Pittsburgh Crips Gang Members Sentenced to Prison for Racketeering Charges
WASHINGTON – Two members of the Pittsburgh Crips criminal enterprise were sentenced yesterday in federal court to 154 and 120 months in prison, respectively, on charges of conspiring to conduct a racketeering enterprise, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton of the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Terrance Clark, 22, aka “Doo Wop,” was sentenced to 154 months in prison and three years of supervised release and Lamon Street, 20, aka “M-Dot,” was sentenced to 120 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Clark and Street each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in a racketeering conspiracy earlier this year.
According to the guilty plea, Clark, Street and others participated in a pattern of racketeering activity that included multiple acts involving gun point robberies; attempted murders; drug distribution, including cocaine, heroin and crack cocaine; and obstruction of justice and witness intimidation.
According to court documents, Clark was a member of the Northview Heights/ Fineview Crips, a criminal street gang operating out of the Northview Heights public housing facility in the Northside neighborhood, and in the nearby Fineview neighborhood. The gang had been operating in Northside since 2002, when in 2003 it formed an alliance with the Brighton Place Crips to expand the gang’s drug trafficking territory and increase the gang’s capability for violence. Street was a member of the Brighton Place Crips, a criminal street gang that controlled an area of Brighton Place and Morrison Street, also known as the Mad Cave, and Federal Street in the Northside area of Pittsburgh.
The Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang maintains exclusive control over drug trafficking in these neighborhoods through continuous violence and intimidation of rivals and witnesses. Members of the gang support each other through payment of attorneys’ fees, bond, jail commissary accounts and support of incarcerated members’ families.
In addition, the Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang maintains an ongoing feud with the Manchester Original Gangsters, a criminal street gang located in the Manchester area of the Northside Section of Pittsburgh. Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang members identify themselves by wearing blue, using Crips gang hand signals, and using phrases such as “Cuz,” “C-Safe,” “Loc,” and “G.K.” Members and associates of the enterprise obtained greater authority and prestige within the enterprise based upon their reputation for violence and their ability to obtain and sell a steady supply of illegal drugs.
According to court documents, Clark and Street each acted as a “hustler” or distributor of heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine for the gang. Clark also acted as a “soldier” or enforcer for the gang, providing protection for the enterprise through the commission of violent crimes.
Also yesterday, co-defendant Hosea Ghafoor was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Clark, Street and Ghafoor are among 26 defendants charged in February 2010 with being members of, and conducting racketeering activity through, the Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang. This prosecution resulted from a Project Safe Neighborhoods Task Force investigation that began in 2005. To date, all members of the Brighton Place/ Northview Heights Crips who were charged in this indictment have pleaded guilty to racketeering charges.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles A. Eberle and Troy Rivetti of the Western District of Pennsylvania and Trial Attorney Kevin L. Rosenberg of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section. The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police; the Allegheny County, Penn., Police Department; and the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office.