News and Press Releases

Bounty Hunter Bloods Gang Member Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison

September 10, 2010

NORFOLK, Va. – Jamel Spaights, 28, of Portsmouth, Va., was sentenced today in Norfolk federal court to 50 years in prison for his role as a leader of a violent gang operating in Tidewater.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement today after sentencing by United States District Judge Jerome B. Friedman. 

“A leader of one of Tidewater’s most violent gangs will now spend most of his life behind bars,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “This gang infiltrated neighborhoods with drugs and kept them in fear through murder and violent intimidation. We will continue work with federal and local law enforcement partners to take gang members off our streets and make our citizens safer in their homes and communities.”

Spaights was one of the top two leaders of the Bounty Hunter Bloods / Nine Tech Gangster street gang that operated in various neighborhoods in Portsmouth, Suffolk and Chesapeake, Virginia.  In May of 2010, Spaights entered a guilty plea to one RICO count and one count of possessing a firearm during a crime of violence.  The RICO count includes various racketeering acts that Spaights participated in as a gang member.  The acts include conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.  Spaights was sentenced to 40 years for the RICO count and 10 years for the gun count.    

            According to court documents on October 16, 2006, Spaights and two others drove around the Craddock area of Portsmouth looking for someone who was a witness in the murder of Darius Powell.  Powell was killed by the gang because they suspected that he had participated in the robbery of gang members at a dice game in the Craddock area of Portsmouth, Virginia.  The witness was located by Spaights and they chased him down in their vehicle.  Spaights, who was armed with a 9mm handgun, shot at, but missed the witness.  During the chase, Spaights’ vehicle crashed into a residence and they fled from the scene.  In his haste to flee, Spaights dropped his firearm which was recovered by the Portsmouth Police.

            This case was investigated by the FBI, the Portsmouth and Suffolk Police Departments and the Virginia State Police.  Assistant United States Attorneys William Muhr and Melissa O’Boyle are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

                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 Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on



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