Freeport Gang Member Charged With 2005 Murder

Tafare Berryman
Tafare Berryman

A Latin Kings street gang member from Freeport was arrested for killing a 23-year-old LIU Post student and basketball star at a bar in Island Park 12 years ago, federal authorities said.

Jaime Rivera, 32, will be charged Monday at Central Islip federal court with murder and weapons counts, prosecutors said.

“This case should serve as a message to all gang members, if you engage in violent gang activity, our law enforcement partners will not stop pursuing you until you are held accountable for your actions,” said Robert Capers, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Prosecutors said Rivera gunned down Tafare Berryman after he left La Mansion bar and nightclub on Long Beach Road, where he was with classmates celebrating the successful presentation of a fashion show that had taken place on Saturday, April 2, 2005.

After an altercation between gang members spilled outside into the parking lot at 5 a.m. the next morning, Berryman’s friend was hit in the head with a bottle as they left, authorities said. When they pulled over several blocks away to tend to the profuse bleeding, Rivera pulled up and shot Berryman, who the gunman mistakenly believed was involved in the prior altercations, according to investigators.

Rivera was indicted following a joint investigation between the FBI, DEA and Nassau County police. If convicted, he faces life in prison and is eligible for the death penalty, prosecutors said.