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Press Release

Jury Convicts Gang Members in Murder Plot

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

NORFOLK, Va. – A federal jury convicted three men yesterday on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and other crimes.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Ronald Jenkins, 42, of Franklin; Japree Brooks, 40, of Murfreesboro, North Carolina; and Malik Newsome, 30, of Ivor, participated in three shootings in 2017 and 2019 in Franklin. All three were members or associates of a Blood-affiliated gang that operated in Franklin. The group engaged primarily in narcotics trafficking, as well as some robberies and beatings to protect their territory. When a high-ranking member of their group was murdered by a rival Crip-affiliated gang, the group hunted down and shot several members of the Crip-affiliated group. One of the victims was shot in the hand and leg, two more victims received gunshots to their torsos, leaving each with colostomy bags and other permanent injuries. 

Jenkins faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when he is sentenced on April 16, 2024. Brooks faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years, and a maximum penalty of life in prison when sentenced on April 18, 2024. Newsome faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when sentenced on April 23, 2024. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Nicole M. Argentieri, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Craig Kailimai, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Washington Field Division; Derek W. Gordon, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations; Steve Patterson, Chief of Franklin Police; and Josh Wyche Sr., Southampton County Sheriff, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Jamar K. Walker accepted the verdict.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen Taylor and Trial Attorney Christopher Taylor of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case. Significant assistance was provided by law student Madison Albrecht.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:22-cr-101.

Updated December 13, 2023

Violent Crime