The Chicago Syndicate: Gangster Disciples
Showing posts with label Gangster Disciples. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gangster Disciples. Show all posts

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.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Gregory "Bowlegs" Chester, Hobos Gang Leader, Gets 40 years in prison

As the reputed boss of the Hobos super gang, Gregory "Bowlegs" Chester ran a narcotics empire that peddled massive quantities of cocaine, crack and heroin, federal prosecutors said. But it was in his darkest hours, in the moments when Chester's life was threatened by another gang's gunfire or by federal authorities closing in that prosecutors say Chester showed the true measure of his power.

After Chester was shot outside his girlfriend's apartment building, the Hobos went after the rival Black Disciples street gang they believed responsible, according to prosecutors. In September 2007, a team of Hobos tracked down the gang's leader, Antonio "Beans" Bluitt, as he left a funeral home, killing him and a passenger in a car with so many shots that Chicago police ran out of placards to mark the spent shells. A cigar was found still hanging from Bluitt's mouth.

In April 2013, after the feds arrested Chester on heroin distribution charges, Hobos lieutenant Paris Poe cut off an electronic monitoring device and gunned down informant Keith Daniels outside the Dolton apartment where he had been moved by authorities for his safety, according to prosecutors. Dressed in all black and wearing a mask, Poe shot Daniels more than a dozen times in front of his fiancee and two young children, authorities said.

On Thursday, Chester, who was convicted with five other reputed Hobos leaders of racketeering conspiracy charges alleging the gang carried out eight murders over a decade, was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Chester, 40, made a brief statement to the judge, saying, "I want to apologize to the court and my family for my behavior and ask that you please have mercy on me. That's it."

Prosecutors had sought life in prison, calling Chester "unrepentant and a disease to society." But Chester's lawyer, Beau Brindley, argued that while evidence linked his client to the Hobos "enterprise," he wasn't a killer and didn't deserve a life sentence.

In handing down his sentence, U.S. District Judge John Tharp described Chester as the "most influential" Hobo and said he shared culpability in the murders, but the judge drew a distinction between Chester and the triggermen.

Tharp called it a "tragedy" that Chester didn't use his skills, energy, ambition and entrepreneurial spirit to help others better their lives. "He made the choice to use those talents to advance the cause of evil," the judge said.

Later Thursday, Tharp sentenced Stanley "Smiley" Vaughn, another reputed Hobos leader, to 20 years in prison, the maximum possible, for his involvement in two slayings and five attempted murders. Vaughn, 39, was ordered to serve the sentence on top of a nearly 22-year prison term he is already serving for a separate conviction for conspiring to distribute heroin downstate.

"If that is the functional equivalent of a life sentence, he's earned it," the judge said.

Three other reputed Hobos gang leaders — Poe, Arnold Council and Gabriel Bush, who were convicted with Chester and Vaughn — are scheduled to be sentenced.

Following a marathon 15-week trial that ended in January, the jury found that Poe, Council, Bush and Vaughn carried out five murders, some by themselves or with one other. But the jury held those four as well as Chester and William Ford responsible for all eight murders by its guilty verdict on the racketeering conspiracy count.

Prosecutors alleged that the Hobos represented a new breed of gang that was made up of members from various gangs who once were rivals. Many of the Hobos started in the now-demolished Robert Taylor and Ida B. Wells public housing complexes from factions of the Gangster Disciples and the Black Disciples street gangs, according to prosecutors.

Formed after the larger gangs in Chicago began to fracture, prosecutors said, the Hobos were "an elite killing team" that transcended traditional gang rivalries and welcomed people from rival gangs "so long as they demonstrated the necessary willingness for violence and crime."

The Hobos ruled by fear, terrorizing the South and West sides from at least 2004 through 2013, robbing drug dealers of narcotics at gunpoint and instilling fear through violence, including 16 shootings in addition to the eight murders, according to prosecutors.

Using high-powered weapons, the Hobos opened fire on one victim outside a day care, another at a crowded block party. The Hobos went after informants, too, killing one outside a barbershop.

The gang's killings were calculated, well-planned and meant to send a message that its members were "a force to be reckoned with and that they would go to the most extreme lengths for power and money," prosecutors said in a court filing this week.

Not since El Rukn trials two decades ago had so much violence been alleged against a single gang.

Some witnesses at the trial appeared intimidated by the gang's reputation for violence. Several testified only after warnings they would be held in contempt of court. But Mack Mason, a former auto body shop employee, refused to take the stand, saying some of his family still lived in the area that the Hobos operated in. The judge ordered him jailed for 60 days.

Testifying in October, former NBA player Bobby Simmons said he couldn't remember details of the night he claimed he was robbed at gunpoint of a necklace worth more than $100,000 outside the Ice Bar in River North in 2006. It was only after Simmons was confronted with his own grand jury testimony that the Chicago native and former DePaul University star acknowledged Poe had snatched the diamond-studded necklace from his neck, then fired at least 14 shots at his truck as Simmons gave chase across the South Side.

