News and Press Releases

Newport News Gang Member Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2014

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Kevin L. Ashby, 25, of Newport News, Virginia, was sentenced today to life in prison for participating in a May 2009 murder, along with a concurrent sentence of 40 years for participating in the Thug Relations gang, which engaged in narcotics distribution, weapons violations and multiple acts of violence, including several murders, in the Newport News area.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Royce E. Curtin, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; and Richard W. Myers, Chief of Newport News Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.

According to court documents, Ashby, and his co-defendant Antonio Fuller, were part of a criminal organization known locally as “Thug Relations.”  Ashby pleaded guilty on March 12, 2014, and admitted to participating in a criminal enterprise that engaged in murders, attempted murder, witness intimidation, robberies and narcotics distribution.  Specifically, Ashby admitted to participating in the murders of Andre Horton and Andre Julius Johnson on May 17, 2009, the murder and robbery of Lafayette Bailey on Dec. 15, 2009, and the murder and robbery of Lloyd Robinson on Jan. 8, 2010.

The Thug Relations gang is alternatively known as “the Duct,” “Warwick Lawnz,” “TR,” and “from the Duct to the Lawnz,” and it operates as a neighborhood gang in the Aqueduct Apartments, St. Michael’s Apartments, Mariner’s Landing Apartments and Heritage Trace Apartments, as well as the Warwick Lawns, Warwick Town Home, Sharon Drive and Savage Drive areas of Newport News.

Ashby’s co-defendant, Antonio Fuller, is set to begin trial on July 1, 2014.  Ashby’s conviction raises to 44 the total number of Thug Relations gang members convicted in the Eastern District of Virginia for gang-related murder, narcotics distribution and other violence.

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 U.S. Attorneys Howard J. Zlotnick and Lisa R. McKeel, and Trial Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt of the Organized Crime and Gang Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:13-cr-72.

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