News and Press Releases

Career Criminal Dealt Crack Cocaine; Pleaded Guilty in 1999 Shooting of Teenager

December 1, 2006

LIONEL IRVING, aka “Mo,” 26, of Tacoma, Washington was sentenced today to 17 years in prison and five years of supervised release for Distribution of Cocaine Base, Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base, and Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine. IRVING is the last of ten members of a gang dubbed the Seven Deuce Mob to be sentenced in connection with an investigation by the Pierce County Violent Crimes Task Force. As part of the resolution of this case, IRVING also pleaded guilty to First Degree Manslaughter in Pierce County Superior Court on November 29, 2006 in connection with the 1999 shooting death of 14-year-old Tommy Brock. IRVING’s 147 month sentence for Manslaughter will run concurrent with his 17 year (204 months) federal sentence.

According to records filed in the case, IRVING was a major distributor of crack cocaine for the Seven Deuce Mob. IRVING would buy cocaine from two other members of the gang, cook it into crack, and then sell it for a profit. IRVING and other Seven Deuce Mob members were arrested July 13, 2004 following a lengthy investigation by the Pierce County Violent Crimes Task Force. Besides establishing that the group was distributing several kilograms of cocaine and crack cocaine per week in the greater Tacoma area, that investigation further linked IRVING to the 1999 homicide of Tommy Brock being investigated by the Tacoma Police Department.

Tommy Brock was standing on a corner in the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma with several Hilltop Crips (a rival gang of the Mob) on the evening of August 25, 1999. As another Seven Deuce Mob member drove a car belonging to IRVING past the group, IRVING popped up in the passenger seat and started shooting. Tommy Brock was not the intended target, but IRVING admitted he fired the shot that killed Brock. The Seven Deuce Mob was also implicated in a series of drive-by shootings in the spring of 1999, all of which were in retaliation for the March 1999 shooting death of one of their cohorts, Donald Means, a cousin of LIONEL IRVING, by a Hilltop Crip.

The killing of Tommy Brock was one of the primary reasons that the Pierce County Violent Crimes Task Force focused its attention on the Seven Deuce Mob. With today’s final sentencing, the following members of the gang are doing significant prison time:

Titus Bride, aka “Doughboy,” sentenced to 228 months (19 years)
Tyrone Davis, aka “Ty Bud,” sentenced to 216 months (18 years)
James Williams, aka “Melly Mel,” sentenced to 135 months (11 years, 3 months)
Dominic Butler, aka “Domino,” sentenced to 120 months (10 years)
Kevin Harvey, aka “Green Eyes,” sentenced to 120 months (10 years)
Timothy Dillon, sentenced to 97 months (8 years, 1 month)
Leonard Irving, aka “Neckbone,” sentenced to 60 months (5 years)
Ethen Means, sentenced to 60 months (5 years)
Brandy Pittman, sentenced to 38 months (3 years, 2 months)

In asking U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton for the lengthy sentence, prosecutors noted that getting the gang off the street had made Tacoma a safer place. “Law enforcement officers correctly believed that this group’s devotion to drug dealing and violence would continue to put the citizens of Tacoma at risk, taking the lives of innocent bystanders such as Tommy Brock. Mr. Irving’s sentence will be an appropriate end to this chapter of Tacoma gang violence,” prosecutors wrote to the court.

As IRVING apologized during the hearing for his crimes, Judge Leighton asked him to turn around and look at his family and friends who were crying behind him, and told him that he should remember that it wasn’t just him who were hurt by his crimes and the punishment for them. Judge Leighton told IRVING, “There’s a better way to live a life,” and that “there are consequences for making bad choices and for preying on other people.”

The case was investigated by the Pierce County Violent Crimes Task Force, a multi-agency task force sponsored by the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with officers from the Tacoma Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Department of Corrections, and Lakewood Police Department participating in the investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Gregory A. Gruber and Mike Lang.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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