North Carolina Bloods Gang Member Sentenced to Prison for Racketeering Conspiracy
A North Carolina member of the Nine Trey Gangsters set of the United Blood Nation (UBN or Bloods) street gang, who was convicted of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) conspiracy, was sentenced yesterday to more than 17 years in prison. Seventy four defendants have now either pleaded guilty or been convicted at trial from this investigation, and 65 have been sentenced.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney R. Andrew Murray for the Western District of North Carolina and Special Agent in Charge John A. Strong of the FBI’s Charlotte Field Office, made the announcement.
Shamon Movair Goins, aka Rugie, 28, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was sentenced by Chief Judge Frank D. Whitney to serve 210 months in prison. Goins pleaded guilty on Aug. 22, 2018 to RICO conspiracy. According to court documents and evidence presented at sentencing, Goins was a local UBN leader, holding the rank of Four-Star General. Goins trafficked firearms and drugs for the gang, and participated in two different conspiracies to commit murder, including one in 2010 that resulted in the death of the victim.
“Today’s sentence sends an unmistakable message to Bloods members in North Carolina: gang activity, especially violent crime, will make you a priority target of the Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski. “With 74 defendants now judged guilty, the Department of Justice’s pursuit of the Nine Trey Gangsters continues to disrupt and weaken this violent prison and street gang, and serves as a testament to the effectiveness of federal, state, and local law enforcement cooperation.”
“This was a local gang leader who conspired with others to murder those who broke the rules of the gang,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “With yet another violent offender behind bars, my office continues our work to dismantle criminal enterprises and to protect the people of the Western District from violent street gangs.”
According to court documents and evidence presented at the May 2018 trial, the UBN is a violent criminal street gang operating throughout the east coast of the United States since it was founded as a prison gang in 1993. UBN members are often identified by their use of the color red, and can also often be identified by common tattoos or burn marks. Examples include: a three-circle pattern, usually burned onto the upper arm, known as a “dog paw”; the acronym “M.O.B.,” which stands for “Member of Bloods”; the words “damu,” or “eastside”; the number five; the five-pointed star; and the five-pointed crown. UBN members have distinct hand signs and written codes, which are used to identify other members and rival gang members. The Nine Trey Gangster set of the UBN refer to themselves as “Billies.”
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, the UBN is governed by a common set of 31 rules, known as “The 31,” which were originally written by the founders of the UBN. Members of the UBN are expected to conduct themselves and their illegal activity according to rules and regulations set by their leaders. Prominent among these is a requirement to pay monthly dues to the organization, often in the amounts of $31 or $93. A percentage of these funds are transferred to incarcerated UBN leadership in New York; these funds also are used locally to conduct gang business. UBN gang dues are derived from illegal activity performed by subordinate UBN members including narcotics trafficking, robberies, wire fraud, and bank fraud, among other forms of illegal racketeering activity. The Nine Trey Gangsters’ leadership proceeds in rank, from lowest to highest, from “Scrap,” “One-Star General” through “Five‑Star General,” “Low,” “High,” and “Godfather.”
In all, 74 defendants have been adjudicated guilty in this case, including three defendants who were found guilty at trial; 71 defendants have pleaded guilty in this investigation. Thirteen defendants in high-ranking leadership positions have been sentenced.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI; the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department; the Shelby Police Department; the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office; the Gastonia Police Department; the North Carolina State Highway Patrol; the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office; the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice; the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles; the U.S. Federal Probation; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the IRS Criminal Investigation; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command; and the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Office of Special Investigations. Trial Attorneys Andrew L. Creighton and Beth Lipman of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matt Warren and Christopher Hess for the Western District of North Carolina are prosecuting the case.
This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program. OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.