“Eight Alleged Members and Associates of the Two Six Nation Street Gang Indicted in Racketeering Conspiracy”

August 25, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 22, 2014 released the following:

“WASHINGTON—Four members of the Two Six Nation street gang and four of their associates have been indicted for their roles in a racketeering conspiracy spanning more than 20 years, as well as murder and drug trafficking charges.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney David A. Capp of the Northern District of Indiana, Special Agent in Charge Carl Vasilko of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Chicago Field Division, Special Agent in Charge Jack Riley of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Chicago Field Division and Special Agent in Charge W. Jay Abott of the FBI’s Indianapolis Division made the announcement.

“Today’s action reflects the most recent in the department’s continuing efforts to free communities within East Chicago, Gary and Chicago from the scourge of gang violence and drug dealing,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. “Over the years, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division have partnered to use RICO and other federal charges to disrupt and dismantle violent gangs like the Imperial Gangsters, the Latin Kings and now the Two Six Nation. These rolling prosecutions of violent gangs in this region demonstrate the department’s commitment to ensure that no gang is able to maintain a foothold in these communities.”

“This is our third use of the federal RICO statute against violent street gangs operating in northwest Indiana,” said U.S. Attorney Capp. “This indictment was the result of extensive federal-local law enforcement work on both sides of the state border. Our investigations continue and we will not hesitate to utilize the power of the RICO statute to remove these individuals from the streets.”

The second superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Aug. 21, 2014, and unsealed today, charges Adron Herschel Tancil, aka “Awol,” 36, of East Chicago, Indiana; Jesus Valentin Fuentes, aka “Chu Chu,” 39, of Gary, Indiana; Frank Perez Jr., aka “Pumpkin,” 33, of Verona, Pennsylvania; and Anthony Cresencio Aguilera, aka “P-nut,” 35, of Portage, Indiana with RICO conspiracy and conspiracy to engage in drug trafficking, including marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin and ecstasy. Also charged in the narcotics conspiracy are Oscar Cosme, aka “Cos,” 41, of East Chicago; Ester Carrera, aka “Mama D,” 61, of Gary; Paul Brock, aka “Big Brock,” 27, of Gary; and Alma Delia Carrera, 28, of Gary. Both the RICO and narcotics conspiracies allege criminal conduct spanning more than 20 years, from January 1992 to the present.

The indictment further charges defendants Tancil, Fuentes and Cosme with the May 16, 2003, homicide of Julio Cartagena in East Chicago. Kiontay Kyare Pennington has already pleaded guilty to murder in aid of racketeering for his role in this homicide.

In addition, the indictment charges Frank Perez with the July 13, 1999, murder of Jose Pena Jr. in Whiting, Indiana.

The charges contained in an indictment are merely accusations and all persons charged are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

This case is being investigated by the ATF, DEA, FBI, East Chicago Police Department and Whiting Police Department, with assistance from the Chicago Police Department, Gary Police Department, Hammond Police Department, Highland Police Department and the Lake County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force. Assistance was also provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Nozick for the Northern District of Indiana and Trial Attorney Andrew L. Creighton of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


119 Individuals Charged in Three Countywide Law Enforcement Operations

January 26, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on January 25, 2012 released the following:

“Two Mexican Mafia Members and 117 San Diego County, California Street Gang Members and Associates with Ties to the Mexican Mafia Charged with Racketeering Conspiracy, Drug Trafficking Violations, and Firearms Offenses

119 Individuals Charged in Three Countywide Law Enforcement Operations

SAN DIEGO—A federal grand jury in San Diego has handed up 17 indictments and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California has filed eight criminal complaints charging a total of 119 defendants with federal racketeering conspiracy, drug trafficking violations, and federal firearm offenses, announced U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Laura E. Duffy.

U.S. Attorney Duffy said, “The cases unsealed today make communities stronger and safer. The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to an anti-gang, anti-violence strategy built on close coordination between federal, state and local officials. This coordination provides better intelligence about street gangs and violent crime within our communities. And better intelligence means better law enforcement and prosecutions.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Keith Slotter commented, “Today’s arrests mark one of the largest single takedowns in San Diego FBI history. The FBI and our law enforcement partners stand unified in our efforts to protect this county from the violence, drug trafficking and extortion schemes employed by the Mexican Mafia and its affiliates. San Diego is inherently safer today because of the cooperation between our agencies working together to disrupt and dismantle the criminal activities of these dangerous individuals.”