The centerpiece of the case was the alleged murders of two informants who were cooperating with law enforcement against the gang. Jurors heard evidence that Poe and Council fatally shot Wilbert "Big Shorty" Moore outside a South Side barbershop in 2006 because they believed Moore had provided information to police that led to a raid on a Hobos residence.

After prosecutors rested their case in early December, the trial took a dramatic twist when Chester made the unusual decision to testify in his own defense. In three days on the witness stand, Chester admitted to dealing drugs but denied he was the leader of the Hobos and even went as far as to suggest that the gang did not exist.

Chester, who walks with a severe limp due to a childhood bone disease, denied taking part in any shootings or killings and scoffed at the notion that anyone with a disability could be the head of such an allegedly violent enterprise.

He also sought to distance himself from Daniels' killing, saying he had no motive to order the hit even though Daniels' cooperation had led to Chester's arrest on drug charges days earlier. Chester told the jury his mother was good friends with Daniels' mother and that she had already lost another son to violence.

"Keith Daniels is like family to me," Chester testified. "His mother is like my mother. I mean, I felt her pain. I know what she went through, and I wouldn't ever want to see her go through anything like that again."

During a tense cross-examination by prosecutors, Chester's memory grew hazy on many points. The cross-examination nearly derailed when prosecutors asked Chester about an elaborate arm tattoo depicting a pair of eyes — and what appear to be horns — overlooking the now-razed Robert Taylor Homes along with the word "Hobo" and the phrase "The Earth is Our Turf."

Chester testified that the tattoo was a tribute to a slain friend nicknamed Hobo and that the eyes represented God looking down over the public housing projects where they were raised.

Some of the trial's most dramatic testimony came from Daniels' fiancee, Shanice Peatry, who testified she saw a gunman walk up to their car and open fire though the front windshield while she sat with Daniels and their son and daughter, then ages 4 and 6.

Peatry said she instinctively ducked into the back seat to push the kids to the floor while Daniels bailed out of the passenger side and fell to the ground. The gunman took his time, she said, walking over to Daniels and standing over him, pumping round after round into his chest as their children screamed.

"It was so many (shots) I couldn't count," said Peatry, pausing at times in her testimony to shake her head and draw a breath. "It kind of felt like it was in slow motion to me, like he wasn't in no rush."

Before he jumped into a waiting SUV, the assailant walked close enough to Peatry for her to see dreadlocks sticking out from under his mask and peer into his eyes. She knew instantly it was Poe, she said.

Two weeks later, the jury watched a heartbreaking video interview of Daniels' son talking about what he'd witnessed that day. Seated at a low table with colored markers in front of him, the boy fidgeted and kicked his feet as the interviewer coaxed details out of him.

"I was covering my ears because those gunshots was too loud," the boy said. "My sister said, 'Don't get out, Daddy! Don't!' ... My daddy got out and that's when he got shot in the leg. ... He tripped over a rock. He was on the ground and he got shot again."

Thanks to Gregory Pratt.

Monday, July 10, 2017

5 #GangsterDisciples Gang Members Sentenced to A Total of 111+ Years in Federal Prison

The "Gangster Disciples" Chief of Security involved in the violent shooting that occurred at Hillview Apartments was sentenced to 263 months in federal prison. Lawrence J. Laurenzi, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentence.

As Chief of Security, Edwin Carvin aka "Ren," was responsible for ensuring the security of fellow gang members and providing protection from law enforcement or rival gangs. The Gangster Disciples are a violent criminal gang which began in the Chicago, Illinois area. In the 1970’s, the leaders of two different Chicago-based gangs, the Black Disciples and the Supreme Gangsters, aligned their respective groups and created the Gangster Disciples.

Once united, the Gangster Disciples began recruiting heavily in Chicago, within Illinois jails and prisons, and throughout the United States. By the mid-1980’s, the group had spread throughout the Midwestern and Eastern United States. The Gangster Disciples are active in approximately 35 states including Tennessee.

According to information presented at sentencing, on June 21, 2014, Florence Anthony, a member of the Gangster Disciples, got into an altercation with a group of individuals at the Hillview Apartments located in Memphis, Tennessee. Anthony reported the confrontation to her Gangster Disciples chain-of-command. Based on Anthony’s report, the Gangster Disciples chain-of-command issued orders to retaliate against those responsible for the attack on Anthony and her children.

At approximately 10:30 p.m., Carvin and four other members of the Gangster Disciples returned to the Hillview Apartments to retaliate against what were identified as rival gang members. Each individual was armed with firearms and proceeded on foot through the apartments shooting four juveniles and one adult male. All five victims survived, but some sustained serious bodily injuries.

