News and Press Releases

RACKETEERING INDICTMENT CHARGES 17 TIED TO UNSOLVED HOMICIDES, DRUG TRAFFICKING, GUN CRIMES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2014
http://www.justice.gov/usao/ohs
CONTACT: Fred Alverson
Public Affairs Officer
(614) 469-5715

COLUMBUS – A federal grand jury has indicted 17 people in connection with a series of violent crimes including 12 unsolved murders as well as other attempted murders, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, extortion and robbery. The defendants are accused of being an organized criminal enterprise known as the Short North Posse. Eleven defendants could face the death penalty if convicted of the crimes in the indictment.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Kevin R. Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), James V. Allen, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Michael Boxler, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, and Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs announced the indictment, which was unsealed today following early morning efforts to arrest and locate the defendants.

The indictment alleges that beginning in 2005, members of the enterprise originally referred to themselves solely as the Short North Posse. Later some members began subsets of the Short North Posse referring to themselves as the Cut Throat Committee and later the Homicide Squad.  Still within the Short North Posse, Cut Throat Committee and Homicide Squad specialized in murders and robberies of rival gang members, other drug dealers, and targets thought to have large sums of cash or firearms. The Short North Posse also identified themselves nationally with the Crips street gang.

A list of those charged is below.

The indictment charges one or more of the defendants with 12 unsolved homicides, 23 attempted homicides, 41 violent felonies and 45 weapons offenses. The crimes occurred in Canal Winchester, Chillicothe, Columbus, Pataskala, Pickerington, and Zanesville, between 2005 and 2012.

The indictment is a result of a two-year long investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, DEA, ATF, Columbus Police, Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott’s Office, and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien’s Office. Fairfield County Prosecutor Gregg Marx, Licking County Prosecutor Kenneth Oswalt, Muskingum County Prosecutor D. Michael Haddox, Ross County Prosecutor Matthew S. Schmidt, law enforcement leaders from those counties, and officials of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction joined U.S. Attorney Stewart in announcing the charges.

“As part of the investigation, law enforcement set up a tip-line in February seeking information on unsolved murders in central Ohio,” U.S. Attorney Stewart said. “Because of public response and law enforcement determination and hard work, we’re announcing charges against people a grand jury alleges were responsible for 12 unsolved homicides.”

All defendants will appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge who will determine whether or not to hold them without bond until trial.

Stewart commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys David DeVillers and Kevin Kelley, as well as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jimmy Lowe with Franklin County Prosecutor O’Brien’s Office, who are prosecuting the case.

Charges contained in an indictment are allegations. All defendants should be presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

 

#   #   #


SNP
Cut Throat/Homicide Squad

No.

Name

Age

City of Residence

Counts

1

*Robert B. Ledbetter

  35

Columbus, Ohio

1, 4, 9, 10, 17, 18, and  19

2

*Lance A. Green

  34

Columbus, Ohio

1, 2, and 3

3

*Allen L. Wright

  28

Columbus, Ohio

1, 2, and 3

4

Tysin L. Gordon

  28

Columbus, Ohio

1

5

*Christopher A. Harris

  26

Columbus, Ohio

1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10

6

*Robert L. Wilson III

  25

Columbus, Ohio

1, 5, 6, 9, 10, 15, and16

7

*Rashad A. Liston

  25

Columbus, Ohio

1, 9, 10, 15, and 16

8

*Deounte Ussury

  29

Columbus, Ohio

1, 7, 8, and 11

9

Thomas E. Coates

  28

Columbus, Ohio

1

10

Ishmael Bowers

  32

Columbus, Ohio

13 and 14

11

*Joseph Hill

  30

Columbus, Ohio

1, 12, 13, 14, 22, and 23

12

Freddie K. Johnson

  28

Columbus, Ohio

1, 20, and 21

13

*Deshawn Smith

  27

Columbus, Ohio

1, 13, 14, 24, and 25

14

Lance Reynolds

  31

Columbus, Ohio

13 and 14

15

*Rastaman A. Wilson

  37

Columbus, Ohio

5 and 6

16

*Clifford L. Robinson

  36

Columbus, Ohio

5 and 6

17

Troy A. Patterson

  23

Columbus, Ohio

15 and 16

* indicates that they could face the death penalty

 

Count 1
Racketeering Conspiracy
18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)

0-life imprisonment
$250,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
5 yrs supv rel

Counts 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, and 17   
Murder in aid of racketeering
18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(1)

0-life imprisonment/death
$250,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
5 yrs supv rel

Counts 6, 8, 10, 14, and 16 
Murder through the use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime
18 U.S.C. § 924(C) and 924(j)

0-life imprisonment/death
$250,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
5 yrs supv rel

Count 18
Conspiracy to murder a witness
18 U.S.C. § 1512(k)

Life or death
$250,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
5 yrs supv rel

Count 19
Use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence
18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(iii)

10 years  - life imprisonment consecutive
$250,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
5 yrs supv rel

Count 20, 21, 22, and 24 
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
18 U.S.C. § 922(g)

0-10 years
$250,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
3 yrs supv rel

Count 23
Possession with intent to distribute cocaine
21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1)
21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C)

0-20 years
$1,000,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
3 yrs supv rel

Count 25
Possession with intent to distribute heroin
21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1)
21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C)

0-20 years
$1,000,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
3 yrs supv rel

 

 

 

 

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