Thug Relations Gang Member Convicted of Racketeering Conspiracy and Multiple Murders
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Antonio J. Fuller, 23, of Newport News, Va., was convicted yesterday by a federal jury of participating in a racketeering conspiracy, murder and attempted murder in aid of racketeering, firearm charges and a drug conspiracy involving crack cocaine.
The racketeering conspiracy included the murders of Andre Horton and Andre Julius Johnson on May 17, 2009 and the murder of Christian Hatch on Nov. 4, 2009, as well as the attempted murder of other individuals occupying Hatch’s apartment at Mariner’s Landing in Newport News. The murder of Christian Hatch involved rival gang members.
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 the verdict was accepted by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.
Fuller was indicted on July 17, 2013, along with co-defendants Kevin Ashby and Mustafah Kalil Muhammad. According to court documents, Fuller, Ashby and Muhammad were part of a criminal organization known locally as “Thug Relations.” The gang members protected their criminal enterprise and activities through murder, attempted murder, witness intimidation, robbery and narcotics distribution.
Fuller faces a maximum penalty of life in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 27, 2014. Muhammad pleaded guilty in April 2014 and will be sentenced on July 23, 2014. Ashby pleaded guilty in March 2014 and was sentenced to life in prison on June 26, 2014.
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 Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt from the Organized Crime and Gang Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Section, are prosecuting the case.
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