The defendants and their respective sentences:

Florence Anthony, aka "Nikki," 135 months;
Edwin Carvin, aka "Ren," 263 months;
Robert Mallory, aka "Rambo," 292 months;
Brandon Milton, aka "Lil Folk," 262 months;
Erik Reese, aka "E," 382 months

Friday, November 18, 2016

Chicago Crime Commission Honors Outstanding Crime Fighters

The Chicago Crime Commission held its Stars of Distinction, 2016 Awards Dinner to recognize outstanding individual and organizational contributions in fighting crime. Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson was the keynote speaker at the event.

The program featured eight awards presented to individuals and the organizations they serve in recognition of their outstanding work in law enforcement. The recipients of the Stars of Distinction awards exemplify the commitment of all law enforcement in their efforts to fight crime in Chicago.

"While gang members and other criminals provide an unending threat to our safety and security, it is important to recognize the individuals who put their lives on the line every day and celebrate the victories they have won," according to J.R. Davis, Chairman and President of the Chicago Crime Commission.

"The Stars of Distinction, 2016 Awards Dinner is a chance to honor those whose efforts have been instrumental in the successful pursuit of justice. It is also an opportunity for us to thank them and celebrate their outstanding achievements along with their family, friends, and colleagues," he added.

Awards presented and recipients of the Stars of Distinction Awards included:

LAW ENFORCEMENT EXCELLENCE AWARD
Because of an ongoing war between Killa Ward Gangster Disciples and the Bang Bang Gang Black P Stones (BBG), 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee was murdered on November 2, 2015. The offenders – Corey Morgan, Dwright Doty and Kevin Edwards – all BBG members, were driving around the neighborhood, including Dawes Park, looking for Tyshawn's father, Pierre Stokes, a ranking member of the Killa Ward Gangster Disciples. The offenders entered Dawes Park and talked to several young teens playing basketball. They spotted Tyshawn across the park nearby on a swing. The offenders then lured Tyshawn into an alley with the promise to take him to the store for treats. However, in the alley, offender Doty shot Tyshawn in the head, hands and body. Immediately following the attack, Doty entered a car with the other offenders and fled the scene.

A few weeks after Tyshawn's murder, a task force was formed to investigate his murder and two other murders associated with the gang war in what was named "Operation Remember." The task force included members of the Chicago Police Department, CCDOC, FBI, HIDTA, and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. Because of the immense dedication and hard-work by the members of the task force, Tyshawn's murderers were charged.

The Chicago Crime Commission proudly honors the following individuals: Cook County State's Attorney's Office ASAs George Canellis, Daniel Reedy, Jaime Santini, Brian Holmes, Emily Stevens, Thomas Darman, Nicholas Trutenko; Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Anthony Grubisic; HIDTA Analyst Carrie Moe; CCDOC Executive Director Brad Curry, Executive Director Daniel Moreci, Investigator Franco Domma; Chicago Police Department Officer Matthew Kennedy, Detectives Keith Allen, John Murray, Timothy Murphy, Daniel Stover, Michael Cummings, Jeffrey Rodenberg, Arthur Davis, Melvin Branch, Donald Hill, Patrick Ford, Michael Chiocca, Brian Drees, David Garcia, and Sergeant Will Svilar.

LAW ENFORCEMENT EXCELLENCE AWARD (STREET GANGS)
Through effective multi-jurisdictional partnerships, the DEA-led Chicago HIDTA Group 43 - Violent Gang Conspiracy Group - has been investigating an international Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO) believed to be affiliated with multiple Mexican based cartels including the Knights Templar, Jalisco New Generation, and Zetas.

This multi-agency operation, made possible only through strategic partnership, information sharing, and careful planning, yielded the successful seizure of vast amounts of bulk cash and narcotics in transit between Mexico and Chicago as well as the subsequent arrest of twelve defendants, including a high-ranking member of the Chicago based Spanish Cobras Street Gang.

This Group demonstrates the very real importance of effective collaboration between law enforcement agencies and officers. The Chicago Crime Commission is honored to announce the recipients of the Law Enforcement Task Force Excellence Award for their collaboration with multiple agencies to ensure the perpetrators of the TCO operation are brought to justice.

The Chicago Crime Commission proudly honors the following individuals: DEA Group Supervisor George S. Karountzos, Special Agents Jomarr Cintron, Craig Schwartz, Paul Park, Nicholas Albert, Fernando Gomez, Christopher Marshall; Task Force Officers Artyom Postupaka - Lisle PD, Brette Glomb – Darien PD, Kristopher Kush - Park Forest PD, Donald Stone - Glenwood PD, Phil Hahn - Chicago Heights PD, Sergeant Alonzo Harris - Chicago PD, Lafayette Triplett - Chicago PD, Angel Amador - Chicago PD, Edward Daniels - Chicago PD, Defonda Louie – Chicago PD; Customs and Border Protection Officer Jose Venegas; National Guard IRS Olivia X. Rivera; National Guard IRS Natalie Uchmanowicz; and DEA IRA Kristeena V. Jackson.

