Two High-Ranking Bloods Gang Leaders Sentenced to Twenty Years in Prison for Racketeering Conspiracy

Two high-ranking leaders of the Nine Trey Gangsters set of the United Blood Nation (UBN or Bloods) street gang, including the “Godfather” of the set, who also served as “Chairman” of the UBN, and a second leader who held the rank of “Worldwide High” were each sentenced today to 20 years in prison for racketeering conspiracy. 

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney R. Andrew Murray for the Western District of North Carolina, and Special Agent in Charge John A. Strong of the FBI Charlotte, North Carolina Field Division, made the announcement.

Pedro Gutierrez, aka Magoo, Light and Inferno, 45, of New York City, New York, was sentenced by Chief Judge Frank D. Whitney to serve 20 years in prison.  James Baxton, aka Frank White and Grown, 44, of New York City, New York, was also sentenced by Judge Whitney to serve 20 years in prison.  Both of these sentences will be served consecutively to the defendants’ current New York State sentences.  Pedro Gutierrez, James Baxton, and Cynthia Gilmore, aka Cynthia Young and Lady Bynt, 42, of Raleigh, North Carolina, had been convicted by a federal jury sitting in Charlotte on May 17, following a two-week trial.  Cynthia Gilmore is awaiting sentencing.

“With today’s sentencings of two violent gang leaders, including the purported Godfather of the Nine Trey Gangsters, law enforcement has delivered yet another devastating blow to the Nine Trey Gangsters and the United Blood Nation,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski.  “The defendants committed crimes that spanned the East Coast, including trafficking deadly narcotics in North Carolina and New York and ordering a gang war in North Carolina.  As demonstrated by the 61 defendants now adjudicated guilty in this case, when federal, state, and local law enforcement work together in sustained efforts, we can disrupt and erode violent prison and street gangs.”

“Drugs, thefts, guns, violent assaults, and murders are all crimes the Bloods commit every day to protect their turfs, increase their territory, control and recruit members, and intimidate rival gangs,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “And all of it happens right here, in our neighborhoods, where honest, hard-working people are simply trying to raise their children without the fear of harm.  We cannot overlook or underestimate the long-term impact of gangs on the well-being and prosperity of communities where gang activity is present.  That is why the dismantling of criminal enterprises district-wide is both a priority for my office and a goal we share with law enforcement agencies throughout the Western District of North Carolina.”

In February 2017, President Trump directed the Department of Justice “to reduce crime in America,” and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made violent crime reduction and eliminating gangs a priority during his tenure. In June 2018, the Attorney General announced the largest increase in Assistant U.S. Attorneys—311 new prosecutors, including eight in North Carolina—to combat violent crime and carry out other Department priorities.

Additionally, Attorney General Sessions last year announced a reinvigorated Project Safe Neighborhoods program aimed at reducing the rising tide of violent crime in America. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina is an active participant in PSN.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein mentioned many of these announcements and more when he delivered remarks in August to the 17th Annual Gangs Across the Carolinas Conference, a conference which Attorney General Sessions delivered remarks to in August 2017.

“These leaders of the UBN thought they were untouchable, continuing to run their criminal enterprise from inside state prison,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Strong.  “The lengthy federal sentences they received today send a strong message to anyone who tries to fill the criminal void they leave behind.  Do not be mistaken, we’ll come after you next with the full strength of our federal, local, and state law enforcement partners.” 

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, the UBN is a violent criminal street gang operating throughout the east coast of the United States since it was founded as a prison gang in 1993.  UBN members are often identified by their use of the color red, and can also often be identified by common tattoos or burn marks.  Examples include: a three-circle pattern, usually burned onto the upper arm, known as a “dog paw”; the acronym “M.O.B.,” which stands for “Member of Bloods”; the words “damu,” or “eastside”; the number five; the five-pointed star; and the five-pointed crown.  UBN members have distinct hand signs and written codes, which are used to identify other members and rival gang members.  The Nine Trey Gangster set of the UBN refer to themselves as “Billies.”