“This is a traditional case of dishonor amongst thieves,” commented San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore. “Gangs were made to pay ‘taxes’ in order to facilitate their trafficking and violent behavior. We answered with a one-two punch: a strong and experienced multi-agency investigation, armed with the RICO statute. The results speak for themselves.”

The charges stem from three investigations entitled, “Operation Notorious County,” “Operation Carnalismo,” and “Operation 12-Step.”

“Operation Notorious County”

The indictments are the result of an 18-month-long investigation entitled, “Operation Notorious County,” led by the North County Regional Gang Task force. Eight indictments charging 51 individuals, including one charging 40 defendants with participating in a federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) conspiracy were unsealed today. All five indictments were handed up by a federal grand jury sitting in San Diego on Jan. 19, 2012. The RICO conspiracy alleged in the indictment involves the commission of both state and federal crimes, including attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion, money laundering, and drug trafficking violations. As set forth in the indictment, the defendants are members, associates and facilitators of violent street gangs operating primarily in north San Diego County under the auspices of the Mexican Mafia or “La Eme.” The gangs named in the indictment include the Diablos and West Side gangs, based in Escondido, Calif., as well as the Varrio San Marcos and the Varrio Fallbrook Locos. The individuals named in the indictment were involved in a long-standing criminal enterprise used to extort money by threat or violence. The money was then sent on to high-ranking members of the Mexican Mafia, including defendant Rudy Espudo. The indictment alleges that Espudo is a validated member of the Mexican Mafia who oversees their activities throughout much of northern San Diego County.

“Operation Carnalismo”

In “Operation Carnalismo,” led by the Violent Crime Task Force-Gang Group, a group of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents led by the FBI, five indictments charging 36 individuals were unsealed today. Eight defendants are charged in one indictment with a conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity (RICO), violent crime in aid of racketeering (VCAR), distribution and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin and criminal forfeiture. Four additional indictments, charging 28 defendants were also unsealed. These related indictments charge distribution and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and criminal forfeiture. All five indictments were handed up by a federal grand jury sitting in San Diego on Jan. 24, 2012, and unsealed today. The RICO indictment charges the criminal enterprise was run by Mexican Mafia member Salvador Colabella. Colabella and his associates conspired to distribute methamphetamine and heroin, extorted and robbed others, and laundered drug-trafficking proceeds. Colabella and his associates collected the extortion payments through the threat of violence and the commission of violence. According to the indictment, the Mexican Mafia has about 200 members, but its reach extends to thousands of Hispanic street-gang members in Southern California. A Mexican Mafia member is the highest level one can attain in the Mexican Mafia. A member, also called “Brother” or “Carnal” or “Tio,” controls, exploits and profits from the criminal activity conducted by street-gang members and others. This control over the criminal activity is enforced through acts of violence or the threat of violence.

“Operation 12-Step”

This year-long investigation, known as “Operation 12-Step,” was led by the East County Regional Gang Task Force, a group of federal and state law enforcement led by the FBI and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Operation 12-Step focused on gang-related methamphetamine distribution activities in San Diego County. Today four indictments and eight complaints were unsealed charging 32 individuals with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. According to court records, individuals charged in this investigation belong to nine different criminal street gangs including Varrio Chula Vista, East Side Piru, Old Town National City, Shelltown, National City Locos, Imperial Beach Imperials, Paradise Hills, Varrio Encanto Locos and National City Block Boys. Between Feb. 22, 2011, and Dec. 13, 2011, law enforcement made more than 20 methamphetamine and heroin seizures in connection with this investigation. In addition, search warrants were executed at eight residences in San Diego; Spring Valley, Calif.; National City, Calif.; Imperial Beach, Calif.; and Chula Vista, Calif..

