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Press Release

Southside York Gang Member Enters Guilty Plea To Racketeering Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced today that a member of the “Southside” located in York, Pennsylvania pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Richard Nolden, age 30, of York, entered a guilty plea in federal court today to racketeering conspiracy. Under the agreement, Nolden will receive a sentence of 25 years.  Nolden is currently serving a sentence of 15 to 40 years’ incarceration for the January 23, 2012, murder of Sherrod Snellings.

Nolden’s plea comes as the last defendant in the Southside indictment. The federal indictment, which was returned on September 17, 2014, brought racketeering and drug trafficking charges against twenty-one members of the Southside. In the indictment, the Southside is identified as a criminal enterprise whose purpose is to protect its territory and power through intimidation, violence and threats, generate profits primarily through open-air drug dealing within its territory and violent crime, defend and retaliate on behalf of gang members, and assist members through retaliation against witnesses and thwarting efforts of law enforcement.

From September to November 2015, twelve other co-defendants went to trial. All twelve were convicted of racketeering conspiracy, drug trafficking conspiracy and/or drug trafficking after an eight-week jury trial this fall. The other eight co-defendants entered guilty pleas to racketeering conspiracy in the case.  All of these defendants are being scheduled for sentencing before U.S. District Court Judge Yvette Kane.   

In this case, the maximum penalty Richard Nolden faces is life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


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Updated April 18, 2016