LAW ENFORCEMENT EXCELLENCE AWARD (WEAPONS)
Again, the Chicago Crime Commission would like to honor another incredible instance of effective inter-agency partnership within the law enforcement community. For a significant amount of time, guns have been plaguing the neighborhoods of Chicago. Through the tireless efforts of ICE, HIS Chicago, FIG, and local law enforcement departments, guns that would otherwise be used to perpetrate unconscionable acts have been taken off the streets of Chicago.

Through meticulous investigative techniques and strategies, the multi-agency task force seized two live hand grenades, one grenade launcher, five .50 caliber assault rifles, a .22 handgun with a silencer, 25 other assault style weapons, over 1,000 rounds of ammunition, six ballistic vests, and 1.5 kilograms of cocaine.

The trifecta of seizing guns, money, and drugs is indicative of the far-reaching tentacles of organized crime in our communities. The seizure and arrests of the subjects involved in perpetrating criminal acts is also telling of the hardworking and determined law enforcement members who collaborate each day to make our streets safer.

Based on the successful efforts of the task force, the Chicago Crime Commission is proud to announce the following recipients of the Law Enforcement Excellence Award: HIS Chicago Financial Investigations Group Special Agents Matt Daoud, Matt Gauder, Tino Gonzalez, Jan Markiewicz, Robert Melone, Stefanie Moton, Kenneth Popovits, Matthew Siffermann, Spencer Taub, David Vanderlaan, Criminal Research Specialist Maureen McDougall, Financial Analyst Louis Sastre; ICE Enforcement Removal Officer Frank Trevino, Task Force Officers Sami Alnemri – Chicago PD, Garrick Amschl – Olympia Fields PD,  Juan Carrillo – Streamwood PD, David Dileto – New Lenox PD,  Jose Gonzalez – Addison PD, Tom LaPak – Hoffman Estates PD, Joel Mantia – Will County Sheriff's Office, Daniel Raysby – DuPage County Sheriff's Office, Vicente Roman – Lombard PD, Bilos Thomas – Chicago PD; Kane County State's Attorney's Office First Assistant State's Attorney Jody Gleason, Assistant State's Attorney William Engerman; Kane County Sheriff's Office Bomb and Arson Unit Sergeant Kevin Tindall, Deputy Brad Zentmyer; Chicago Police Department Cage Team Police Officers Jacinta O'Driscoll, Robert Garcia, Enrico Dixon; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Group Supervisor Timothy Wilson, Special Agent Levi Tinder, Certified Explosives Specialist Tina Sherrow; Elgin Police Department's Special Investigations Unit Detective Sergeant Chris Jensen, Detectives Tom Wolek, Heather Robinson, Canine Officer Marshall Kite.

EXCELLENCE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT (ILLEGAL NARCOTICS)
Just over three years ago, the Chicago Crime Commission named Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera of the Sinaloa Cartel as its Public Enemy Number 1. Despite El Chapo being imprisoned in Mexico, his cartel continues to perpetuate crimes that impact the Chicagoland area. The efforts of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), "Operation Tiburon" and "Operation Buzz Kill" – a joint state and federal investigation – have brought many members of El Chapo's gang enterprise to justice. Such individuals included many high-level members of the Sinaloa Cartel operating in multiple countries and multiple cities in the United States, including Chicago.

Through OCDETF's work they dismantled one of the largest drug trafficking organizations ever charged in Chicago, which was originally a simple Chicago street gang case. The Sinaloa Cartel supplied most of the heroin in the region and 1,500 – 2,000 kilograms of cocaine each month. To date, these investigations have resulted in federal indictments of 67 defendants, including Cartel leader Joaquin Guzman Loera and other high level Sinaloa targets, the seizure of over $32 million in U.S. currency, 3,100 kilograms of cocaine, 72 kilograms of heroin, 704 pounds of methamphetamine, 25 weapons, and 32 vehicles.  In total, the investigation sought over $1.8 billion.

The perseverance of the dedicated and passionate law enforcement members again illustrates how impactful and powerful our collective efforts are in ensuring the safety of our communities. The Chicago Crime Commission honors those members of the OCDETF task force who strive each day to end the influx of guns, violence, and drugs into the Chicagoland area including: Drug Enforcement Administration Group Supervisor Todd C. Smith, Special Agents John Buonincontro, Billy Conrad, Louis Gade, Robert Fergus, Emilia Fernandez, Jessica Ipema, Matthew McCarthy, Christopher O'Reilly, Dorothy Sells, Jennifer Vann, Donald Wood; TFOs Craig Clark – Palos Heights PD,  Teddy Fox – Chicago PD, Jennifer Guest - IRS-CID, James Healy - Evergreen Park PD, Jason Lippy - DEA Intelligence Research, Calvin Lucius - Calumet City PD, Chris Pedicini - Oak Park PD, Vincent Zehme - IRS-CID; DEA Investigative Assistant – Barbara Wynne; Christopher Hotaling, Chief of Narcotics – NDIL; Assistant U. S. Attorneys Michael Ferrera, Erika Csicsila, Lindsay Jenkins, Renai Rodney, Sean Franzblau, Kathryn Malizia, Angel Krull, Georgia Alexakis, and James Durkin.

