Gang Members Convicted of Racketeering Charges
A federal jury convicted William Steele, a member of the Detroit branch of the Rollin’ 60s Crips street gang, of RICO conspiracy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. This verdict, which was announced yesterday, wrapped up a trial that began July 12, 2017. During the trial, two co-defendants of Steele, Jermell Coleman and Martel Strong, pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy. These three individuals were the final remaining defendants of a fourteen-defendant indictment against the Rollin 60s Crips street gang and are the result of the collaborative efforts of law enforcement and the community to reduce homicide and other violent crime under the Detroit One program, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch.
Joining in the announcement was Thomas Chittum, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Chief James Craig of the Detroit Police Department.
According to the indictment, the Rollin’ 60s Crips is a national street gang founded in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1970s. In 2008, Jerome Hamilton, who previously pleaded guilty, started a Detroit line of the Rollin’ 60s, which now boasts approximately 150 members and who operate primarily on the west side of Detroit in the vicinity of Seven Mile and Tracey.
Testimony and documentary evidence in the trial demonstrated how the Rollin’ 60s Detroit chapter is a violent organization responsible for numerous murders, assaults, robberies, carjackings, and the unlawful possession and trafficking of firearms and narcotics in and around the Detroit metropolitan area over the last nine years. The gang uses violence as a means of retribution for acts done by rival gang members, to intimidate witnesses, to control their territory, and as a means for individuals to maintain or advance their position within the gang. Specifically, the evidence revealed that Steele, 26, of Detroit, distributed marijuana, crack cocaine, and ecstasy, possessed weapons, and aided and abetted retaliatory shootings on behalf of the gang.
Other Rollin’ 60s Crips members have previously pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy for acts involving murders, carjackings, armed robberies, firebombing, unarmed robberies, and distributing narcotics on behalf of the gang. Those members are:
- Jerome Hamilton, 24, of Southfield, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death;
- Darriyon Mills, 25, of Detroit, pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy and using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence;
- Roderek Perry, 22, of Detroit, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, and use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence;
- Jonathan Barber, 26, of Detroit, pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy;
- Deaires Foster, 23, of Irondale, Alabama, pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy;
- Timothy Price, 27, of Detroit, pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy;
- Sadeisha Johns, 32, of West Bloomfield, pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy;
- Soumo Kennedy, 23, of Detroit, pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy;
- Brandon Kennedy, 23, of Detroit, pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy;
- Charles Anthony Smith, 32, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy; and
- Tre Tigner, 23, of Detroit, pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy.
The case is being investigated by the ATF’s Comprehensive Violence Reduction Program, which includes representatives of the Detroit Police, Michigan State Police, and Michigan Department of Corrections, in coordination with the FBI Violent Crime Task Force, and Detroit Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shane Cralle and Michael Heesters.