Detroit One Collaboration Leads to 30-Year Sentence of Major Gang Leader for Violent Racketeering Crimes
The leader of the Bounty Hunter Bloods violent street gang was sentenced to 30 years in prison today, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced.
McQuade was joined in the announcement by Robin Shoemaker, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Detroit Police Chief James Craig, whose departments led the investigation as part of the Detroit One collaboration.
U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds sentenced Ramiah Jefferson, 27, of Detroit, a/k/a “Nightmare,” following his conviction at trial in August for racketeering conspiracy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Jefferson directed the murder and attempted murders of rival street gang members, furnished guns and encouraged gang members to commit violent crimes and narcotics trafficking.
Evidence at trial showed that the Bounty Hunter Bloods operated primarily in northwest Detroit, but their illegal activities extended outside of Michigan from California to North Carolina. Their crimes included murders, carjackings, armed robberies, drive-by-shootings, home invasions, arsons and witness intimidation.
“The Detroit One partners are working to reduce violent crime through gang prevention and intervention, but sometimes enforcement actions like this one are necessary,” McQuade said. “When street gangs commit violent acts and endanger innocent victims, we will use the full force of the law to remove them from our neighborhoods.”
“ATF’s primary mission is to protect our neighborhoods from violent organized street gangs,” said S. Robin Shoemaker, ATF Special Agent in Charge. “The significant federal sentences of the Bounty Hunter Bloods street gang leaders are the result of Detroit One initiative, an ongoing cooperative federal and state effort to combat violent gang and gun violence. Violent crime plagues our communities in many ways, but the link to most is the illegal possession and use of firearms by prohibited individuals”.
Bounty Hunter members extensively used social media as a means of self-promotion and communication. Members posted photographs on their personal social networking sites that highlighted their affiliation with the Bounty Hunters as well as their gang-related accomplishments. For example, on December 27, 2010, Jefferson utilized Facebook to direct the murder or attempted murders of rival Avon Gangster gang members. Jefferson posted that his fellow Bounty Hunters needed to “knock them down one by one” and that it was “huntin’ season.” Bounty Hunter members also created rap songs, amplifying their allegiance to the gang. Members would post these songs, along with videos, photographs and messages on social networking sites to celebrate and project the violent culture of the gang.
Evidence at trial demonstrated that the way members advanced in the gang was by “putting in work,” which meant committing murders, robberies, carjackings, home invasions, drug-deals and other acts of violence against rival gangs. One of these carjackings and murders occurred when members of the Bounty Hunter Bloods attempted to carjack a vehicle outside of a CVS pharmacy on Schaefer Road in February 2014. That carjacking led to the murder of the CVS security guard, Courtney Meeks, when he attempted to prevent the carjacking of a mother and her infant son. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office successfully prosecuted Jamare Rucker and Jeremy Jackson, both Bounty Hunter members, with both men receiving 33-60 year sentences for second degree murder and a consecutive two years for felony firearm convictions.
Evidence at trial also established that the Bounty Hunter Bloods were responsible for the murder of Marquise Robinson, a young man who was brutally murdered by members of this street gang because it was believed that he refused to come to the aid of a Bounty Hunter member, David Lamar Gay. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office successfully prosecuted the main shooter, Jayjuan Watts, who is now serving a life sentence for his crime. The U.S. Attorney’s Office successfully prosecuted David Lamar Gay for his role in the murder as part of this current prosecution.
In addition to Jefferson, the following Bounty Hunter Blood members were convicted and sentenced:
Evan Johnson, 24, of Detroit, a/k/a “Unkle Murda,” convicted of RICO conspiracy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment;
Alexander Deshawn George, 20, of Detroit, a/k/a “Bullet,” convicted of RICO conspiracy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment;
David Lamar Gay, 22, of Toledo, Ohio, a/k/a “Glock,” convicted of murder in aid of racketeering and sentenced to 17 ½ years’ imprisonment;
Drakkar Beral Cunningham, 25, of Detroit, a/k/a “Rellz,” convicted of RICO conspiracy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment;
Everette Ramon George, 21, of Detroit a/k/a “Klout,” convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and sentenced to four years, nine months’ imprisonment;
Mario Garnes, 28, of Detroit, a/k/a “Bloodhound,” convicted of RICO conspiracy and sentenced to 42 months’ imprisonment; and
Gerald Deshawn Turner, 25, of Detroit, a/k/a “G-Red,” convicted of RICO conspiracy and sentenced to time served and three years of supervised release.
Marcus Andre Harvey, 23, of Detroit, a/k/a “Ceasar,” was also convicted of RICO conspiracy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 2, 2016.
This indictment stems from the Detroit One initiative—a combined effort between law enforcement and the community to reduce homicide and other violent crime in Detroit. By working collaboratively, local, state and federal law enforcement seek to identify and arrest individuals and groups initiating violence in Detroit. Since Detroit One started in 2013, this effort has had led to significant indictments, convictions and sentences against a number of street gangs who are responsible for much of the violent crime in Detroit, including members of Latin Counts, Vice Lords and others, and a reduction in homicide and violent crime in Detroit.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Eric Doeh, Andrew Goetz and Eaton Brown.