The Chicago Syndicate: Vice Lords
Showing posts with label Vice Lords. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vice Lords. Show all posts

Friday, September 19, 2014

Traveling Vice Lords Gang Leader Sentenced for Murdering @Chicago_Police Detective

A high-ranking leader of the Traveling Vice Lords street gang who directed a violent west side drug-trafficking conspiracy was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison after a judge ruled that he “very likely” murdered an off-duty Chicago police detective and a woman in August 2008.

“Your drug trafficking activities were a scourge on your community,” Judge Lefkow said.

The judge also ruled that the government met its burden in proving by a preponderance of evidence that it was “very likely” that Austin committed the murders of Det. Robert Soto and Kathryn Romberg on Aug. 13, 2008, and then subsequently attempted to obstruct the murder investigation. The victims were shot as they sat in a parked car in the 3000 block of West Franklin, about three blocks east Kedzie and one block south of Ohio. During a sentencing hearing that began last month, the government presented evidence that Austin shot and killed the pair after mistaking them from for a rival drug dealer and the drug dealer’s companion.

“We are gratified that the Court found Austin responsible for the murders of Detective Soto and Ms. Romberg. Jason Austin is a violent drug dealer, and today’s 35-year sentence provides a modest measure of justice,” said Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

“Jason Austin sold heroin and crack cocaine in the area of Kedzie and Ohio for years. He ran the block, had employees who worked for him, and he sold thousands of dollars of heroin a day. Austin controlled his territory through fear, violence, and threats of violence. He kept guns at the ready to stave off the competition. Austin thought of Kedzie and Ohio as his,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maribel Fernandez-Harvath and Matthew Madden argued in seeking a significant sentence.

Austin and 30 other members and associates of the Traveling Vice Lords were arrested in November 2010 as part of Operation Blue Knight, which focused on around-the-clock retail street sales of crack cocaine and heroin in the area of Kedzie and Ohio, known as “KO.” Significant amounts of crack cocaine and heroin were seized during the two-year investigation, which the Chicago Police Department’s Organized Crime Division began in 2008 and the Federal Bureau of Investigation joined several months later. Overall, their efforts resulted in a total of 104 defendants being arrested on state and federal charges in this and related investigations.

The evidence at trial showed that Austin conspired with others to distribute heroin to customers via hand-to-hand transactions in the “KO.” The heroin, named “Blue Magic,” alone accounted for as much as $8,000 a day in sales, between approximately 6 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week. During the investigation, law enforcement officers repeatedly observed the conduct of co-conspirators at KO. Surveillance, often video recorded, documented hand-to-hand drug transactions, controlled purchases of narcotics by undercover Chicago police officers, and controlled purchases of narcotics by confidential sources.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sterling Rivers #LittleReal #ViceLords Leader Sentenced to 28 Years in Prison

Sterling Rivers, a/k/a “Little Real,” 26, of Lebanon, Tennessee, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 28 years in prison for conspiring to distribute large quantities of crack cocaine and cocaine, as part of his involvement in a criminal street gang called the Unknown Vice Lords, announced David Rivera, U. S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Rivers was indicted with 16 other individuals in September 2011 following a nearly two-year investigation into a national street gang, the Vice Lords, operating in Wilson and Putnam County, Tennessee, and beyond. Rivers fled following his indictment and was arrested in October 2011 as a fugitive in Texas. Rivers was convicted following a trial in September 2013 in which he represented himself.

“This sentence reaffirms that drug trafficking and organized crime will result in significant prison sentences,” said U.S. Attorney David Rivera. “This and other recent sentences of gang members should send a clear and convincing message that violent gang activity in this district will be vigorously pursued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners.”

The convictions in this case followed a two-week trial, during which Rivers represented himself. Proof at trial established that Rivers was engaged in organizing the Vice Lords Gang throughout the state of Tennessee and had been involved in an array of violent crime, including the robbery of another drug dealer and the shooting of another individual.

Sixteen other defendants were also charged in connection with this investigation, and all have been convicted.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI; the Lebanon Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; and the Tennessee Highway Patrol. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Braden H. Boucek and Brent Hannafan.

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