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, the UBN is governed by a common set of 31 rules, known as “The 31,” which were originally written by the founders of the UBN.  Members of the UBN are expected to conduct themselves and their illegal activity according to rules and regulations set by their leaders.  Prominent among these is a requirement to pay monthly dues to the organization, often in the amounts of $31 or $93.  A percentage of these funds are transferred to incarcerated UBN leadership in New York; these funds also are used locally to conduct gang business.  UBN gang dues are derived from illegal activity performed by subordinate UBN members including narcotics trafficking, robberies, wire fraud, and bank fraud, among other forms of illegal racketeering activities.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, the Nine Trey Gangsters’ leadership proceeds in rank, from lowest to highest, from “Scrap,” “1-Star General” through “5-Star General,” “Low,” “High,” and “Godfather.” 

Based on evidence introduced during the trial, Gutierrez was a “Godfather” of the Nine Trey Gangsters and had served since 2003 as the “Chairman” of the council that governs the UBN.  Gutierrez, together with James Baxton and Omari Rosero, considered themselves “the last ones that God put in power” over the UBN.  As the Godfather of the set, Gutierrez, along with Baxton, conducted gang business and participated in the distribution of gang dues while incarcerated in the New York State Department of Corrections. Trial evidence also established that Gutierrez ordered a gang war in North Carolina in 2011, directing that members of the Bloods gang attack and kill members of a renegade gang called Pretty Tony. The war resulted in numerous injuries among inmates and the lockdown of five North Carolina prisons for six months.

Trial evidence also established that Baxton was a “Worldwide High” of the Nine Trey Gangsters and that, while incarcerated in the New York State Department of Corrections, Baxton trafficked heroin within the prison system and engaged in wire fraud by threatening the relatives of other incarcerated inmates.

In all, 61 defendants have been adjudicated guilty in this case, including the two defendants who were found guilty at trial and sentenced today; 58 defendants have previously pleaded guilty in this investigation.  This includes 10 defendants in high-ranking leadership positions:

  • Montraya Antwain Atkinson, aka Hardbody, 31, of Raleigh, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  According to the factual basis of his plea agreement, Atkinson admitted to holding the leadership rank of “High,” and admitted to possessing marijuana and cocaine with intent to distribute, and to purchasing and selling powder cocaine;
  • Adrian Nayron Coker, aka Gotti, 28, of Gastonia, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and three counts of possession with intent to distribute narcotics.  According to the factual basis of his plea agreement, Coker admitted to holding the leadership rank of “Low,” and to possessing a stolen firearm and ammunition, despite having previously been convicted of a felony.  Coker was also recorded discussing a potential murder of a rival gang member.  Coker was sentenced on June 18, to a term of 140 months in prison;
  • Bianca Kiashie Harrison, aka Lady Gunz, 28, of Midway Park, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  According to the factual basis of her plea agreement, Harrison admitted to holding the leadership rank of “High,” and to participating, at facilities within the New York Department of Corrections, in gang leadership meetings with alleged UBN Godfathers Gutierrez and Baxton.  Harrison was sentenced on June 18, to a term of 32 months in prison;
  • Quincy Delone Haynes, aka Black Montana, 39, of Lawndale, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and three counts of trafficking cocaine.  According to the factual basis of this plea agreement, Haynes admitted to holding the leadership rank of “Low.”  Haynes was sentenced on Aug. 15, to a term of 64 months in prison;
  • Bobby Earl Hines, aka Swahili Red, 35, of North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  According to the factual basis of his plea agreement, Hines admitted to holding the leadership rank of “High”;
  • Barrington Audley Lattibeaudiere, aka Bandana and Bobby Seale, 31, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  According to the factual basis of his plea agreement, Lattibeaudiere admitted to holding the leadership rank of “High,” and coordinating the transmission of hundreds of dollars of UBN gang dues to Gutierrez and Baxton. Lattibeaudiere further admitted to participating in a scheme to make and attempt to make over $64,000 in purchases using fraudulent credit and gift cards.  Lattibeaudiere was sentenced on June 19, to serve 56 months in prison;
  • MyQuan Lamar Nelson, aka Dripz, 27, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, and according to the factual basis of his plea agreement admitted to holding the leadership rank of “Low;”
  • Omari Rosero, aka Uno B, 41, of Elmira, New York, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  During his plea, Omari Rosero admitted to holding the leadership rank of “High,” and to serving as an acting “Godfather” of the entire UBN.  Rosero was sentenced on July 31, to a sentence of 87 months in prison, to be served federally after completing a sentence in New York State;
  • Porsha Talina Rosero, aka Lady Uno B, 35, of Syracuse, New York, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Rosero admitted to participating in the distribution of gang dues, and to participating in a phone call during which Omari Rosero stated that a suspected cooperator would be “faded straight up.”  Porsha Rosero was sentenced on July 31, to serve 21 months in prison; and
  • Tywlain Wilson, aka 5 Alive, 25, of Shelby, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and firearm possession in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  According to the factual basis of his plea agreement, Wilson admitted to holding the leadership rank of “Low.”  Wilson was sentenced on July 30, to serve 82 months in prison.

