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Rolling 60s Gang Member Gets 37 Years in Prison for Racketeering and Attempted Murder Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2005

Las Vegas, Nev. - Rolling 60s Crips gang member LELAND DEVINE BANKS, aka Lee-Macc, age 25, of Las Vegas, was sentenced to 450 months (37 ½ years) in prison today, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada. U.S. District Judge Kent J. Dawson handed down the sentence against BANKS who was convicted by a jury in October 2004 of five felony counts for the attempted murder of a rival gang member who had "disrespected" him. The counts included two counts of Violent Crime in Aid of Racketeering (one for attempted murder and another for assault with a dangerous weapon); two counts of Use of a Firearm During and In Relation To a Crime of Violence; and one count of Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

BANKS was facing up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the violent crime in aid of racketeering charges; up to 10 years in prison on the felon in possession charges; and a minimum of 10 years in prison on the use of the firearm during a crime of violence charges, which must run consecutively to any term of imprisonment imposed for the other charges. The jury also found that BANKS qualified for a gang enhancement under a federal statute, which allowed the judge to increase the sentence by up to10 years for the defendant's participation in the criminal street gang. There is no parole in the federal system, and defendants must serve their entire sentence except for a small amount of "good-time" they may be awarded by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

On January 6, 2004, BANKS, a "young rider"with the Rolling 60s Crips street gang, attempted to kill Kenny Gilmore, aka "Stay High," by firing six shots at him from the roof top of the Kimberly Place Apartments at 995 East Sierra Vista Drive in Las Vegas. BANKS used a .22 caliber bolt-action rifle to shoot at Gilmore who was located at the 7-11 convenience store across the street. BANKS attempted to murder Gilmore because BANKS thought that Gilmore's girlfriend had called him a "crab," a disrespectful and derogatory term for the Rolling 60s Crips gang. Gilmore did not cause his girlfriend to retract the slur, which made the disrespect worse. Additionally, several months prior to the January shooting, Gilmore had assaulted and injured BANKS by hitting him in the head. In order for BANKS to maintain or increase his position within the Rolling 60s Crips gang, BANKS was expected to attempt to kill Gilmore.

The Rolling 60's Crips is made up of a group of individuals who associate with each other for the purpose of committing crimes, such as illegal drug sales and armed robberies in an area of Las Vegas known as West Las Vegas. Gang members have threatened witnesses with arson, physical abuse and murder, and committed drive-by shootings of witnesses' cars and apartments to deter them from providing reports to law enforcement. They "jump in" new gang members, and teach them how to sell drugs and protect other gang members. They also operate drug houses or "spots," in apartments or hotel rooms for the purpose of selling drugs. They expect and require gang associates to retaliate against anyone who disrespects the gang.

"Although I believe it is a sad day for America when young persons are committed to prison for most of their life, Mr. Banks and the other 18 members/associates of the Rolling 60s who have now been convicted engaged in acts of violence and drug trafficking for the purpose of earning a profit and controlling territory, and need to be removed from the community," said U.S. Attorney Bogden. "It is very fortunate that Leland Banks did not injure or kill any of the individuals who were standing near the 7-11 store at which he shot. The United States Attorney's Office has made it a high priority to aggressively prosecute these individuals, and the numerous resources that have been dedicated by local, state and federal law enforcement to investigating these cases have been instrumental to the success of our prosecutions."

The investigation and prosecution of the members of the Rolling 60s street gang and their involvement in violent crime and drug trafficking in Clark County, Nevada, is the largest of its kind in the area, and has required the resources, coordination and cooperation of numerous federal, state and local agencies. Since the investigation began, 42 members or associates of the Rolling 60s and others have been indicted in United States District Court in Las Vegas, and 23 defendants have been convicted thus far. Numerous others have been charged and convicted in the 8th Judicial District Court in Clark County and prosecuted by the Clark County District Attorney's Office.

The federal cases are being investigated by the FBI's Violent Crime Squad, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Henderson Police Department, and the North Las Vegas Police Department, and are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathleen Bliss and Russell Marsh.

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