cocaine from a New York dealer allegedly supplied by a major Colombian cartel. Eight women were used as couriers, making multiple trips to New York City each week and carrying between 125 and 1000 grams of cocaine back to Boston, according to federal investigators. Whiting said the New York Boys were paying $12,000 for a kilo and grossing $60,000.
Security measures were elaborate. Crew members had binoculars, walkie-talkies and headphones; one project apartment was used solely to store an arsenal of weapons, ranging from riot-pump shotguns to Uzis. Pitbulls roamed off-leash in project hallways used for dealing.
The Boston police were caught off guard, unable to respond to such a sophisticated operation.
"There was a little bit of denial [in response to crack cocaine], we weren't ready for it and almost from the start we were playing catch up," said Boston Police Superintendent Paul Joyce at an April community forum.