Alleged Gang Member Faces Federal Murder in Aid of Racketeering Charges for 2004 Shootout in North Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nev. – A third Las Vegas man has been indicted on federal racketeering and violent crime charges in relation to the September 2004 shootout outside a North Las Vegas apartment complex that left one man dead and a woman injured, announced Greg Brower, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Charles Richard, Jr., aka "Chuck" and "Lil Cheese," 21, is charged in an Indictment returned on September 23, 2008, with one count of committing murder in aid of a racketeering enterprise, seven counts of using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, one count of conspiracy to murder in aid of a racketeering enterprise, two counts of attempted murder in aid of a racketeering enterprise, and three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of a racketeering enterprise.
Richard was originally arrested and charged as a juvenile. In 2008, pursuant to federal law, Richard was transferred to adult status. Federal statutes allow for juveniles to be transferred to adult status and prosecuted in U.S. District Courts for certain crimes of violence or controlled substance offenses upon motion by the Attorney General, and if the Court finds such transfer would be in the interest of justice.
"The U.S. Attorney's Office will use the full force of federal laws to prosecute individuals who join gangs for the purpose of committing violent crime and drug trafficking offenses," said U.S. Attorney Brower. "As this case demonstrates, even if you are a juvenile, if you commit a crime of violence, you can be charged and prosecuted as an adult in the federal system."
The court records allege that Richard is a member of "Squad Up," a coalition of various Las Vegas street gangs, including the Gerson Park Kingsmen, which formed in about 2003 to expand turf and enlarge drug trafficking operations in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas. It is alleged that members of Squad Up committed acts of violence, including murder, assault, and home invasion robberies, and trafficked in crack cocaine, marijuana, and guns.
The charges against Richard stem from a September 13, 2004 ambush-style attack on a group of people at the Buena Vista Apartments complex in North Las Vegas. It is alleged that Richard and other members of "Squad Up" stormed the apartment complex donning black hooded sweatshirts and shooting randomly into crowds gathered outside enjoying the fall weather. It is alleged that members of the gang intended to kill Jarbirey Carter over a drug turf dispute, but instead shot and killed Gilbert Henry. Bullets also whizzed through an apartment and struck a woman who was baby-sitting three children. Members of the gang were allegedly upset that several New Orleans residents had moved into the apartment complex and threatened to take over their drug-dealing turf.
Richard is charged with the premeditated murder of Gilbert Henry, the attempted murders of Jarbirey Carter and Paul Marigny and the shooting Trista Johnson, all for the purpose of maintaining and increasing his position in Squad Up. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday, October 3, 2008, at 8:30 a.m. If convicted, he faces a term of life imprisonment on the Racketeering Murder charge, up to 100 years in prison on the other violent crime charges, and up to 160 years in prison on the gun charges.
Earlier this year, two other members of Squad Up, Donnie Bryant and Jonathan Toliver, were convicted in separate trials of murder in aid of racketeering and other charges for their roles in the September 13, 2004 attack, and were sentenced to life imprisonment.
The case was investigated by the FBI, North Las Vegas Police Department, and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen Bliss.
The public is reminded that an Indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.