The collaboration of local, state and federal law enforcement under the Detroit One program has led to racketeering charges against a member of the Seven Mile Blood street gang, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
Joining McQuade in the announcement were Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit Police Chief James Craig and Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division.
Charged today was Billy Arnold, 29, of Detroit, an alleged member of the SBM, with attempted murder in aid of racketeering; assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering; use of a firearm during, and in relation to, a crime of violence; and felon in possession of a firearm.
Two other Detroit men, Steven Arthur, Jr., 26, and Eugene Fisher, 35, were also charged with being felons in possession of a firearm.
According to the superseding indictment returned today, the gang operates on the east side of Detroit between Seven and Eight Mile Roads and between Gratiot Avenue and Kelly Road in the 48205 zip code. Seven Mile Blood (“SMB”) members have claimed this area as their territory and refer to it as the “Red Zone” or “4-8-2-0-Die” in some of their rap lyrics.
The indictment alleges that SBM engaged in a gang war against an alliance of other gangs operating on Detroit’s east side stemming from a murder that occurred in July 2014. During the past 18 months, these rivals posted “hit lists” on social media and violently attacked each other. This shooting war has caused homicide and non-fatal shooting statistics on Detroit’s east side to be considerably higher than the rest of the city. Today’s indictment resulted from the investigation of one of the shooting incidents in the feud between these gangs.
“The Detroit One partnership is focusing on violent street gangs, and today's indictment is just the first step in dismantling the group that calls themselves the Seven Mile Bloods and its rivals,” McQuade said. “When we became aware of the retaliation that was occurring between these gangs last year, the Detroit Police and other partners poured resources into stopping the gun violence in this neighborhood. These efforts resulted in a dramatic decrease in homicides and non-fatal shootings in the 9th precinct during in the last several months.”
"As the city of Detroit continues its march towards promising downtown and surrounding area re-development, the sense of optimism for the future of Detroit is enhanced with every successful investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the violence that all too often plagues Detroit neighborhoods," said David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Detroit Division. "Today's indictment reinforces the commitment of the FBI, in partnership with the Detroit Police Department and the USAO, to target gang members and others responsible for the violence, particularly gun and drug related violence, that diminishes the quality of life in this community."
“The Detroit One partnership’s concerted efforts has once again proved to be effective in ensuring the safety of our citizens and communities” said Chief James Craig. “The ongoing initiative will continue to target, disrupt and dismantle all gangs, as well as other violent offenders that pose a threat to the safety and wellbeing of our City.”
Under the Detroit One Initiative, and through the lead efforts of the Detroit Police Department and the FBI Violent Gang Task Force, which consists of representatives of Detroit Police Department, U.S. Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations, Customs and Border Patrol, Michigan Department of Corrections, and Michigan State Police, investigators were able to bring together separate probes into various members of this organization and its activities into one encompassing investigation.
Detroit One is a collaborative effort between law enforcement and the community to reduce homicide and other violent crime in Detroit. By working together, local, state, and federal law enforcement is striving to maximize its ability to identify and arrest the persons and groups initiating gun violence in Detroit. This indictment is the latest in a string of charges from the United States Attorney’s Office and Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office during the last two years involving violent street gangs in the city of Detroit, including:
- Nine members of the Bounty Hunter Bloods street gang for federal racketeering conspiracy and other violent acts in furtherance of racketeering;
- Thirteen members of the Latin Counts street gang for federal racketeering conspiracy and other violent acts in furtherance of racketeering;
- Fourteen members of the Phantom Outlaw Motorcycle Club / Vice Lords street gang for federal racketeering conspiracy and other violent acts in furtherance of racketeering;
- Four members of the Vice Lords in state court for armed robbery and a Vice Lord leader charged under the federal street gang statute for his role in that armed robbery;
- Three members of the Band Crew street gang charged under the Michigan gang felony statute for violent acts in furtherance of their gang activities and eight members of the Band crew for federal racketeering conspiracy and other violent acts in furtherance of racketeering;
- Ten members of the Related Through Money street gang for federal racketeering conspiracy and other violent acts in furtherance of racketeering; and
- Eight members of the Traveling Vice Lords for federal racketeering conspiracy and other violent acts in furtherance of racketeering.
These charges are just some of the tangible and significant results of this joint effort. Most significantly, Detroit has seen a reduction in homicides every year since the Detroit One collaboration began in 2013, and a 24 percent total reduction since 2012.