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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 22, 2018

Jury Convicts Nine Trey Gangsters of Violent 2015 Crime Spree

NORFOLK, Va. – Three members of the Nine Trey Gangsters were convicted today by a federal jury for their roles in a racketeering conspiracy that included five murders, six attempted murders, and various drug trafficking, robbery, and firearms crimes that spanned all five cities in south Hampton Roads in 2015.

“These men inflicted extreme violence in Hampton Roads,” said Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “They brutally murdered five people, attempted to murder six others, and in addition to selling drugs, committed robberies and other gang-related crimes. This verdict sends a clear message to gang members committing violent crimes in our communities:  You will be caught, and you will be prosecuted. Together with our federal and local law enforcement partners, we will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute these cases.”

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, the Nine Trey Gangsters are part of the United Blood Nation street gang. From approximately Thanksgiving through Christmas of 2015, the gang members murdered two men and three women, most of whom had no affiliation with the gang. One victim, Linda Lassiter, 48, along with her boyfriend Wayne Davis, 48, was killed just weeks after speaking to the police about a gang-connected shooting at her daughter’s house. The body of another victim, Al-Tariq Tynes, 26, was hidden in the trunk of his car and driven around for days before he was dumped into a ditch in Chesapeake. His body was not discovered until early 2016. Jamesha Roberts, 25, a young mother of two children under the age of five, was gunned down in Norfolk after her shift at the airport Starbucks. Witnesses testified at trial that Nathaniel Mitchell, who was in a competition with another Nine Trey member to see who could shoot the most people, killed her for “walking on the wrong side of the street.”

“The Nine Trey Gangsters are a violent set of the Bloods that was responsible for a wave of cold-blooded murders that terrorized Hampton Roads during the 2015 holiday season,” said John P. Cronan, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “I commend our dedicated law enforcement partners and federal prosecutors for their tireless efforts to stand up for the five men and women who were senselessly murdered by this vicious gang. Today’s guilty verdicts – which followed a seven-week trial with over 100 witnesses – ensure that these three members of the Nine Trey Gangsters will now face justice for their participation in the gang’s murderous conspiracy.”

“Today’s verdict demonstrates the commitment of the FBI and our law enforcement partners to hold violent gang members and murderers fully accountable for their actions,” said Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office. “We will not stand by while violent criminals terrorize our neighborhoods and murder innocent people. I would like to thank the agents, analysts, task force officers, and prosecutors for their unwavering efforts to eliminate gang violence in our communities. We hope this verdict will encourage citizens to continue to come forward and help us provide a safer Hampton Roads.”

“These men are responsible for one of Hampton Roads’ deadliest crime sprees in recent memory,” said Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia. “In just about one month, they inflicted death and mayhem on their communities while trying to settle scores and establish their positions in their gang. Hampton Roads will be safer with these men off the streets, and I appreciate all the hard work and cooperation of local, state, and federal law enforcement and prosecutors that has brought them to justice.”

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Antonio Lee Simmons was the head of a locally based “line” of the gang. After two subordinate members, Anthony Foye and Nathaniel Mitchell, were arrested for an armed robbery of a Shell gas station on Dec. 27, 2015, law enforcement linked a gun and shell casing recovered after the robbery to nine of the crime scenes.  Additionally, the same getaway car used at the robbery was captured on video fleeing the scene of a shooting at the Aqua Lounge nightclub in Virginia Beach on Dec. 20, 2015. The two-year investigation by Portsmouth Police Department’s gang unit and the FBI included a technological analysis that tied the gang members to crime scene locations.

A total of six defendants were charged in federal court. Defendants Simmons, Mitchell, and Lassiter were convicted today of all charges after a seven-week trial. Three other defendants previously pleaded guilty. See the table below for additional details.

Name

 

Age, Hometown

Convictions (Counts)

Sentencing

Antonio Lee Simmons,

aka “Murdock,” “Doc”

39, Norfolk

Racketeering Conspiracy; Heroin distribution conspiracy; Murder in Aid of Racketeering (2); Attempted murder in aid of racketeering (4); Assault with a dangerous weapon (3); Use of a firearm resulting in death (2); Use of a firearm during a crime of violence (5); Various firearm and drug offenses

Two mandatory life terms plus mandatory minimum of 160 years on July 19

Nathaniel Tyree Mitchell,

aka “Savage”

25, Portsmouth

Racketeering Conspiracy; Murder in Aid of Racketeering (4); Attempted murder in aid of racketeering (6); Assault with a dangerous weapon (5); Use of a firearm resulting in death (4); Use of a firearm during a crime of violence (7)

Four mandatory life terms plus mandatory minimum of 160 years on July 17

Anthony Foye,

aka “Ace,” “Bull”

26, Portsmouth

Murder in Aid of Racketeering (4)

Four mandatory life terms on May 2

Malek Lassiter,

aka “Leeko”

22, Portsmouth

Racketeering Conspiracy; Attempted murder in aid of racketeering (3); Assault with a dangerous weapon (2); Use of a firearm during a crime of violence (4)

Mandatory minimum of 85 years, maximum of life on July 18

Alvaughn Davis,

aka “LB”

29, Portsmouth

Use of a firearm resulting in death; racketeering conspiracy; accessory after the fact to murder in aid of racketeering

45 years on Oct. 17, 2017

Donte Brehon,

aka “Dog Nutz”

36, Norfolk

Accessory after the fact to assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering; distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin

160 months on June 5, 2017

Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, John P. Cronan, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia, Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, Tonya D. Chapman, Chief of Portsmouth Police, Larry D. Boone, Chief of Norfolk Police, James A. Cervera, Chief of Virginia Beach Police, Col. K.L. Wright, Chief of Chesapeake Police, and Thomas E. Bennett, Chief of Suffolk Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis accepted the verdict.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph E. DePadilla and Andrew C. Bosse, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John F. Butler, and Trial Attorney Teresa A. Wallbaum of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, are prosecuting the case.

The case was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), Operation Billy Club. The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

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 is located on the website of the District Court

for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:16-cr-130.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated March 22, 2018