Thirty-Three Alleged Gang Members Arrested in Early Morning Raids by Local, State and Federal Officials
Ten defendants face federal RICO charges
OCT 09 (CHICAGO) - In a major pre-dawn enforcement action by a combined team of Chicago Police officers, DEA agents and additional State and Federal partners 33 individuals with alleged ties to the Imperial Insane Vice Lords, a violent, drug trafficking street gang, were arrested. Ten defendants who allegedly directed or participated in the gang were charged in a federal racketeering conspiracy (RICO) indictment for their roles in a series of violent crimes including murder, attempted murder, and assault with a dangerous weapon, as well as distribution of controlled substances.
The charges were announced today by Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and Jack Riley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division, of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“Today, these dangerous criminals face serious time in a federal prison, and ten of the criminals face federal RICO charges for their role in the gang,” said Superintendent McCarthy. “This case is an example and should serve as a warning. Make no mistake, we stand here today with a clear message to those who bring violence and crime to our communities – we will do everything in our power to hold dangerous criminals accountable for the crimes they commit.”
SAC Riley praised the hard work and dedication of the men and women who worked on this investigation. "If ever there was an investigation that strived to protect life and property, this case is a shining example. In addition to narcotic violations, this federal indictment charges alleged gang members with committing acts of violence in furtherance of a criminal organization. This violence terrorizes the very communities that are struggling to create a safer environment for their children. That's why the DEA remains committed to the Chicago Police Department in their effort to reduce gang-related violence in the most vulnerable communities of our great city," he added.
This investigation began with personnel assigned to the Chicago Police Department's Bureau of Organized Crime’s Narcotics Division. Officers assigned to interdict gang controlled street level narcotics sales initiated this investigation. As the investigation progressed DEA agents and CPD Task Force Officers assigned to the Chicago Strike Force partnered with the aforementioned Narcotics and Gang Investigation personnel to take this case to the next level and into the Federal arena.
The Chicago Strike Force, which is part of a sustained, coordinated effort by federal law enforcement agencies, working together with the Chicago Police and other state and local departments, to disrupt Chicago’s sophisticated, often violent, drug-trafficking organizations operates under the umbrella of the U.S. Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The Strike Force helped bring the investigation to its successful conclusion and was integral in securing federal charges. Also participating in this investigation were the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Marshals Service; the Department of Homeland Security and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The forty seven-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury charges that from about 1996 to September 2013, the defendants; Nathaniel Hoskins, Joseph Faulkner, Julian Martin, Torrie King, Charles Vaughan, Willie Head, Lafayette Goins, Anthony Jamison, Darrell Pitts, and Raymond Myles together with others known and unknown to the grand jury, being persons employed by and associated with the Imperial Insane Vice Lords, knowingly conspired to conduct and participate, directly and indirectly, in the conduct of the affairs of that enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. These ten offenders face federal RICO charges.
According to the indictment, the “Imperial Insane Vice Lords Enterprise” allegedly used violence to further the enterprise, for the purpose of enriching members and associates of the enterprise through the illegal trafficking of controlled substances, and to preserve and protect its power, territory, operations, and proceeds.
In addition to being charged with RICO, the indictment also charges the ten individuals, along with fourteen additional alleged members or associates of the Imperial Insane Vice Lords Street Gang; Lamar Cunningham, Kyle Pagan, Anthony Davis, Gregory Hawthorne, Deshaun Brown, Talbot Shields, Nicholas Davis, Orlandis Martin, Otis Sykes, Jasmine McClain, Marcus Minor, Sarah Watkins, Lorenzo Bailey, and Christopher McClendon with conspiracy to knowingly and intentionally possess with intent to distribute and distribute heroin, a Schedule I Controlled Substance, cocaine base, a Schedule II Controlled Substance, and marijuana, a Schedule I Controlled Substance, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1).
In addition to the twenty-four defendants indicted federally, nine individuals were indicted in Cook County State Court on charges stemming from the investigation.
The acts of violence allegedly committed by or agreed upon by the members and associates of the enterprise, in the conduct of the affairs of the Imperial Insane Vice Lords include, but are not limited to the following:
The RICO conspiracy count further alleges that the Imperial Insane Vice Lords and their associates operated open air drug markets at various locations throughout Chicago, including in the vicinity of Thomas Street and Keystone Avenue (hereinafter, the “Keystone Drug Market”) on the west side of Chicago. The open air drug market at Thomas and Keystone was bounded by Division Street to the north, Pulaski Road to the east, Augusta Boulevard to the south, and Keystone Avenue to the west.
Chicago Police Department Narcotics Division teams also targeted multiple street level dealers operating at a number of locations on the west and northwest sides of the city. These street level dealers, who were supplied by the gang hierarchy, were operating in the areas of Augusta and Ridgeway, Division and Pulaski, Huron and Cicero and near North and Damen in the Wicker Park neighborhood.
The RICO conspiracy count carries a maximum sentence of life in prison for the 10 defendants charged in that count – Hoskins, Faulkner, Martin, King, Vaughn, Head, Goins, Jamison, Pitts, and Myles. In addition, those 10 defendants and eight others – Cunningham, Pagan, Anthony Davis, Hawthorne, Brown, Talbot, Shields, and Nicholas Davis – face at least 10 years and a maximum of life if convicted of the narcotics distribution conspiracy. All of the defendants face additional maximum penalties on other gun and drug counts. If convicted, the Court must determine a reasonable sentence to impose under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
This is the third round of charges in this investigation. The first group of indictments was handed down in June of 2012, with another coming in June of this year. Through the course of this operation and the utilization of a broad range of investigative techniques, every level of this criminal street gang's membership has been identified, from street level workers to the so-called “king." The federal indictments allege that the members and associates of this criminal street gang enriched their leaders and members through illegal drug-trafficking. To achieve that end, the charges allege that the gang demonstrated a callous disregard for human life and the well-being of the communities in which they operated; using violence and murder to protect their power and advance their criminal enterprise.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Perconte, Stephen Baker, and Raj Laud. The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.