Federal Judge Sentences Man to 20 Years in Prison for Detonating Pipe Bomb at Suburban Chicago Train Station
CHICAGO — A federal jury in Chicago today convicted six members or associates of a violent street gang on racketeering offenses that included the murder of Carlton Weekly, a Chicago rapper also known as “FBG Duck.”
The jury found that the defendants – all members or associates of the O-Block street gang – participated in a criminal organization that engaged in violence to protect the gang’s perceived territories on the South Side of Chicago. The O-Block gang publicly claimed responsibility for their violence and used social media and music to increase their criminal enterprise. The jury found that the defendants conspired to murder Weekly in order to maintain and increase their positions in the gang. Weekly was fatally shot on Aug. 4, 2020, while shopping in Chicago.
Convicted of committing murder in aid of racketeering are Chicago residents CHARLES LIGGINS, 32, KENNETH ROBERSON, 30, TACARLOS OFFERD, 32, CHRISTOPHER THOMAS, 24, MARCUS SMART, 25, and RALPH TURPIN, 34.
The jury returned its verdicts after a three-month trial in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The convictions carry mandatory sentences of life in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Martha M. Pacold set sentencings for Aug. 6, 2024, for Liggins; Aug. 8, 2024, for Roberson; Aug. 13, 2024, for Smart; Aug. 15, 2024, for Turpin; Sept. 4, 2024, for Offerd; and Sept. 17, 2024, for Thomas.
The convictions were announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI, and Larry Snelling, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. Substantial assistance in the investigation was provided by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason Julien, Ann Marie Ursini, Caitlin Walgamuth, and Sean Hennessy.
“People have the right to go about their lives and walk the streets in safety – free from violence,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Pasqual. “The jury’s verdicts today hold the six defendants accountable for a brutal murder that took the life of Carlton Weekly. Working with our law enforcement partners, our office will continue to prioritize combatting the unacceptable level of gang violence in Chicago.”
“All too often, our residents are held hostage to violence and other dangerous activity on our city streets," said FBI SAC Wheeler. "These convictions show that there are very real consequences for murder in the city of Chicago today, tomorrow, and every day going forward.”
"The outcome of this case is a result of a shared commitment to public safety and longstanding partnerships at the federal, state, and local level," said CPD Supt. Snelling. "We will continue working side-by-side with our law enforcement partners to combat violence in every neighborhood because the safety of our communities and residents depends on it."