U.S. Attorney Duffy praised the coordinated effort of the law enforcement agencies of the Violent Crimes Task Force-Gang Group, the East County and North County Regional Gang Task Forces under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) for the coordinated team effort culminating in the charges filed in these cases. The OCDETF program was created to consolidate and utilize all law enforcement resources in this country’s battle against major drug trafficking.

The cases are being investigated by the FBI, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the National City, Calif., Police Department; the San Diego Police Department; the Escondido, Calif., Police Department; the Carlsbad, Calif., Police Department; the U.S. Marshals Service; the La Mesa, Calif., Police Department; the El Cajon, Calif., Police Department; the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office; the U.S. Bureau of Prisons; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; the San Diego County Probation Department; Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations; and Customs and Border Protection-United States Border Patrol.

The cases are being prosecuted in San Diego federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter Mazza, Jaime Parks, Fred Sheppard and Tara McGrath.

An indictment or a complaint are not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Jamar Pharr Plead Guilty in Federal Court to Conspiracy to Engage in a Racketeering Enterprise and Devon Sheale Pled Guilty in Federal Court to Violence in Aid of Racketeering

August 19, 2011

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on August 18, 2011 released the following:

“Two Pittsburgh Crips Members Plead Guilty to Racketeering Charges

Additional Pittsburgh Crips Gang Member Sentenced to Prison

WASHINGTON – Two members of the Crips gang pleaded guilty today in federal court in Pittsburgh to charges of conspiring to conduct a racketeering enterprise, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton of the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Jamar Pharr, 27, of Pittsburgh, aka “Brownway,” pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in a racketeering enterprise before Senior U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond in the Western District of Pennsylvania. Devon Shealey, 25, of Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty before Judge Diamond to one count of violence in aid of racketeering.

In addition, yesterday Karl Anger, 22, aka “K-Loc,” was sentenced by Judge Diamond to 58 months in prison for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, consecutive to 72 months he is currently serving on a state court conviction for an aggravated assault shooting, for a total of 130 months in prison. The shooting was also charged in the federal indictment as part of the racketeering conspiracy. Anger pleaded guilty on Jan. 19, 2011, to the federal racketeering conspiracy charge.

According to court documents, Pharr, Shealey, Anger and others participated in a pattern of racketeering activity that included robberies at gun point; attempted murders; distribution of heroin and crack cocaine; obstruction of justice and witness intimidation. The three defendants were members of different gangs in the Northside area of Pittsburgh that formed an alliance in 2003 to expand the gang’s drug trafficking territory and increase the gang’s membership to better protect their territory and profits. Members of the gang, known as the Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips, maintained exclusive control over drug trafficking in these neighborhoods through continuous violence and intimidation of rivals and witnesses. Gang members supported each other through payment of attorneys’ fees and bonds, as well as payments to jail commissary accounts and support payments to incarcerated members’ families.

Gang members had violent confrontations with members of the rival Manchester OGs, and other street gangs operating in the Northside area of Pittsburgh. Members and associates obtained greater authority and prestige within the enterprise based on their reputation for violence and their ability to obtain and sell a steady supply of illegal drugs. According to court documents, the Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang members identify themselves by wearing blue, flashing Crips gang hand signals, and using phrases such as “Cuz,” “C-Safe,” “Loc” and “G.K.”

According to court documents, Pharr was considered a respected member and leader in the enterprise. Pharr had a reputation for violence, and instructed other members and associates of the enterprise as to how to conduct the affairs of the enterprise, including how to possess and distribute firearms and controlled substances, and how to commit acts of violence and witness intimidation. Pharr also distributed controlled substances, including heroin.

Shealey and Anger were considered “gorillas” or “soldiers” for the enterprise, providing protection for the enterprise through the possession of firearms and committing acts of violence. Specifically, according to Shealey’s plea agreement, he was involved in shooting at a member of the Manchester OGs, in an effort to maintain and increase his position within the gang. According to information presented at sentencing, Anger obstructed justice when he tried to convince the victim in his assault case not to testify.

At sentencing, Pharr and Shealey each face maximum prison sentences of 20 years. Shealey is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 19, 2011, at 11:00 a.m., and Pharr on Dec. 15, 2011, at 10:00 a.m.

