Fourth Sentenced for Violent Shooting in Aid of Racketeering
FORT WAYNE –United States District Court Judge Damon R. Leichty sentenced a fourth member of “2500,” a Fort Wayne street gang, for committing violent crimes in aid of racketeering, announced United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson. These charged violent crimes were committed during 2500’s “beef,” or ongoing dispute, with a rival Fort Wayne street gang. In committing these crimes, 2500 members were assisted by “Grit Gang,” a street gang based in Bloomington, Indiana.
This fourth gang member, Demetri D. Beachem, 27 of Fort Wayne, Indiana, was sentenced to 288 months (24 years) in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release.
According to documents in this case, gang members of 2500 and Grit Gang were engaged in drug and firearms trafficking and were responsible for violent criminal gang activity. On October 4, 2014, the defendants received an insulting video, posted on social media, from rival gang members. In reaction to this post, they located rival gang members at a residence in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Upon seeing their rivals exiting the house, the defendants began shooting, striking that house and a neighboring house with gunfire. Defendants fired approximately 50 rounds, endangering the lives of people in both houses and many bystanders. One person, in fact, suffered a minor wound.
All four defendants entered pleas of guilty to two counts of attempted assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering; one count of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering; and three counts of discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. The other members sentenced were:
William D. Beamon, aka “Lil’ Will,” 28, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who was sentenced to a total of 360 months (30 years) in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release;
Kyombe D. Bolden, “aka Pudge,” 30, of Bloomington, Indiana, who was sentenced to a total of 324 months (27 years) in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release; and
Ronnie D. Burrus, “aka Ronnie Robinson, Ronnie Burris and Yung Ron,” 28, of Fort Wayne and Bloomington, Indiana, who was sentenced to a total of 360 months (30 years) in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release.
“The Attorney General has instructed U.S. Attorneys to prosecute violent criminals who, too often, imperil the lives and safety of law-abiding citizens. This prosecution shows that this Office will vigorously prosecute persons who commit violent crimes in the Northern District of Indiana”, said United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.
“This defendant and his fellow gang members terrorized innocent community members through their violent activity and this sentence not only makes clear the serious consequences of participating in gang activity, but also ensures their reign of terror is over,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan. “It also should send a clear message that if you are peddling guns and drugs in our communities, the FBI and our partners are coming for you.”
This multi-agency investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force in Fort Wayne, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Allen County Police Department, the Fort Wayne Police Department, and the Indiana State Police. Also assisting with this investigation were the Bloomington Police Department, the Indiana State Police Laboratory Division, and the Fort Wayne Police Department’s Detective Bureau and Gang and Violent Crimes Unit. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Anthony W. Geller and Stacey R. Speith.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.