The Chicago Syndicate

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Labar Spann, A Leader of the 4 Corner Hustlers Gang, Convicted of Racketeering Conspiracy, Murder and Extortion for Drug Operation

A federal jury has convicted a leader of the Four Corner Hustlers street gang of participating in a criminal organization that committed murders and other acts of violence while brutally protecting a drug-dealing operation on the West and Southwest Sides of Chicago.

Labar Spann, 43, of Chicago, was found guilty on all four counts against him, including racketeering conspiracy, two counts of murder in aid of racketeering, and extortion. The jury found that Spann committed four murders in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner as part of the racketeering conspiracy, including the murders of Maximillion McDaniel on July 25, 2000, George King on April 8, 2003, Willie Woods on April 17, 2003, and Rudy Rangel on June 4, 2003.

The conviction is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison. U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin set sentencing for March 9, 2022.

Authorities uncovered the racketeering activities of the Four Corner Hustlers through a lengthy investigation supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The Chicago FBI’s Safe Street Task Force, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA), and ATF’s Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force also supported the investigation.

The Four Corner Hustlers operated primarily in the Chicago neighborhoods of West Garfield Park and Humboldt Park on the West Side, and in the former LeClaire Courts public housing development on the Southwest Side. According to evidence presented at the nearly eight-week trial in federal court in Chicago, the gang dealt drugs and robbed rival dealers, while using violence and intimidation to prevent victims and witnesses from cooperating with law enforcement. The gang engaged in numerous acts of violence, including multiple murders and armed robberies.

Spann was indicted in 2017 along with eight other members of the Four Corner Hustlers and two additional defendants. The other defendants pleaded guilty, and several have been sentenced to federal prison terms.

Friday, October 29, 2021

15 Member and Associates of the Sin City Deciples Charged with Racketeering Conspiracy and/or Drug Conspiracy

Fifteen members and associates of the Sin City Deciples have been charged in a Superseding Indictment with a racketeering conspiracy as well as a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. A sixteenth individual has been charged in a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

According to the Superseding Indictment, the Sin City Deciples, originally formed in 1967 in Gary, Indiana, is a motorcycle organization in which its members and associates allegedly engage in acts of violence, extortion, trafficking in stolen property, and narcotics distribution in the Northern District of Indiana and elsewhere.

The fifteen defendants charged with racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances are: Ronnie Ervin Major a/k/a “Black,” 51, of Gary, Indiana; Antoine Jermell Gates a/k/a “Twan,” 44, of Gary, Indiana; Kenneth Christopher McGhee a/k/a “Sonny” and “Angel,” 72, of Merrillville, Indiana; Michael Castro Rivera a/k/a “Puerto Rican Mike,” 64, of Gary, Indiana; Douglas Sherman Blowers a/k/a “Profit,” 41, of Lake Station, Indiana; Daniel Richard Spanley a/k/a “Tattoo,” 42, of Hobart, Indiana; Roger Lee Ervin Burton a/k/a “Bo,” 52, of East Chicago, Indiana; James Ulrich Richardson a/k/a “Little Rick,” 52, of Crown Point, Indiana; Richard White a/k/a “Ignorant Bastard,” 54, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Brandon Romand Parks a/k/a “Baywatch,” 43, of Chicago, Illinois; Herman Troy Jefferson a/k/a “G-Rilla,” 49, of Jacksonville, Arkansas; David Lagrant Guy a/k/a “Fly Guy,” 51, of Merrillville, Indiana; Jessie Donald Willis a/k/a “Chip,” 57, of Portage, Indiana; Marvie D. Gardner a/k/a “Widowmaker,” 51, of Louisville, Kentucky; and Bernard Smith, a/k/a “Flirt” and “Preacher,” 59, of Gary, Indiana. Daniel Richard Spanley a/k/a “Tattoo” is also charged with distribution of cocaine and possessing a firearm as a felon.

The Superseding Indictment also charges Gregory Patrick Weldon a/k/a “Sugar Bear,” 53, of Hobart, Indiana, in the conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, in addition to charging him with distribution of cocaine.

The initial Indictment alleged that Ronnie Ervin Major a/k/a “Black” and Antoine Jermell Gates a/k/a “Twan” engaged in murder for hire and used a firearm during and in relation to murder in connection with the December 19, 2010 murder of Jocelyn Blair. Major and Gates remain charged with these crimes in the Superseding Indictment.

This Superseding Indictment was announced by Clifford D. Johnson, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, and Kristen de Tineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

These charges are part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Cities With the Highest Increase in Homicide Rates During COVID


With the homicide rate having spiked by an average of 34% in 50 of the biggest U.S. cities between Q3 2019 and Q3 2021, WalletHub released its report on the Cities With the Highest Increase in Homicide Rates During COVID, along with accompanying videos and expert commentary.

In order to determine which cities have the biggest homicide problems, WalletHub compared 50 of the largest U.S. cities based on per capita homicides in Q3 2021 as well as per capita homicides in Q3 2021 vs. Q3 2020 and Q3 2019.

Cities with Highest Increase in Homicide Rates

1. Atlanta, GA
2. Memphis, TN
3. Chicago, IL
4. New Orleans, LA
5. Baltimore, MD
6. Indianapolis, IN
7. Washington, DC
7. Detroit, MI
9. Louisville, KY
10. Columbus, OH


Note: Rankings are based on data available as of 12:30 p.m. ET on October 11, 2021.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit: https://wallethub.com/edu/cities-homicide-rate/94070/

Friday, October 01, 2021

The Iconic Series Cops, Returns Tonight on Fox Nation #CopsNation #FoxNation #BackTheBlue

FOX Nation has greenlit the return of the iconic series COPS and will premiere season 33 on October 1st.

