WASHINGTON – A Pittsburgh man was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for conspiring to conduct a racketeering enterprise related to his membership in a Pittsburgh Crips gang, 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.
Lynn Gibson, 26, was also sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond to serve three years of supervised release following the prison term. Gibson pleaded guilty on Feb. 2, 2011, to one count of conspiracy to engage in a racketeering enterprise.
According to the guilty plea, Gibson and others participated in a pattern of racketeering activity that included multiple acts involving robberies at gun point; attempted murders; distribution of controlled substances, including cocaine, heroin and crack cocaine; and obstruction of justice and witness intimidation.
According to court documents, Clark was a member of the Northview Heights/ Fineview Crips, a criminal street gang operating out of the Northview Heights public housing facility in the Northside neighborhood, and in the nearby Fineview neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The gang had been operating in the Northside since 2002; in 2003, it formed an alliance with the Brighton Place Crips to expand the gang’s drug trafficking territory and increase the gang’s capability for violence.
The Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang maintains exclusive control over drug trafficking in these neighborhoods through continuous violence and intimidation of rivals and witnesses. Members of the gang support each other through payment of attorneys’ fees and bonds, as well as payments to jail commissary accounts and support payments to incarcerated members’ families.
In addition, the Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang maintains an ongoing feud with the Manchester Original Gangsters, a criminal street gang located in the Manchester area of the Northside Section of Pittsburgh. Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang members identify themselves by wearing blue, using Crips gang hand signals, and using phrases such as “Cuz,” “C-Safe,” “Loc,” and “G.K.” According to court documents, members and associates of the gang gain greater authority and prestige within the gang based upon their reputation for violence and their ability to obtain and sell a steady supply of illegal drugs.
According to court documents, Gibson was considered a respected member of the gang who sold narcotics and taught other members how to successfully distribute narcotics. Gibson was involved in the distribution of heroin, and possessed firearms in connection with the enterprise’s criminal activities.
Gibson is one 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, 16 members 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 ATF; the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police; the Allegheny County, Penn., Police Department; and the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office.