The following 33 defendants have also pleaded guilty and have been sentenced in this investigation:

  • Sherman Devante Addison, aka Ace, 24, of Lawndale, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Addison was sentenced on Aug. 15, to serve 33 months in prison;
  • Freddrec Deandre Banks, aka Drec and Banga, 22, of Shelby, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Banks was sentenced on Aug. 14, to serve 33 months in prison;
  • Destinee Danyell Blakeney, aka Lady Rude, 23, of Morven, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Blakeney was sentenced on July 31, to serve 18 months in prison;
  • Shakira Monique Campbell, aka Lady Rage, 24, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine.  Campbell was sentenced to serve eight months in prison;
  • Alex Levi Cox, aka Quick, 28, of Loris, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Cox was sentenced on Aug. 21, to serve 17 months in prison;
  • Richard Diaz, aka Damu, 34, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Diaz was sentenced on Aug. 15, to serve 33 months in prison;
  • Christopher Dentre Hamrick, aka Red Dot, 29, of Shelby, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  Hamrick was sentenced on May 30, to serve 64 months in prison;
  • Lavaughn Antonio Hanton, aka Killem and Billy-D, 35, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Hanton was sentenced on Aug. 21, to 216 months in prison;
  • Anthony ONeil Harrison, aka Ant, 20, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Harrison was sentenced on June 25to serve 27 months in prison;
  • Delonte Maurice Hicks, aka BBB Shooter and Black, 29, of Bennettsville, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Hicks was sentenced on May 31, to serve 24 months in prison;
  • Raheam Shumar Hopper, aka Bone, 24, of Shelby, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Hopper was sentenced on June 20, to serve 27 months in prison;
  • Donl Lequintin Hunsucker, aka Remy, 31, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Hunsucker was sentenced on Aug. 15, to serve 52 months in prison;
  • Muhammad John Jackson, aka Picasso, 33, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Jackson was sentenced on Aug. 21, to serve 27 months in prison;
  • Terrence Thomas Johnsom, aka Sypher, 41, of Durham, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Johnsom was sentenced on May 30, to serve 57 months in prison;
  • Joe Tarpeh Johnson, aka JR, Big Pusha and Kutthroat, 26, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  Johnson was sentenced on April 28, to serve 31 months in prison;
  • Latif Nakia Antoine Johnson, aka Billy Solo, 24, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Johnson was sentenced on July 9, to serve 18 months in prison;
  • Rashad Monte King, aka Billy Kilo Montana, 26, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  King was sentenced on July 30, to serve 25 months in prison;
  • David Matthew Lowe, aka Gucci, 26, of Shelby, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Lowe was sentenced on May 29, to serve 24 months in prison;
  • Charles Kenyon Lytle, aka Kam, 40, of Concord, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  Lytle was sentenced on Aug. 22, to serve 46 months in prison;
  • Brandon Theodore Manning, aka Billy B, 29, of Columbia, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Manning was sentenced on July 31, to serve 21 months in prison;
  • Travis McClain, aka Fridaay Daa Thuurteenth, 27, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  McClain was sentenced on Aug. 14, to serve 27 months in prison;
  • Isaac Nabah McIntosh, aka Mac, 27, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  McIntosh was sentenced on July 30, to serve 18 months in prison;
  • D’Angelo De’Mara McNeil, aka Dutch, 27, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  McNeil was sentenced on June 20, to serve 33 months in prison;
  • Kolawole Olalekan Omotosho, aka Rugged Red, 19, of Jacksonville, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Omotosho was sentenced on May 29, to serve 33 months in prison;
  • James Brandin Pegues, 31, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Pegues was sentenced on May 29, to serve 33 months in prison;
  • Deshawn Deonta Peterkin, aka Proo, 29, of Wallace, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Peterkin was sentenced on June 25, to serve 21 months in prison;
  • Austin Demontry Potts, aka Big Tek and B-Tek, 24, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Potts was sentenced on May 29, to serve 30 months in prison;
  • Rashad Sattar, 20, of Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  Sattar was sentenced on Aug. 22, to serve 33 months in prison;
  • Anthony Bernard Smith, aka Redd Lion, 25, of Gastonia, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Smith was sentenced on April 23, to serve 44 months in prison;
  • Cedric Surratt, aka Hollywood, 5-Star and Lingo, 30, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Surratt was sentenced on June 20, to serve 28 months in prison;
  • Peatrez Lamar Teaste, aka P-Wheezy, 25, of Loris, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Teaste was sentenced on Aug. 21, to serve 109 months in prison;
  • Lavon Christopher Turner, aka Hungry, 28, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  Turner was sentenced on April 23, to serve 35 months in prison; and
  • Jesse James Watkins, aka Showtime, 34, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  Watkins was sentenced on July 30, to serve 27 months in prison.

