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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Detroit One Collaboration Leads to Guilty Plea of Latin Counts Gang Member for Racketeering Conspiracy

The Detroit One collaboration of local, state, and federal law enforcement has led to the twelfth and final guilty plea of a Latin Counts street gang member for racketeering conspiracy involving murder and attempted robbery, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider announced today.  

Defendant Kyle Voltz, 28, of Lincoln Park, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy in federal court in Ann Arbor before U.S. District Judge Judith Levy. Voltz faces 30 years in prison. 

According to the racketeering indictment, the Latin Counts gang operates in southwest Detroit and the downriver communities of Lincoln Park and Ecorse.  The indictment alleged that the Latin Counts committed murders, assaults, trafficking in drugs and stolen firearms, robberies, and breaking and entering homes and businesses.  The indictment alleged that the gang used violence to stake out its “turf” and to intimidate both rival gang members and the citizens of southwest Detroit.    

As part of his guilty plea, Voltz took responsibility for participating in the killing of Terrence McClearen and the shooting of another victim on August 18, 2013, and for assaulting and attempting to rob a different victim on April 29, 2014.  Three other Latin Counts gang members have already been sentenced for their roles in the murder of McClearen. 

Recently the head of the Latin Counts in Michigan, Isidro Garza, was sentenced in federal court to 10 years in prison for leading the gang while incarcerated in the Michigan Department of Corrections, where he was serving 25-50 years for a 1993 gang related homicide.

On January 29, 2018, Benjamin Beightol also pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.  He faces 10 years in prison.  As the “Minister of Information,” Beightol was responsible for leading the Latin Counts and disseminating Garza’s directions and messages to lower ranking Latin Counts gang members.

Under the Detroit One Initiative, and through the lead efforts of the Detroit Police Department and the FBI Violent Gangs Task Force, which consists of representatives of Homeland Security Investigations, Detroit Police Department, Lincoln Park Police Department, Michigan Department of Corrections, and Michigan State Police, investigators were able to merge separate probes of various members of this organization and its activities into one encompassing investigation. 

“The Detroit One partners are systematically and aggressively prosecuting the street gangs that cause violent crime in our neighborhoods,” Schneider said.  “Detroit is a safer place when violent gang members are off our streets and behind bars.”

"The significant arrests and prosecutions made by Detroit One make certain that the citizens of Detroit and the region can once again start to feel safe in their communities" said Chief James Craig. "We will maintain our focus and remain stead-fast in our pledge to bringing swift justice to all those who commit violent acts against our city." 

“The Detroit One’s unified approach to investigating violent street gangs such as the Latin Counts, exemplifies our ongoing commitment to rid our communities of these violent criminals”, said Timothy R. Slater, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Detroit

“This investigation highlights the effectiveness of the Detroit ONE initiative in bringing to justice street gangs whose pervasive criminal acts significantly diminish the quality of life in our communities," said Steve Francis, special agent in charge of HSI Detroit. "HSI will continue to aggressively target those responsible from contaminating our communities with a broad range of criminal activity."

Detroit One is a collaborative effort between law enforcement and the community to reduce homicides and other violent crimes in Detroit.  By working together, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies strive to maximize their ability to identify and arrest individuals and groups initiating violence in Detroit.  Since its launch in 2013, homicides are down 30% and non-fatal shootings are down 45%, when comparing the homicide and shooting totals from 2012 to the totals in 2017.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew Roth, Andrea Hutting, and Louis Crisostomo.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Updated April 10, 2018