Pittsburgh Crips Member And Associate Plead Guilty For Roles In Illegal Gang Activity
Additional Pittsburgh Crips Gang Member Sentenced to Prison
WASHINGTON - A Crips gang member and associate each pleaded guilty today in federal court in Pittsburgh to racketeering charges, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department's Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton of the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Jamar Pharr, 27, of Pittsburgh, aka "Brownway," pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in a racketeering enterprise before Senior U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond in the Western District of Pennsylvania. Devon Shealey, 25, of Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty before Judge Diamond to one count of violence in aid of racketeering.
In addition, yesterday Karl Anger, 22, aka "K-Loc," was sentenced by Judge Diamond to 58 months in prison for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, consecutive to 72 months he is currently serving on a state court conviction for an aggravated assault shooting, for a total of 130 months in prison. The shooting was also charged in the federal indictment as part of the racketeering conspiracy. Anger pleaded guilty on Jan. 19, 2011, to the federal racketeering conspiracy charge.
According to court documents, members and associates of the gang participated in a pattern of racketeering activity that included robberies at gun point; attempted murders; distribution of heroin and crack cocaine; obstruction of justice and witness intimidation. The three defendants were members or associates of different gangs in the Northside area of Pittsburgh that formed an alliance in 2003 to expand the gang's drug trafficking territory and increase the gang's membership to better protect their territory and profits. Members of the gang, known as the Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips, maintained exclusive control over drug trafficking in these neighborhoods through continuous violence and intimidation of rivals and witnesses. Gang members supported each other through payment of attorneys' fees and bonds, as well as payments to jail commissary accounts and support payments to incarcerated members' families.
Gang members had violent confrontations with members of the rival Manchester OGs, and other street gangs operating in the Northside area of Pittsburgh. Members and associates obtained greater authority and prestige within the enterprise based on their reputation for violence and their ability to obtain and sell a steady supply of illegal drugs. According to court documents, the Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang members identify themselves by wearing blue, flashing Crips gang hand signals, and using phrases such as "Cuz," "C-Safe," "Loc" and "G.K."
According to court documents, Pharr was considered a respected member and leader in the enterprise. Pharr had a reputation for violence, and instructed other members and associates of the enterprise as to how to conduct the affairs of the enterprise, including how to possess and distribute firearms and controlled substances, and how to commit acts of violence and witness intimidation. Pharr also distributed controlled substances, including heroin.
According to Shealey's plea agreement, he was involved in shooting at a member of the Manchester OGs, in an effort to gain entry in the Crips gang. According to information presented at sentencing, Anger obstructed justice when he tried to convince the victim in his assault case not to testify.
At sentencing, Pharr and Shealey each face maximum prison sentences of 20 years. According to Shealey's plea agreement, his prison sentence on the VICAR charge to which he pleaded guilty will run concurrently with the 34 to 68 year sentence he is currently serving as a result of prior convictions for armed robbery, gun possession and witness intimidation. Shealey is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 19, 2011, at 11:00 a.m., and Pharr on Dec. 15, 2011, at 10:00 a.m.
Pharr, Shealey and Anger are three of 26 defendants charged in February 2010 with being members or associates of, and conducting racketeering activity through, the Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang. This prosecution resulted from a Project Safe Neighborhoods Task Force investigation that began in 2005. To date, 23 members or associates of the Brighton Place/ Northview Heights Crips who were charged in this indictment have pleaded guilty to racketeering charges.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles A. Eberle and Troy Rivetti of the Western District of Pennsylvania and Trial Attorney Kevin Rosenberg of the Criminal Division's Organized Crime and Gang Section. The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police; the Allegheny County, Penn., Police Department; and the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office.