MITCH MARS PROSECUTORIAL EXCELLENCE AWARD
Law enforcement includes a host of essential foundations within society, and among them is the successful prosecution of criminal activity. Effective prosecution of crime and criminals serves as a truly foundational element of a healthy, law-abiding, and thriving humanity, and the law enforcement professionals dedicated to this service make a difference every day.

On the night of September 27, 2006, Metra Police Officer Thomas Cook was working a detail at the Harvey Metra rail station. The detail was formed in response to multiple armed robberies at that location. As Officer Cook sat in his squad car, Jemetric Nicholson approached the car and shot Officer Cook two times in the head. Nicholson then took Officer Cook's service weapon and fled the scene. Over the course of the next several weeks, the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force, with the assistance of the Metra PD and the Harvey PD, led an investigation into Officer Cook's murder. The investigators followed up on hundreds of leads, executed search warrants, and interviewed dozens of people.

During the task force's investigation, they learned that Nicholson had shot two men as they stood in a car wash on the night of September 26, 2006, and that Nicholson and anther individual, Jeremy Lloyd, attempted a drive-by murder of rival gang members. As they fled that scene, Nicholson and Lloyd fired shots at a Harvey police officer. Furthermore, the task force learned that Nicholson shot a rival gang member in the face on October 2, 2006. Based on the task force's work, Lloyd was charged with First Degree Murder and agreed to testify against Nicholson in exchange for a sentencing recommendation of 20 years for murder and attempted murder of a police officer. In November 2010, Nicholson was charged with First Degree Murder in the death of Officer Cook.

Between 2011 and 2015, Nicholson was tried and convicted of attempted murder of five people in two separate shootings. He was sentenced to 125 years. Finally, in January 2016, Nicholson was convicted of First Degree Murder of Officer Cook. He was sentenced to Life in Prison. In all, five men were charged with violent crimes ranging from armed robbery to the murder of Officer Cook. Thanks to the perseverance and dedication of the investigators and prosecutors on the case, Officer Cook and his family received the justice they deserve.

The Chicago Crime Commission very proudly announces the recipients of the Mitch Mars Prosecutorial Excellence Award: Cook County State's Attorney's Office Assistant State's Attorneys Joseph Kosman, Theodore Lagerwall, Cheryl Schroeder-Hagendorn, and Michael Golden.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT
The background and credentials of this year's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient stand and deserve tremendous commendation. Deputy Robert Skrypek began his career at the sheriff's office in May of 1995. Since then, he has served with honor in the following divisions: court security, highway patrol, tactical response team sniper, criminal investigations, warrants, cybercrimes unit, juvenile officer and field training unit.

During Deputy Skrypek's career, he helped track down Lake County's 10 Most Wanted fugitives, located parents who owed several thousands of dollars in back child support and managed approximately 180 registered sex offenders. Moreover, in 2006, he worked as a special investigator on a case involving the mayor of a local village in Lake County for distribution of child pornography. That case resulted in a conviction of the mayor for possession and distribution of child pornography.

The Chicago Crime Commission is proud to recognize these lifelong commitments and commends Deputy Skrypek for his many years of service and dedication to the law enforcement community and to the citizens of our country.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AWARD
This year, the Chicago Crime Commission added the Community Engagement Award to the evening's list of accolades. This award recognizes individuals and organizations that seek to significantly enhance the lives of others in the community and empower them to succeed.

In that spirit, this year's Community Engagement Award goes to Youth Guidance's Executive Director Michelle Morrison, Chairman Michael Crowley and Becoming a Man Founder Anthony Divittorio. Through their work, Youth Guidance championed and implemented the Becoming a Man (BAM) and Working on Womanhood (WOW) programs in Chicago with great success. The BAM program was launched to help young men navigate difficult circumstances that threaten their future. A safe space was created at Clemente High School for young men to openly express themselves, receive support and develop the social and emotional skills necessary to succeed. Now in its 15th year, the BAM program is set to serve 4,080 youth in 60-plus Chicagoland schools in the 2016-17 academic year. Specifically, BAM, which operates within many Chicago public schools in neighborhoods with high rates of gang violence, drugs and violence works on getting young men into their program before they're drawn into gang life or drop out of school. In June 2016 researchers from the University of Chicago Crime Lab released new findings from a randomized controlled trial evaluating the impact of BAM during the 2013-15 academic years. Findings show that BAM reduced violent crime arrests by 50 percent, reduced total arrests by 35 percent, and improved school engagement for male Chicago Public Schools students.

