Las Vegas Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Murder
Las Vegas, Nev. – A Las Vegas street gang member has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder and using a firearm during a crime of violence for the attempted murder of a man that occurred during a shootout at the Buena Vista apartment complex in North Las Vegas on September 13, 2004, announced Greg Brower, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Charles Richard, Jr. 21, a member of the Las Vegas hybrid street gang known as "Squad Up," pleaded guilty on Thursday, July 9, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Philip M. Pro, to one count of Conspiracy to Murder in Furtherance of a Racketeering Enterprise, and one count of Discharging a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 28, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. The maximum penalty for the racketeering charge is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for the firearm charge is life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The plea agreement indicates that the parties have agreed that a sentence of 20 years in prison is a reasonable sentence for the defendant, who was 16 years old at the time of the crime.
According to the court records, Squad Up is a coalition of various traditional gangs, including the Gerson Park Kingsmen, that formed in the Las Vegas area in about 2003 to commit acts of violence and drug trafficking. Squad Up operated principally in places known locally as the Big Carey Arms, Little Carey Arms and 40 Block in North Las Vegas.
On September 13, 2004, Charles Richard, Jr., Jonathan Toliver, Donnie Bryant, and other members of Squad Up 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, between Carey Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard, in North Las Vegas. Witnesses saw Squad Up members passing out guns about a week before the attack, following an argument over drug turf. Bryant fired into the group of people first, causing them to flee into the gunfire of the other attackers. One person, Gilbert Henry, sustained a fatal shot to his side. Four other individuals were shot, including Jarbirey Carter and a woman babysitting in a nearby apartment who was shot in the hand as she shielded three small children from gunshots.
Toliver and Bryant were convicted last year of violence in aid of a racketeering enterprise for the murder of Gilbert Henry and the attempted murders of the other individuals shot during the attack, and were both 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 Attorneys Kathleen Bliss and Nancy J. Koppe.