Pharr, Shealey and Anger are three of 26 defendants charged in February 2010 with being members of, and conducting racketeering activity through, the Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang. This prosecution resulted from a Project Safe Neighborhoods Task Force investigation that began in 2005. To date, 23 members or associates of the Brighton Place/ Northview Heights Crips who were charged in this indictment have pleaded guilty to racketeering charges.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles A. Eberle and Troy Rivetti of the Western District of Pennsylvania and Trial Attorney Kevin Rosenberg of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section. The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police; the Allegheny County, Penn., Police Department; and the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Ten Charged in Superseding Indictment for Alleged Racketeering and Narcotics Activity

September 14, 2010

A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned a superseding indictment today charging 10 individuals with narcotics and firearms offenses, federal racketeering conspiracy, and three murders in aid of racketeering activity, in connection with an ongoing investigation into a drug organization that operated in Barry Farm and other neighborhoods within the District of Columbia and the larger metropolitan area. The charges were announced today by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Shawn Henry, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Salvatore R. Lauro, Chief of the U.S. Park Police (USPP), and Roberto L. Hylton, Chief of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

The individuals initially were charged in a six-count federal indictment on March 10, 2010, with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute phencyclidine (PCP), heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine, within the District of Columbia and Maryland, and related drug charges. The original indictment covered criminal activities from August 2009 through March 2010.

The superseding indictment returned today stems from a continuing investigation of the individuals’ alleged drug organization and several acts of violence supposedly attributable to them. It covers crimes dating to 2006 and broadens the case to include newly filed racketeering and murder charges.

The government may be obtaining new information either from those already charged that have entered into cooperation agreements in hopes of a lesser sentence, or from other sources. It is also important to remember that an indictment does not require any evidence, nor is an indictment evidence of guilt itself.

As set forth in the superseding indictment, the drug organization began operating as early as 2006 with Mark Pray allegedly in charge. The superseding indictment alleges that Mark Pray, 29, enlisted family members, friends, and individuals known to him from Barry Farm and elsewhere to distribute controlled substances. The indictment alleges that members of the Pray Drug Organization regularly carried firearms to promote and protect the drug enterprise and its interests; that members of the enterprise committed, attempted, and threatened to commit acts of violence, including murder and robbery, to protect and expand the enterprise’s criminal operations; and further alleges that members of the enterprise promoted a climate of fear through violence and threats of violence.

The superseding indictment specifically charges Mark Pray and two co-defendants, Alonzo Marlow, 30, and Kenneth Benbow, 30, for their respective roles in three separate murders committed in aid of the charged racketeering activity, in the District of Columbia and Maryland, between 2008 and 2010. One killing was of a government witness, Crystal Washington, 44, who was shot to death April 10, 2009 in the District of Columbia. She was slain one business day before the start of a D.C. Superior Court trial at which Washington was to testify for the government against Mark Pray and three other individuals.

The indictment charges Mark Pray and Alonzo Marlow, who functioned as an “enforcer” for the Pray Drug Organization, with Washington’s death. Pray and Marlow also are charged with the January 13, 2010, murder of Jheryl Hodge 20, in the District of Columbia. According to the indictment, Marlow shot Hodge several times, in broad daylight, in the middle of the Barry Farm neighborhood. Pray and Kenneth Benbow are charged with the murder of Van Johnson Jr., 28, which took place September 24, 2008, in Prince George’s County.

In addition to Pray, Marlow and Benbow, the others indicted include: Randolph Danson, 25, Robert McMillan, 25, Timothy Moon, 23, Robert Smith, 31, Charles Wade, 25, Herman Williams, 19, and Larry Williams, 29.

All of the named individuals will be arraigned on the superseding indictment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on a date to be determined by the Court. All of the individuals face sentences from 10 years to life in prison if convicted.

The federal Murder in Aid of Racketeering charges against Mark Pray, Alonzo Marlow, and Kenneth Benbow are punishable by life imprisonment.

Because these individuals will be tried in a federal court, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines will apply if convicted.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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