The debut will include the first four episodes and each new installment of COPS thereafter will drop weekly on Friday nights. The deal also includes 15 episodes from season 32.

As part of the COPS launch, FOX Nation will offer all first responders, including police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics (EMS personnel), a one-year free subscription to the service beginning on Monday, September 13th.

FOX Nation said that COPS is one of the most iconic brands on television with an incredibly passionate fan base. We wanted to show our appreciation to all first responders by combining the launch with a free one-year subscription to give back in a small way to those who place their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.

FOX Nation also debuted a new slate of first responder-themed programming beginning September 13th in conjunction with the launch of COPS, including:

  • 911: On Scene — This ride-along show goes behind the scenes with firefighters, EMTs and paramedics from different agencies across the country as they embark on their dangerous jobs of saving lives.
  • When Seconds Count — Anchored by FOX News Channel’s Harris Faulkner, this special will showcase dramatic footage of various rescues caught on tape, featuring the actual rescuers and the victims involved, telling the emotional stories behind each video.
  • Protect and Serve — Hosted by FOX News Channel contributor and former homicide detective Ted Williams, this program will spotlight the good deeds and the truly heroic and impactful interactions that police officers often perform in the communities they serve.
  • Answer The Call — Centered on the charity by the same name, this special will focus on children of fallen first responders as they recount stories of their loved ones who died in service and discuss how the charity has helped them following the tragedy of 9/11. Answer the Call was formed after 9/11 to support the families of the NYPD, NYFD, PAPD and EMS Personnel who were killed in the line of duty on 9/11.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

James Banks, Attorney & Banker, whose Father Represented Reputed Mobsters & Who's Bank was Affiliated with Operation Family Secrets Mafia Trial, Denied Video Gambling License

Chicago attorney and banker James J. Banks, who has served on the board of the Illinois Tollways system for decades overseeing the state agency, has been rejected his application for a video gambling license in the state. The Illinois Gaming Board said he does not meet the requirements for a lucrative state license.

In a letter written by the gaming board administrator Marcus D. Fruchter earlier this year, it was explained that the board conducted an investigation which included a review of the attorney’s business and social associations, and concluded that they would “adversely affect public confidence and trust in video gaming and would discredit or tend to discredit the Illinois gaming industry”, Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The gaming board then decided that granting Banks’ company the “terminal operator license” that he had applied for would “not serve the interests of the citizens of Illinois”. The letter does not give any details of the gaming board’s findings, or which associations they found troubling. The 58-year-old attorney is appealing the decision, and is expected to be considered at a closed-door hearing.

As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, a spokeswoman for Banks’ company said: “Since this matter is ongoing, our comments are limited and our attention is focused on the IGB administrative process. Mr. Banks is pleased that the IGB granted Gaming Productions’ request for a hearing and looks forward to further establishing that it is suitable and deserving of a license consistent with the IGB’s standards”.

“Mr. Banks is proud of his career to date as well as his personal and professional relationships, and strongly disputes that any of them disqualify him from holding a license”, she concluded.

Illinois law says an “applicant has the burden to demonstrate its qualifications and suitability for licensure to the satisfaction” of the gaming board, Fruchter explained in the letter. He also cited a law that bars anyone from getting a gaming license if they have “a background, including a criminal record, reputation, habits, social or business associations or prior activities that pose a threat to the public interests of the state or to the security and integrity of video gaming.”

Fruchter also noted that state law says the board may not grant any video gaming license until the board is satisfied that the applicant is someone who “does not present questionable business practices and financial arrangements incidental to the conduct of video gaming activities” and who does not associate with “persons of notorious or unsavory reputation or what have extensive police records.”

In 2006, Banks founded Belmont Bank & Trust on the Northwest Side. The bank’s board of directors’ early members included his father Samuel V.P. Banks, a criminal defense lawyer who represented reputed mob figures.

Other members of the bank board have included Fred B. Barbara, longtime friend of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, and former state Senator James A. DeLeo.

Four Belmont Bank board members’ names came up during the landmark 2007 Operation Family Secrets trial of Chicago Outfit bosses and others, though none of the four was charged.

A convicted burglar testified that he bribed police officers by passing money through Samuel Banks, who was not charged with any crime. A mobster’s widow also said that James Bank and DeLeo cheated her when she sold them a restaurant. And Nick Calabrese — a prolific mob hit man who, at the Family Secrets trial, became the first “made” member ever to testify against the Chicago Outfit — testified that Barbara participated in the bombing of an Elmwood Park restaurant in the early 1980s, though he was never charged.

DeLeo was indicted in 1989 by a federal grand jury in the Operation Greylord investigation that charged him with failing to pay taxes on bribes he said he took while a top aide to Cook County’s chief traffic court judge. The jury could not reach a verdict, and DeLeo ended up pleading guilty to a misdemeanor in a deal that let him hold onto his legislative seat.

Banks was first appointed to the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority in 1993 by then-Governor Jim Edgar. Governors George Ryan, Rod Blagojevich, Quinn and Bruce Rauner all kept him on the board.

Since then, he has become one of Chicago’s most influential zoning lawyers. Banks and his wife Grace Sergio own a real estate company, Sergio & Banks. He also runs the Loop law firm that formerly was his late father’s firm. A fellow attorney at the firm is listed as the incorporating agent for Banks’ gaming company.

According to paperwork filed with the gaming board, Banks’ gaming company would “own various gaming terminals” and it would “place such terminals for use in those establishments which are permitted by the Illinois Video Gaming Act.” Such devices are legal for gambling in restaurants, bars and other establishments in many suburbs but not in the city of Chicago.

Thanks to Yogonet.

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