News and Press Releases

Pittsburgh Crip Sentenced To 10 Years On Racketeering Charges

May 25, 2011

WASHINGTON ‑ Maurice Wallace, a member of the Northview Heights/ Brighton Place Crips, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison in federal court on charges of conspiring to conduct a racketeering enterprise, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer and U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton of the Western District of Pennsylvania announced today.

Maurice Wallace, 22, a/k/a "Reese," pleaded guilty on January 27, 2011 to one count of conspiracy to engage in a racketeering conspiracy before Senior U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond.

According to the guilty plea, Wallace and others participated in a pattern of racketeering activity that included multiple acts involving gun point robberies; attempted murders; distribution of controlled substances, including cocaine, heroin and crack cocaine; and acts of obstruction of justice and intimidation.

According to Court documents, Wallace was a member of the Brighton Place Crips, a criminal street gang that controlled an area of Brighton Place, Morrison Street, also known as the Mad Cave, and Federal Street in the Northside area of Pittsburgh.  The Brighton Place Crips were formed in the early 1990's and in or around 2003, it formed an alliance with the Northview Heights/Fineview Crips.  This alliance expanded the gang's drug trafficking territory, and increased the number of members and associates of the enterprise available to preserve and protect the power, territory, and profits of the enterprise through violence.

The gang maintains exclusive control over drug trafficking in these neighborhoods through continuous violence and intimidation of rivals and witnesses. Members of the gang support each other through payment of attorneys' fees, bond, jail commissary accounts and support of incarcerated members' families.  In addition, members of the enterprise had violent confrontations with members of the rival Manchester OG's, and other street gangs operating in the Northside Section of Pittsburgh.  Members and associates obtained greater authority and prestige within the enterprise based upon 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."

Wallace is one of the 26 defendants charged in February 2010 with being members 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, more than half of the Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips members 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.

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