FBI Safe Streets Task Force Receives Project Safe Neighborhood Award for Outstanding Gang Investigation
Award Given by Justice Department for Case against 11 Dump Squad Members in March 2009
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Department of Justice today announced that the FBI Safe Streets Task Force in Newport News, Va., was one of 24 recipients of the annual Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Achievement Awards in a ceremony hosted by Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grindler at the PSN national conference in New Orleans. Recipients were chosen from a large pool of nominations submitted by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the nation.
“At its core, Project Safe Neighborhoods is built upon the commitment and personal integrity of individuals like those we honor today. This year’s awards celebrate and highlight the work that has been done that has truly made a difference,” said Acting Deputy Attorney General Grindler. “Led by our U.S. Attorneys, federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement and prosecutors are on the frontlines on the streets of America every day. We thank you for your service, and honor your success.”
The FBI’s task force in Newport News – which is comprised of agents from the FBI, Newport News Police Department and the Virginia State Police – received the “Outstanding Gang Investigation Award.” This was in recognition of its efforts to dismantle a violent criminal street gang known as the ADump Squad,@ which had overtaken the Ridley Circle, Harbor Homes and Dickerson Court areas of Newport News.
“We saw crime drop by 44 percent in 2009 when these violent gangsters were taken off the streets,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “These agents did an exceptional job of building a strong case against violent criminals who had terrorized the community for years. Their work isn’t done, though, and we continue to partner together to lock up violent gangs in Newport News.”
Always armed, the convicted members of the Dump Squad robbed other drug dealers of their cash and drugs, warred with members of rival gangs and tried to kill non-members who made the mistake of venturing into Dump Squad territory. By May 2008, the gang had become so emboldened that they shot into and a week later tried to burn down a police station that the Newport News Police Department placed in the Harbor Homes community to give law enforcement a foothold in Dump Squad territory.
In March 2009, a federal grand jury returned a 40-count indictment charging 11 gang members with conspiracy to engage in racketeering activity, murder in aid of racketeering activity, use of a firearm resulting in death, maiming, robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon and numerous counts of using firearms in relation to crimes of violence. The racketeering conspiracy enumerated 28 different crimes, including three murders and arson of the police station, as acts connected to the enterprise. All 11 co-defendants have since pled guilty and accepted responsibility for heinous violent crimes. All but one received sentences from 25 years to life in prison; one conspirator received seven years for being an accessory after the fact to murder.
To find out about more about PSN and its local programs, visit the PSN website at www.psn.gov.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.