North Carolina Gang Leaders Convicted of RICO Charges
Two North Carolina men were found guilty today for conspiracy to participate in a pattern of racketeering (RICO), two counts of murder in aid of racketeering, two counts of murder with a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to commit witness tampering.
Evidence presented at trial and other public documents established that Demetrice R. Devine, aka “Respect,” 37, of Garner, North Carolina, was the leader of the Black Mob Gangsters (BMG) and founder of the Donald Gee Family organization (DGF). The BMG/DGF are sets of the “Bloods” gang whose members committed various crimes in the city of Raleigh, North Carolina, and especially in the area of Haywood Street. Brandon Jowan Mangum, aka “B-Easy,” 31, of Knightdale, North Carolina, was another high-ranking member of the BMG/DGF. The BMG/DGF members committed acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline, both within the gang and against non-gang members. Members committed acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder and assaults in order to promote within the leadership structure of the gang.
BMG/DGF, including its leadership, members and associates, constituted an “enterprise” that constituted an ongoing organization, whose members functioned as a continuing unit for a common purpose of achieving the objectives of the enterprise. The enterprise was engaged in, and its activities affected, interstate and foreign commerce. The purpose of the BMG/DGF enterprise included the following:
- Preserving and protecting the power, territory, reputation, respect and profits of the enterprise through the use of intimidation, violence, threats of violence, assaults, murder and attempted murder;
- Promoting and enhancing the enterprise and its members’ and associates’ activities, including, but not limited to, murders, attempted murders, robberies, drug distribution and other criminal activities;
- Keeping the community and rivals in fear of the enterprise and its members and associates through violence and threats of violence;
- Providing financial support and information to gang members, including those incarcerated in the United States;
- Providing assistance to other gang members who committed crimes for and on behalf of the gang;
- Hindering, obstructing, and preventing law enforcement officers from identifying, apprehending, and successfully prosecuting and punishing members of the enterprise.
BMG/DGF also held gang meetings to communicate gang information, to recruit members, issue punishment and collect gang dues from each BMG/DGF member for the benefit of the BMG/DGF organization. A portion of the dues were saved and utilized locally in what was referred to as a “community rent box” (CRB) while another portion was sent up the chain of command to gang leadership. BMG/DGF members were permitted to earn their money for dues through various methods, including, but not limited to, robberies, fraud schemes, and drug distribution. The monies were used locally for loans to gang members, drug purchases to maintain drug houses, firearm purchases for gifts and cellular telephones for high-ranking members who were in jail. Individuals selling narcotics in and around Haywood Street who were not BMG/DGF members were also required to pay gang dues in order to continue their drug sales in territory controlled by BMG/DGF. Individuals who did not pay gang dues risked being robbed, assaulted or murdered.
In his leadership position, Devine directed members of his gang to shoot a rival gang member, Adarius Fowler, who died from gunshot wounds. He also ordered a gang member to shoot a person who provided information to law enforcement regarding the murder of Fowler. Devine presided over a “beat-in” gang initiation of a BMG/DGF gang member and personally assaulted another gang member whose loyalty he questioned. Devine conspired with other gang members to initiate and silence another individual believed to be cooperating with law enforcement.
Mangum along with other gang members conspired to shoot a rival gang member, Rodriguez Burrell, because he refused to pay money to BMG/DCF. Burrell was shot multiple times in the presence of his father and died of his wounds.
Devine and Mangum both sold drugs on behalf of BMG/ DGF. Specifically, the jury found Devine guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute more than 280 grams of cocaine base (crack), more than 500 grams of cocaine and a quantity of marijuana. Devine frequently provided drugs to lower ranking gang members for further distribution into the community. The jury found Mangum guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and marijuana.
Sentencing is scheduled for February 2020, before U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III.
The FBI and The Raleigh Police Department conducted the investigation. Trial Attorney Marty Woelfle of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dena King and Scott Lemmon prosecuted the case.