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Monday, September 24, 2018

Gangster Disciple and Member of #BlackOutSquad Sentenced to 30 Years Imprisonment for Racketeering Conspiracy and Gun Violence

A Gangster Disciples gang member was sentenced to 360 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for participating in a racketeering conspiracy and for using, and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

U. S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant of the Western District of Tennessee, Special Agent in Charge M.A. Myers of the FBI’s Memphis Division and Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Memphis Field Division, made the announcement.

Tommy Earl Champion, Jr., aka "Duct Tape," 29, of Jackson Tennessee, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr. Champion previously pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and one count of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "Dismantlement of criminal gangs is a top priority of the Department of Justice, and this case represents the collaborative efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement to target and remove a significant violent participant in the Gangster Disciples organization. "Duct Tape" is now stuck with a 30-year sentence for his violent crimes. We are taking the fight to the gangs in West Tennessee, and we are relentless in our resolve."

According to the indictment, the Gangster Disciples is a highly organized national gang active in more than 35 states. The scope of the Gangster Disciples’ crimes is wide-ranging and consistent throughout its national operation. The gang protects its power through threats, intimidation and violence, including murder, attempted murder, assault and obstruction of justice. The Gangster Disciples promotes its enterprise through member-only activities and provides financial and other support to members charged with or incarcerated for gang-related offenses.

According to court documents, Champion was a member of the Gangster Disciples and served on the gang’s "blackout squads" and "security teams." Champion was responsible for carrying out violent acts, including attempted murder, witness and victim intimidation, and assault, at the direction of senior Gangster Disciples leaders. Champion also participated in the other criminal activities of the Gangster Disciples enterprise, including narcotics distribution and weapons possession.

In addition to the racketeering conspiracy count, Champion was sentenced for using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, which, according to the indictment, occurred on June 12, 2014 in Jackson. The indictment states that the crime of violence was attempted murder, and that Champion and other gang members committed the crime for the purpose of gaining entrance to and maintaining and increasing their position in the Gangster Disciple enterprise. There were seven victims of this attempted murder noted in the indictment. Champion had previously pleaded guilty on April 2.

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