LEADER OF SEVEN MILE BLOODS STREET GANG CONVICTED OF RACKETEERING, MURDER, AND OTHER RELATED OFFENSES
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan
DETROIT – On Friday afternoon, following a six-week trial, a federal jury in the Eastern District of Michigan convicted a leader of the Seven Mile Bloods Street Gang of 22 counts, including racketeering conspiracy, murder, attempted murder, and related firearms offenses, United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison announced today.
Ison was joined in the announcement by Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit Division.
Billy Arnold, age 37, was convicted of RICO Conspiracy, two counts of Murder in Aid of Racketeering, 10 counts of Attempted Murder in Aid of Racketeering, and multiple firearm counts.
According to evidence presented during the trial, the Seven Mile Bloods operated on the east side of Detroit, between Gratiot Avenue and Kelly Road and between Seven and Eight Mile Roads. Seven Mile Bloods or “SMB” members claimed this area as their territory and referred to it as the “Red Zone.” The area is in zip code 48205, which SMB members referred to as “4-8-2-0-Die.”
Evidence presented at trial showed an ongoing gang war between the Seven Mile Bloods and an alliance of other gangs operating on Detroit’s east side stemming from a murder that Arnold committed in July 2014. Arnold, who was on parole at the time, encountered two rival gang members during a meeting at a parole office in Detroit. After the meeting, Arnold waited outside the parole office until the rival gang member left. Arnold followed the rival gang members and their two companions a short distance before opening fire, killing one of the victims and seriously injuring another. Following the murder, the Seven Mile Bloods and rival gangs began violently attacking one another and posted respective “hit lists” on social media. The violence reached a boiling point in 2015 when during a one-month span, Arnold murdered one rival gang member, and shot numerous others. One of Arnold’s victims, who was shot while taking his two young daughters for a walk, was paralyzed as a result of the shooting. Arnold shot another victim, who was only 15 years old at the time of the shooting, while the victim was at his first day of work at a banquet hall in Roseville. Arnold shot the victim while attempting to murder a rival gang member who was standing near the victim in a parking lot. The 15-year-old victim and the rival gang member survived the shooting. On September 26, 2015, Arnold and another Seven Mile Blood member were arrested following a high-speed chase in Detroit. Following the chase, law enforcement recovered an assault rifle from the vehicle that was used in one murder and several other shootings.
The investigation further resulted in the seizure of more than 20 firearms, including several high-powered assault rifles.
Arnold is the 20th member or associate of the Seven Mile Bloods to have been convicted as a result of the investigation.
This case was the result of a collaborative effort by multiple law enforcement agencies. Investigators were able to bring together separate probes into various members of this organization and its criminal activities into one encompassing investigation. Partners include the Detroit Police Department Gang Intelligence Unit, the FBI Violent Gang Task Force, which consists of representatives of Detroit Police Department, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Michigan Department of Corrections and Michigan State Police, with the cooperation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Also assisting in the investigation were the Charleston and South Charleston Police Departments in West Virginia.
“This guilty verdict is the final chapter in the case of the Seven Mile Bloods - a gang who for years terrorized the residents living on the east of Detroit,” said U.S. Attorney Ison. “The case against SMB, and against Billy Arnold in particular, is an example of what can happen when we focus on those few responsible for so much violence. With today’s verdict, and with the sentence required by law for Billy Arnold, the men and women in our community who were victimized by this group will receive some measure of justice. And with today’s verdict, and with the help of the vast majority of the residents of this neighborhood who want peace, we can once and for all put the terrible carnage of the “Red Zone” behind us.”
“While the damage and violence caused by Mr. Arnold and members of SMB cannot be undone, our hope is that this final sentence brings a sense of justice to all those impacted,” said Special Agent in Charge Cheyvoryea Gibson of the FBI in Michigan. "We would like to commend our law enforcement partners on the Detroit Violent Gang Task Force (VGTF) for their relentless efforts in working this case for nearly a decade. No matter how long it takes, the FBI remains committed to dismantling gang networks and removing violent offenders from our streets to ensure a safe environment for all Michigan residents."
Judge Sean F. Cox presided over the trial and will sentence Arnold on April 10, 2024. Arnold faces mandatory life imprisonment.
Updated December 9, 2023