Four members of LSP street gang sentenced to prison
Four LSP street gang member were sentenced today for their roles in a racketeering conspiracy (RICO) that used violence, including attempted murder, to control territory and sell heroin, cocaine and other drugs, announced Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer; Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio; and Stephanie R. Shoemaker, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (AFT) Columbus Field Division.
U.S. District Judge Nugent sentenced Daquann Hackett to 37 years in prison, Derrick Johnson Jr. to 65 years; Terrance Machen Jr. to more than nine years and Edward Campbell to 7 ½ years in prison.
“Years ago the racketeering laws were used to dismantle the mafia in Youngstown, and like the mob, LSP was also a criminal enterprise that used violence and shootings to control their turf,” Dettelbach said. “Our office has made combating gun violence in the Mahoning Valley a priority, and this case is an example of that commitment.”
“ATF will continue to work side by side with our federal, state, county, and local law enforcement counterparts to investigate and ensure that organizations such as the LSP are held accountable for their criminal actions,” Shoemaker said.
On June 28, 2012, Hackett, 22, Johnson, 22, Machen, 21, and Campbell, 21, all of Youngstown, Ohio, were convicted by a jury in the Northern District of Ohio of conspiring to form and operate a racketeering enterprise, the LSP street gang. Hackett and Johnson were identified as leaders of LSP.
Eighteen other people previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to form and operate a racketeering enterprise following an indictment in March 2011.
Hackett, Johnson, Machen and Campbell were convicted of participating in a conspiracy that lasted at least eight years and involved crimes including several attempted murders, conspiracy to commit murder, witness tampering, retaliation, firearms trafficking and drug trafficking. According to court documents, LSP used violence to guard its drug distribution territory, intimidate rival gangs and others, retaliate against those who cooperated with law enforcement and expand its power and reputation. Witnesses testified at trial that LSP members were expected to carry, share and use firearms as part of the gang and often wore bullet proof vests.
At trial, witnesses testified that in March 2009, LSP gang members in two cars committed a drive by shooting against an individual rival of the enterprise. According to trial testimony, LSP members used several firearms, including two shotguns, to fire into the rival’s home; one victim was shot in the head, and another victim was shot in the foot. Johnson was convicted of attempted murder in aid of a racketeering enterprise related to this act.
Witnesses at trial testified that Hackett and Johnson both operated houses in LSP territory where enterprise members were permitted to sell crack cocaine. According to trial testimony, during one drug transaction with a confidential informant, Hackett and Johnson discovered a recording device, pistol whipped the informant and attempted to drag him out of the house and behind a garage to murder him. Hackett and Johnson were both convicted of attempted murder in aid of a racketeering enterprise related to this act.
Hackett was convicted of 19 counts in addition to the RICO conspiracy, including violent crimes in aid of racketeering, use of a firearm in a crime of violence, distribution of narcotics, conspiracy to distribute narcotics and retaliation (attempted murder).
Johnson was convicted of seven counts in addition to the RICO conspiracy, including violent crimes in aid of racketeering, use of a firearm in a crime of violence, conspiracy to distribute cocaine base (crack) and retaliation.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel J. Riedl and Robert F. Corts and Trial Attorney Kevin Rosenberg of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section. The case was investigated by the ATF, with assistance from the Youngtown Police Department and the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office.