The following 15 defendants have also pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing in this case:

  • Aaron Demitri Alexander, aka A Dawg, 25, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty on July 9, to racketeering conspiracy;
  • Antarious Quashard Byers, aka Bang, 25, of Shelby, North Carolina, pleaded guilty on Aug. 28, to racketeering conspiracy;
  • Renaldo Rodregus Camp, aka Rodeo and Drop, 40, of Shelby, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and to possession with intent to distribute cocaine;
  • Brandon Khalil Covington, aka Blokka, 25, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and to possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking;
  • James Walter Dowdle, aka Staxx, 25, of Shelby, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence;
  • John Paul Durant, aka JP, Glock and Gudda, 29, of Shelby, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy;
  • Shamon Movair Goins, aka Rugie, 28, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy;
  • Jasmin Reikeem Hicks, aka Rude, 28, of Morven, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy;
  • Juan Cruz Leon, aka Jefe, 22, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy;
  • Terry Lavon Maddox, aka Turbo, 27, of Shelby, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base;
  • Robert Allen McClinton, aka Trigga, 29, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base;
  • Christopher Lashon Miller, aka Dro, 24, of Shelby, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy;
  • Christopher O’Brien Moore, aka Ratchet, 23, of Shelby, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy;
  • Isaiah Devon Stallworth, aka Zay and Juice, 25, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty on Jan. 5, to racketeering conspiracy and to use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence; and
  • Jhad Elijah Thorbourne, aka Flight, 24, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty on July 19, to racketeering conspiracy.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI; the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department; the Shelby Police Department; the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office; the Gastonia Police Department; the North Carolina State Highway Patrol; the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office; the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice; the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles; the U.S. Federal Probation; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the IRS Criminal Investigation; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command; and the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Office of Special Investigations.  Trial Attorneys Andrew L. Creighton and Beth Lipman of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matt Warren and Christopher Hess for the Western District of North Carolina are prosecuting the case.

This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program.  OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

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Author: September 4, 2018