Las Vegas Street Gang Member Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Federal Racketeering, Murder, and Firearm Offenses
Las Vegas, Nev. – A Las Vegas man was sentenced to life imprisonment today following his jury convictions for murder, attempted murder, assault and firearms offenses, announced Gregory A. Brower, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Jonathon Toliver, aka "K-Boose," 23, a member of a Las Vegas criminal street gang, known as "Squad Up," was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Philip M. Pro. Toliver was convicted by a jury in March of Violence in Aid of Racketeering Enterprise - Murder; Use of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence; Conspiracy to Murder; Attempted Murder; and Assault With a Dangerous Weapon.
Toliver's co-defendant, Donnie Bryant, aka "Little Donnie," 19, was convicted in February of the same charges, and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 21, 2008.
"Jonathon Toliver planned and executed a vicious ambush with fellow gang members resulting in the death of Gilbert Henry, causing permanent injury to a young woman who was babysitting a toddler and infant, and creating a grave risk of harm or death to numerous individuals in an apartment complex," said U.S. Attorney Brower. "This sentence should send the message that membership in a violent street gang is a ticket to federal prison."
According to the indictment, Squad Up is a coalition of various traditional gangs that came together to enlarge their territory within the Las Vegas Valley. Evidence at trial showed that the group was formed in early 2003 and its founders, including Toliver, recruited heavily at Cheyenne High School. It was proven to the jury that Squad Up was a criminal organization and enterprise, and that its purpose included the enrichment of its members through drug trafficking, primarily crack cocaine and marijuana; preserving and protecting the power, territory and profits of the enterprise through violence and intimidation; and protecting members of the enterprise from detection and prosecution. Members committed murder, assault, robbery, burglary and home invasion robbery to obtain guns and cash to expand and finance the enterprise's operations.
On September 13, 2004, Toliver and other members of Squad Up, including Bryant, organized an ambush-style attack on a group of people who were visiting outside of their homes during the evening hours. The attack occurred at the Buena Vista Apartments, an apartment complex in North Las Vegas between Carey Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Witnesses testified that they saw Bryant and other Squad Up members passing out guns days before the attack, after they had argued with an individual from New Orleans. Witnesses also testified that Squad Up members had been trafficking drugs in the apartment complex and they acted as a result of a drug turf dispute with the individual from New Orleans, whose cousin, Gilbert Henry, was fatally shot. A woman, baby-sitting two toddlers and an infant in a nearby apartment, sustained permanent injury to her hand as a result of a bullet shattering a window and flying into the apartment. The evidence revealed that Bryant fired into the group of people first, causing them to flee into the gunfire of Toliver and another attacker. One witness testified that all of the gang members were dressed in "grim reaper" black.
The case was investigated by the FBI, North Las Vegas Police Department, and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kathleen Bliss and Nancy J. Koppe.