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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Sixteen Individuals Charged with Racketeering Conspiracy and/or Drug Conspiracy

HAMMOND- Fifteen members and associates of the Sin City Deciples have been charged in a Superseding Indictment with a racketeering conspiracy as well as a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.  A sixteenth individual has been charged in a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.   

According to the Superseding Indictment, the Sin City Deciples, originally formed in 1967 in Gary, Indiana, is a motorcycle organization in which its members and associates allegedly engage in acts of violence, extortion, trafficking in stolen property, and narcotics distribution in the Northern District of Indiana and elsewhere.   

The fifteen defendants charged with racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances are: Ronnie Ervin Major a/k/a “Black,” 51, of Gary, Indiana; Antoine Jermell Gates a/k/a “Twan,” 44, of Gary, Indiana; Kenneth Christopher McGhee a/k/a “Sonny” and “Angel,” 72, of Merrillville, Indiana; Michael Castro Rivera a/k/a “Puerto Rican Mike,” 64, of Gary, Indiana; Douglas Sherman Blowers a/k/a “Profit,” 41, of Lake Station, Indiana; Daniel Richard Spanley a/k/a “Tattoo,” 42, of Hobart, Indiana; Roger Lee Ervin Burton a/k/a “Bo,” 52, of East Chicago, Indiana; James Ulrich Richardson a/k/a “Little Rick,” 52, of Crown Point, Indiana; Richard White a/k/a “Ignorant Bastard,” 54, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Brandon Romand Parks a/k/a “Baywatch,” 43, of Chicago, Illinois; Herman Troy Jefferson a/k/a “G-Rilla,” 49, of Jacksonville, Arkansas; David Lagrant Guy a/k/a “Fly Guy,” 51, of Merrillville, Indiana; Jessie Donald Willis a/k/a “Chip,” 57, of Portage, Indiana; Marvie D. Gardner a/k/a “Widowmaker,” 51, of Louisville, Kentucky; and Bernard Smith, a/k/a “Flirt” and “Preacher,” 59, of Gary, Indiana.  Daniel Richard Spanley a/k/a “Tattoo” is also charged with distribution of cocaine and possessing a firearm as a felon.   

The Superseding Indictment also charges Gregory Patrick Weldon a/k/a “Sugar Bear,” 53, of Hobart, Indiana, in the conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, in addition to charging him with distribution of cocaine. 

The initial Indictment alleged that Ronnie Ervin Major a/k/a “Black” and Antoine Jermell Gates a/k/a “Twan” engaged in murder for hire and used a firearm during and in relation to murder in connection with the December 19, 2010 murder of Jocelyn Blair.  Major and Gates remain charged with these crimes in the Superseding Indictment.

This Superseding Indictment was announced by Clifford D. Johnson, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, and Kristen de Tineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. 

These charges are part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

The agencies involved in the Sin City Deciples investigation are: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the East Chicago Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Gary Police Department, the Griffith Police Department, the Hammond Police Department, the Internal Revenue Service, the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area officers and agents, the Merrillville Police Department, the Munster Police Department, and the Schererville Police Department.   The Lake County Prosecutor’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Northern District of Illinois, Southern District of Indiana, Western District of Kentucky, and Western District of Pennsylvania also provided assistance.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David J. Nozick, Michael J. Toth, and Thomas R. Mahoney. 

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.

A superseding indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

If convicted, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated October 27, 2021