PAWS OF DISTINCTION AWARD
The final award this evening is always one of great interest, and despite its recipient being a canine, is nevertheless illustrative of an important and meaningful contribution in the law enforcement community.

This year the PAWS of Distinction Award goes to Deputy Somerville and his Deputy K-9, Diesel, of the Lake County Sheriff's Office. Diesel is a two-year old German Shepherd. Deputy Somerville and Diesel have been partners since completing an intensive 8-week training program together in June 2015. They have been inseparable since that time. Through their time together on the streets of Lake County, they have proven to be forces to be reckoned with. Though examples of their heroism are boundless, two necessitate sharing. After a report came in of an individual who was trying to commit suicide, was badly bleeding, and fled, Diesel picked up that individual's scent and tracked her through a heavily traveled trail. Diesel located the individual under some brush and alerted other officers of his findings. The individual was rushed to the hospital. Had it not been for Diesel, the individual may not have lived. Furthermore, Diesel assisted the North Chicago Police Department with a search for a bank robbery suspect who robbed a credit union at gun point. North Chicago PD dispatched Deputy Somerville and Diesel to assist them after the bank robbery suspect fled on bicycle and foot. Diesel tracked the suspect's scent found on the bicycle and went through yards and over fences before locating the suspect in a crawl space in the back of a house. Diesel commenced barking and growling once on site, and the suspect surrendered to North Chicago PD without incident or injury.

The Chicago Crime Commission is pleased to present this year's Paws of Distinction Award to Deputy Somerville and his canine partner, Diesel. Their deserving contributions have enhanced the quality and capacity of our criminal justice system.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

48 Reputed Members of Gangster Disciples Indicted on Federal Racketeering Charges

Forty-eight alleged members of the violent Gangster Disciples Gang – including the top leaders in Tennessee and Georgia – have been charged in two indictments and accused of conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise that included multiple murders, attempted murder and drug crimes.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney John A. Horn of the Northern District of Georgia, U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III of the Western District of Tennessee, Special Agent in Charge J. Britt Johnson of the FBI’s Atlanta Division and Special Agent in Charge A. Todd McCall of the FBI’s Memphis Division made the announcement.

A 12-count indictment was returned by a grand jury on April 27, and unsealed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Georgia.  Thirty individuals were taken into custody and two remain at large.  A 16-count indictment was returned by a grand jury on April 22, and unsealed in the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Tennessee.  Fifteen individuals were taken into custody and one remains at large.  

“It is the very of core of law enforcement’s mission to ensure that everyone feels safe in their homes and neighborhoods, and it is a hard reality that many people across our country simply do not enjoy this basic sense of security because of gangs like the Gangster Disciples,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “That is why it is so significant that today’s indictments charge top leaders within the Gangster Disciples.  There are a lot of people out there willing to join gangs, and eager to get easy money from criminal activity.  But there are far fewer people with the wherewithal to lead organizations like the Gangster Disciples.  These are the people who keep gangs like the Gangster Disciples alive, year in and year out, generation after generation.  Cases like these make a difference, and I want to thank all the law enforcement and U.S. Attorney Office and Organized Crime and Gang Section prosecutors who worked so hard to build this case.”

“Atlanta has historically been resistant to the incursion of these national gangs, but unfortunately today’s indictment shows how this landscape has changed in just the last few years, as the Gangster Disciples are only one of several gangs that now boast a strong foothold,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn.  “These charges show how a national gang like Gangster Disciples can wreak havoc here and in communities across the country, with crimes that run the gamut from murder to drug trafficking to credit card fraud.  Within Georgia, the leadership of the Gangster Disciples resided mostly in metro Atlanta, yet the reach of the crimes committed extended into far south and west Georgia.  We hope this indictment warns the leaders of these gangs that Atlanta is not a good place to do business.”

“As the indictment alleges, the Gangster Disciples flooded communities throughout the southeast and beyond with large amounts of drugs, and ruthlessly used fear, intimidation, and even murder to promote and protect their nationwide criminal enterprise,” said U.S. Attorney Stanton.  “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to eliminate the terror gang members inflict upon our communities, and will exhaust every available resource, including the federal RICO statute, to bring them to justice.  Dismantling violent gangs at the highest levels remains a priority for the U.S. Attorney's Office.”

“Today's Gangster Disciple arrests across nine states merely marks the first wave of the FBI’s strategic campaign to dismantle this violent criminal organization,” said Special Agent in Charge Johnson.  “The Gangster Disciples are a highly organized and ruthless gang that recognizes no geographical boundaries, and its members have far too long indiscriminately preyed upon and infected the good people of our communities like a cancer.  The FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Forces recognize no boundaries either, and we are committed to identifying, disrupting and dismantling the most violent gangs that seek to harm our communities.  The FBI, along with our law enforcement partners, are committed to seeing this campaign through, and once and for all putting an end to the Gangster Disciples' reign of violence.”

