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Former NYC high school dean — who was also the alleged leader of a violent gang — convicted of murder
Screenshot of YouTube video

Former NYC high school dean — who was also the alleged leader of a violent gang — convicted of murder

A former high school dean, who was also allegedly the leader of a violent gang known to be involved in drug trafficking in the Bronx, has been convicted of several serious charges, including murder.

Israel "Shorty Rock" Garcia, the 32-year-old former dean of the New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities I and II, has been convicted in the 2010 fatal shooting of Alfonso "Joey" McClinton. He spent six years working at the schools.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, Garcia had once been the "leader" of the Get Money Gunnaz subgroup of the Young Gunnaz gang, better known as "GMG YGz." McClinton had been a member of a rival gang, and the two street gangs often became violent with one another over what the DEA described as "drug-selling territory."

McClinton was shot and killed on October 11, 2010. In 2022, Joseph "Juice" Johnson of the GMG YGz pled guilty to manslaughter in connection with the shooting and is currently serving a 17-year sentence. However, the DA's office claimed that "ballistics, video evidence, and eyewitness testimony" indicated that a second shooter had also been involved. That second shooter was later determined to be Garcia.

The DEA also claimed that during the investigation, Garcia became concerned that Johnson would begin cooperating with authorities. Garcia then "took steps to prevent Johnson from identifying Garcia as the person with whom he committed the murder," the DEA statement said, though the agency did not go into detail about the nature of those "steps."

In a message on a GoFundMe account believed to be associated with Garcia and established before he had been convicted, Garcia indicated that he was the victim of an "environment" which ostensibly seeks to oppress "fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters in our urban communities. "Unfortunately, Mr. Garcia, like so many young men who come from poverty and push through many challenges as an adolescent, become targets of our unbalanced law enforcement system," the account said elsewhere.

"Like many young men in our low-income neighborhoods, he was harassed by local precincts, used as an example and just plain bullied," the account added. As of Sunday afternoon, the fund had raised just over $1,000 of its $150,000 goal.

Law&Crime requested comment from Garcia and his lawyer to confirm that the account was created by Garcia and to confirm the statements made on it, but the outlet did not receive a response.

Rather than a victim of a system of oppression, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams indicated instead that Garcia was a perpetrator of a system of street violence, a wolf in sheep's clothing who used a respectable career in education to mask his gang activity. "As a former high school dean, Israel Garcia was trusted with guiding children towards a bright future, but we allege that Garcia himself was participating in the drug trafficking activity that a high school dean should be protecting his students from," Williams said.

Garcia has now been convicted of murder in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to distribute narcotics, murder while engaged in a narcotics conspiracy, murder through the use of a firearm, possessing firearms in connection with narcotics trafficking, and attempted witness tampering. He faces up to life in prison. The date of his sentencing hearing is not yet known.

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