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Justice News

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Gang Member Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for RICO Conspiracy

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Robbie Bowles, 30, of Newport News, was sentenced today to 300 months in prison for various violent crime and drug offenses.  Bowles’ sentence will run consecutive to a 120 month sentence on an earlier federal firearms conviction.

Bowles pleaded guilty on Nov. 16, 2015.  According to court documents, Bowles was a member of the Newport News street gang Thug Relations, which engaged in the distribution of marijuana and crack cocaine.  The gang established dominance over the drug trade in its territory through violence and intimidation, which included physical assaults, home invasions, and numerous shootings, some of which resulted in murders. In particular, Bowles admitted threatening victim Aaron Sumler because Sumler and a friend had allegedly been selling cocaine in the area of Aqueduct Apartments, which was part of Thug Relations territory. When those threats went unheeded, Bowles was involved in Sumler’s murder.  In addition, Bowles participated in a home invasion robbery of a rival drug dealer, during which one of the victims was struck in the head with a firearm.  Bowles also participated in three separate shootings of rival gang members, causing each victim serious bodily injury.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and John S. Adams, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Howard J. Zlotnick, Lisa R. McKeel, Brian Samuels, and Trial Attorney Yvonne L. Garcia of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:14-cr-59.

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Updated May 4, 2016