According to court documents, the Gangster Disciples is a national gang active in more than 24 states with a highly organized structure including board members and governor-of-governors who each controlled geographic regions; governors, assistant governors, chief enforcers and chiefs of security for each state or regions within the state where the Gangster Disciples were active; and coordinators and leaders within each local group.  To enforce discipline among Gangster Disciples and adherence to the strict rules and structure, members and associates were routinely fined, beaten and even murdered for failing to follow the gang’s rules.

The scope of the Gangster Disciples’ crimes is wide-ranging and consistent throughout the national operation.  The RICO conspiracies charged here include attempted murder, narcotics trafficking, extortion, firearms crimes, obstruction of justice and other crimes in furtherance of the Gangster Disciples enterprise and to raise funds for the gang.  In Georgia, for example, the Gangster Disciples brought money into the gang through, among other things, drug trafficking, robbery, carjacking, extortion, wire fraud, credit card fraud, insurance fraud and bank fraud.

The gang protected its power and operation through threats, intimidation and violence, including murder, attempted murder, assault and obstruction of justice.  It also promoted the Gangster Disciples enterprise through member-only activities, including conference calls, birthday celebrations of the gang’s founder, the annual Gangster Ball, award ceremonies and other events.

The gang also provided financial and other support to members charged with or incarcerated for gang-related offenses and members who were fugitives from law enforcement were provided “safe houses” in which to hide from police.  To introduce the criminal nature of the Gangster Disciples to a new member, older members and leaders in the various local groups ordered newer members to commit crimes, including murder, robbery and drug trafficking.  Further, Gangster Disciples members would teach other members how to commit certain crimes, including frauds and would provide drugs on discount to other Gangster Disciples members for resale.

The Atlanta RICO conspiracy indictment names the following defendants and their alleged roles within the Gangster Disciples:
  • Shauntay Craig, 37, of Birmingham, held the rank of Gangster Disciples board member;
  • Alonzo Walton, 47, of Atlanta, held at different relevant times the positions of governor of Georgia and governor of governors, the latter position controlling Georgia, Florida, Texas, Indiana and South Carolina;
  • Kevin Clayton, 43, of Decatur, Georgia, was the chief enforcer for the state of Georgia;
  • Donald Glass, 26, of Decatur, served as a first coordinator of the eastside group of the Gangster Disciples;
  • Lewis Mobely, 38, of Atlanta, was an enforcer;
  • Vertious Wall, 40, of Marietta, was a first coordinator for the Macon Gangster Disciples group;
  • Adrian Jackson, 37, of San Jose, California, was the national treasurer for the Gangster Disciples;
  • Terrence Summers, 45, of Birmingham, held at different relevant times the positions of governor of Alabama and governor of governors for Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Florida;
  • Markell White, 43, of Atlanta, was a regional leader in Macon;
  • Ronald McMorris, 34, of Atlanta, was first coordinator of the Atlanta group;
  • Perry Green, 29, of Decatur, was a member of the Gangster Disciples and acted as enforcer of a Gangster Disciples group;
  • Dereck Taylor, 29, of Macon, was a member of the Gangster Disciples and acted as security for a Macon group;
  • Alvis O’Neal, 37,of Denver, was a senior member of and money launderer for the Gangster Disciples;
  • Jeremiah Covington, 32, of Valdosta, Georgia, was a first coordinator for the Valdosta region;
  • Antonio Ahmad, 33, of Atlanta, was the chief of security for the state of Georgia;
  • Eric Manney, 39, of Atlanta, was a member of the Gangster Disciples and stored multiple guns at his house;
  • Quiana Franklin, 33, of Birmingham, served as treasurer for the state of Alabama;
  • Frederick Johnson, 37, of Marietta, was a chief enforcer for a Gangster Disciples group;
  • Charles Wingate,25, of Conyers, Georgia, was chief of security for a Covington, Georgia group;
  • Vancito Gumbs, 25, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, was a member of the Gangster Disciples while at the same time serving as a police officer with the DeKalb County Police Department;
  • Thomas Pasby, 42, of Cochran, Georgia, was a member of the Gangster Disciples;
  • Denise Carter, 41, of Detroit, was a member of the Gangster Disciples;
  • Carlton King Jr., 25, of Cochran, was a member of the Gangster Disciples;
  • Kelvin Sneed, 26, of Cochran, was a member of the Gangster Disciples;
  • Arrie Freeney, 32, of Detroit, was a member of the Gangster Disciples;
  • Myrick Stevens, 26, of Madison, Wisconsin, was a member of the Gangster Disciples;
  • Curtis Thomas, 45, of Cochran, was a member of the Gangster Disciples;
  • Yohori Epps, 36,of Marietta, was a member of the Gangster Disciples; and
  • Michael Drummound, 49, of Marietta, was a member of the Gangster Disciples.


