Alleged “Zone 4” Gang Members Charged In Peoria’s “Don’t Shoot” Anti-Violence Initiative
Peoria, Ill. – This afternoon, 12 more alleged members of a rival Peoria street gang, known as “Zone 4,” are to appear in court on federal charges in the second round-up under the “Don’t Shoot” anti-violence strategy. One year ago, 12 members of the “Bomb Squad” were the first to face similar federal charges in Peoria’s “Don’t Shoot” anti violence strategy.
U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis, Central District of Illinois, and Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis were joined by representatives of local and federal law enforcement agencies, along with others working in support of the ‘Don’t Shoot’ initiative, to announce the indictment. The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Peoria Police Department and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force. The case is being prosecuted in the Peoria Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office by Assistant U.S. Attorney K. Tate Chambers.
The indictment was returned by the grand jury last week and sealed pending the arrest of several defendants this past weekend. Those charged are: Alan Fitzpatrick, 34; Aeiral Yarbrough, 25; Daryl McGee, 24; Sam Carpenter, 24; Willie Breedlove, 22; Michael Costic, 24; Shawn Joiner, 28; Jermaine Jones, 30; Deonta White, 24; Tyrell Logan, 26; Robert Nathan, 25; and, Tristan Shelton, 23, all of Peoria, Ill.
The indictment alleges that the 12 men are members and associates of a drug trafficking and violent criminal street gang, as defined by federal criminal statute; that the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to use, carry and possess firearms in relation to and to further a drug conspiracy; and, that they conspired to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute controlled substances, including cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin and marijuana, from about 2005 to the present.
The indictment alleges that “Zone 4,” and its associated subgroups, the “P-Stones” and “4 Corner Hustlers,” operated as a criminal street gang, an ongoing group or association of five or more that has as one of its primary purposes the commission of one or more criminal offenses, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, whose members were engaged within the past five years in a continuing series of offenses and the activities affected interstate commerce.
According to the indictment, from 2005 to the present, “Zone 4” and its subgroups, functioned as a continuing unit for a common purpose to achieve the gang’s objectives: acquiring money and other things of value through the trafficking and distribution of drugs, including cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin and marijuana, and committing acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, carrying and using firearms, and possession of firearms.
Violent acts were allegedly committed, among other purposes: to protect the gang’s territory from encroachment by other gangs to allow associates and members to freely engage in criminal activities, including distribution of controlled substances; to enrich its members by acquiring cash, guns, drugs, and other property; to enforce discipline and loyalty among the gang; to protect the gang from retaliation by others as well as detection, apprehension and prosecution by law enforcement; and to promote and enhance the reputation and standing of the gang, its members and associates.
If convicted, for conspiracy to use, carry, and possess firearms in relation to and in furtherance of a drug conspiracy, the statutory penalty is up to 20 years in prison. For the offense of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute controlled substances, the penalty is five to 40 years in prison; if a defendant has one or more prior felony drug convictions, the enhanced statutory penalty is 10 years to life in prison.
If convicted as a member of a criminal street gang, defendants Fitzpatrick, Yarbrough, Carpenter, Joiner, White, Nathan, and Shelton, face enhanced sentencing penalties of up to 10 years in prison in addition to any other prison term, because, according to the indictment, each has been convicted within the past five years of requisite offenses to be subject to the penalty provision of this federal statute.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.