Feds say 83 gang leaders, members arrested in 5-state raid; 4 plead guilty to gang-related charges in S.C.
Associated Press May 18, 2017
CHARLOTTE — More than 80 members of the United Blood Nation gang have been indicted as part of a five-state crackdown on gang activity, federal authorities announced Thursday.
A news release from the U.S. Department of Justice said more than 600 federal, state and local law enforcement officers carried out the arrest warrants in Charlotte and other locations across North Carolina. Arrests were also made in South Carolina, Virginia, Florida and New York.
"Today's law enforcement action delivered a serious blow to the leadership structure throughout the ranks of this criminal organization," U.S. Attorney Jill Rose said. "And this is only the beginning."
A federal grand jury returned the indictments on Monday. Of the 83 people named in the indictments, officials said 27 are already behind bars and 10 are still at large.
Prosecutors say gang members engaged in racketeering activity, including murder, attempted murder, narcotics distribution and firearms possession. The indictment also says gang members engaged in bank fraud and wire fraud.
Allegations contained in the indictment said that, beginning by at least 2009 and continuing until the present, the defendants were leaders and members of the UBN's Nine Trey Gangsters. Members engaged in racketeering activity, including murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, narcotics distribution and firearms possession.
The indictment also says that some defendants engaged in bank fraud and wire fraud to generate proceeds to pay gang dues, maintain membership with the gang, discipline other gang members and to be promoted within gang leadership.
In other gang prosecutions, three people from South Carolina, Deshawn Earl Chestnut, age 24, Matthew DeWitt, age 27, and Stacy Cambas, age 30, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to participating in a drug conspiracy that operated in the Florence, Charleston, and Myrtle Beach areas of South Carolina.
Timothy Singletary, age 22, also pleaded guilty on May 4 to participating in this drug conspiracy. Their respective convictions subject them to up to 20 years imprisonment.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy Moorman, lead Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Attorney for the District of South Carolina told the Court during proceedings that these Defendants, working with other co-defendants, distributed heroin, cocaine, and/or marijuana to customers in Florence and Myrtle Beach.
The investigation has targeted members of the Billie East Side Bloods, a set of the United Blood Nation, and others who formed an agreement to distribute heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana in South Carolina, and to traffic in and possess firearms for the purpose of advancing the drug conspiracy.
That investigation is being conducted by the FBI, the DEA, the Horry County Sheriff’s Office, the Horry County Police Department, the Myrtle Beach Police Department, the North Myrtle Beach Police Department, the 15th Circuit’s Drug Enforcement Unit, and the Georgetown Police Department.
The charges filed against the defendants in the operation are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andy Moorman and Lauren Hummel.
United States South Carolina Charleston Law Enforcement Action Bank Fraud Myrtle Beach Police Department Assistant U.s. Attorney Deshawn Earl Chestnut Timothy Singletary Matthew Dewitt Federal Bureau Of Investigation Crime And Drug Enforcement Task Force 15th Circuit’s Drug Enforcement Unit Andy Moorman
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