|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||March 23, 2013|
Four Chicago Men Sentenced to Lengthy Federal
Prison Terms for Gun and Drug Crimes
CHICAGO — Four Chicago men were sentenced to lengthy federal prison terms after being convicted in three separate cases of various firearms and narcotics charges, federal law enforcement officials announced today. Each case demonstrates the constant efforts of federal agencies — in these three instances, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – working together with the Chicago Police Department, to investigate and prosecute the violent combination of gangs, guns and drugs throughout the city.
RASHOD BETHANY and RICKY LONG, principal members of Bethany’s Gangster Disciples “Killing Crew,” who created a “zone of brutality” to protect their distribution of crack cocaine on the city’s far south side, were sentenced yesterday to 25 years and 15 years, respectively.
Separately, MICHAEL HENDERSON was sentenced yesterday to 19 years and 7 months in prison as an Armed Career Criminal for illegal possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. And WILLIE STOKES, a member of the Four Corner Hustlers street gang, was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison as a career offender for illegal possession of two firearms and distribution of crack cocaine.
Bethany, 28, also known as “Fat Man,” and Long, aka “Li’l Ricky,” 32, both of Chicago, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber following a three-day hearing that began Monday in Federal Court. Both were arrested in May 2006 and later pleaded guilty to narcotics charges in connection with the operation of two drug houses, located at 12012 South Emerald and 11952 South Eggleston, in an area dubbed “Trigger Town.”
The government presented evidence and testimony detailing both defendants’ involvement in murders, attempted murders, and beatings of individuals, including other drug dealers, a witness to a drug-related shooting, and workers at their crack houses. A Chicago police detective testified that witnesses to violence attributed to Bethany and his crew often were too fearful to cooperate with police, preventing Bethany from ever being charged with any specific murders.
“The defendants instituted a regime of control and intimidation to make sure that they were able to sell their crack,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kruti Trivedi argued at the hearing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Garcia also represented the government.
In a separate case, Henderson, 49, of Chicago, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan to 235 months in prison after being convicted at trial in March 2012 of possessing a firearm as a previously convicted felon. On Aug. 10, 2010, Henderson and a passenger were driving around at night in the area near West Diversey and North Sacramento on the city’s west side. Henderson had a loaded gun and his passenger was carrying heroin packaged for sale. Chicago Police officers stopped Henderson for committing a traffic violation and saw a gun on the driver’s seat. Henderson’s 10 prior convictions, including aggravated battery and drug trafficking, qualified him as an Armed Career Criminal under federal law, subjecting him to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office referred Henderson’s case for federal prosecution as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods because of the likelihood of a more substantial sentence in Federal Court. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrianna Kastanek, Patrick King, and Julie Porter.
In the third case, WILLIE STOKES, 37, aka “Flukey,” of Chicago, was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 years in prison by Judge Leinenweber after pleading guilty last October to being a felon-in-possession of a firearm, making him a career offender under federal law. Stokes, a member of the Four Corner Hustlers street gang, admitted that he sold two firearms and an ounce of crack cocaine to an undercover ATF agent in 2009. After serving a state sentence for shooting a man in the head, Stokes was warned that any subsequent firearms offense could subject him to federal prosecution. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew DeVooght.
The sentences were announced by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Larry Ford, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of ATF; and Garry McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department
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