News and Press Releases

Newport News Men Charged with Murder

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2013

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Antonio J. Fuller, 23, and Kevin L. Ashby, 25, both of  Newport News, Va., were indicted by a federal grand jury on June 17, 2013, for participating in a criminal organization that engaged in acts of violence, including five murders, as well as narcotics distribution and weapons violations.

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; FBI Special Agent in Charge Royce E. Curtin, and James D. Fox, Chief of Newport News Police, made the announcement after the court documents were filed.      

            According to the indictment, both defendants were alleged to be part of a criminal organization known locally as “Thug Relations,” alternatively known as “the Duct,” “Warwick Lawnz,” “TR,” and “from the Duct to the Lawnz,” a neighborhood gang operating in the Aqueduct Apartments, St. Michael’s Apartments, Mariner’s Landing Apartments, Heritage Trace Apartments, as well as Warwick Lawns, Warwick Town Home,  Sharon Drive, and the Savage Drive areas of Newport News, Virginia. The alleged gang members are accused in the indictment of protecting their criminal enterprise and activities through murder, attempted murder, witness intimidation, robbery, and narcotics distribution. Specifically, both defendants are charged with operating a racketeering enterprise responsible for violent acts including the murders of Andre Horton and Andre Julius Johnson on May 17, 2009. In addition, Fuller is charged with the murder of Christian Hatch on November 4, 2009, and Kevin Ashby is charged with the murder and robbery of Lafayette Bailey on December 15, 2009, and the murder and robbery of Lloyd Robinson on January 8, 2010. The indictment also charges the two with the attempted murder of two other individuals injured during the murders of the named victims.

            To-date, the prosecution of  “Thug Relations” gang members has resulted in a total of forty-three (43) federal convictions for gang related violence and murder, including the recent plea by Aronte Jarvis for the murder of Jonte Terry in the Kmart parking lot in Newport News on February 3, 2008.

            This investigation was led by FBI and the Safe Streets Task Force, with assistance from the Newport News Police and the Virginia State Police.  Assistant United States Attorneys Howard J. Zlotnick and Lisa R. McKeel, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

The public is reminded that an indictment only contains charges and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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.justice.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 https://pcl.uscourts.gov.

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