In addition to the RICO conspiracy, Glass and Mobely are each charged with committing or attempting to commit murder in aid of racketeering and using firearms during those crimes.  Mobely, Glass, Craig, O’Neal, Covington and Travis Riley, 35, of Wichita, Kansas are also charged with various drug distribution crimes and Mobely and Glass are further charged with related firearms crimes.  Walton, Ahmad and Laderris Dickerson, 45, of Chicago, are also charged with carjacking and Walton and Dickerson are charged with a related firearms offense.

The Memphis RICO conspiracy indictment names the following defendants and their alleged roles within the Gangster Disciples:
  • Byron Montrail Purdy, aka “Lil B” or “Ghetto,” 37, of Jackson, Tennessee, served as Gangster Disciples leader in Tennessee;
  • Derrick Kennedy Crumpton, aka “38,” 32, of Memphis, served as Gangster Disciples leader in Tennessee;
  • Demarcus Deon Crawford, aka “Trip,” 32, of Jackson, served as leader of security in Tennessee;
  • Henry Curtis Cooper, aka “Big Hen,” 36, of Memphis, served as leader of security in Tennessee;
  • Rico Terrell Harris, aka “Big Brim,” 43, of Memphis, served as leader of security in Tennessee;
  • Shamar Anthony James, aka “Lionheart,” 37, of Memphis, held the rank of governor of a region in Memphis;
  • Demario Demont Sprouse, aka “Taco,” 35, of Memphis, held the rank of chief of security of a region in Memphis;
  • Robert Elliott Jones, aka “Lil Rob” or “Mac Rob,” 36, of Memphis, held the rank of governor of a region in Memphis;
  • Denton Suggs, aka “Denny Mo” or “Diddy Mo,”40, of Memphis, held the rank of chief of security in a section of Memphis;
  • Santiago Megale Shaw, aka “Mac-T,” 23, of Jackson, was a member of the security team or blackout squad in Jackson;
  • Tarius Montez Taylor, aka “T,” 26, of Jackson, was a member of the security team or blackout squad in Jackson;
  • Tommy Earl Champion Jr., aka “Duct Tape,” 27, of Jackson, held the rank of chief of security of Jackson;
  • Cory Dewayne Bowers, aka “Bear Wayne,” 32, of Jackson, was associated with the Gangster Disciples and acted as a member of the security team in Jackson;
  • Gerald Eugene Hampton, aka “G30,” 30, of Jackson, held the rank of assistant chief of security and was a member of the security team’s blackout squad in Jackson;
  • Daniel Lee Cole, aka “D-Money,” 37, of Jackson, acted as assistant governor and assistant education coordinator for the Gangster Disciples in Jackson; and
  • Tommy Lee Wilkins (Holloway), aka “Tommy Gunz,” 28, of Memphis, was a member of the security team in Memphis.                                                                     
In addition to the RICO conspiracy, all 16 defendants are charged with a cocaine-distribution conspiracy, and Crawford, Shaw, Taylor, Champion and Bowers are charged with seven counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering and using a firearm during the commission of those offenses.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

6 Reputed Members of Gangster Disciples Indicted for Roles in 5 Attempted Murders

Six alleged members of the violent Gangster Disciples Gang have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in the attempted murders of five teenagers in South Memphis, Tennessee. Three alleged gang members previously had been charged in this case.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III of the Western District of Tennessee made the announcement.

Ranito Allen, aka Nito, 35; Florence Anthony, aka Nikki, 36; Edwin Carvin, aka Ren, 38; Brandon Milton, aka Lil Folk, 30; and Erik Reese, aka E, 35, all of Memphis, Tennessee, were charged in a superseding indictment unsealed today with five counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering and related firearms offenses. In addition, Candice Wesley, 29, of Memphis, was charged with being an accessory after the fact.

According to the superseding indictment, the defendants are members of the Gangster Disciples, which is a nationally-known organized street gang that originated in the Chicago area and spread to other regions of the United States, including the greater Memphis area. The superseding indictment alleges that members and associates of the Gangster Disciples engaged in acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder and aggravated assault, as well as narcotics distribution and other criminal activities.

Specifically, the superseding indictment charges the defendants with participating in the attempted murders of five teenagers in South Memphis on or about June 21, 2014. According to the superseding indictment, the defendants did so for the purpose of gaining entrance to, or maintaining or increasing their positions in, the Gangster Disciples.

Tony Coburn, aka Blue, 26; Robert Mallory, aka Rambo, 33; and Almeda Burgess, aka Big Heavy, 28, previously were charged in this case. Mallory remains charged in the superseding indictment. Coburn pleaded guilty on July 28, 2015, to his role in the shootings, and Burgess pleaded guilty on Sept. 9, 2015, to being an accessory after the fact.


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