Gang member sentenced to 35 years for racketeering conspiracy
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Mississippi
Oxford, MS – A Mississippi inmate and gang member was sentenced today to 35 years in prison for racketeering (RICO) conspiracy, including murder, related to his participation in the Simon City Royals (SCR) gang.
According to court documents, Dillon Heffker, 33, of New Orleans, Louisiana participated in the criminal activities of the Simon City Royals, a violent national prison gang operating primarily in the Mississippi Department of Corrections, but with members and associates acting on their behalf outside of prisons throughout Mississippi, Louisiana, and elsewhere. Through an alliance with the violent Gangster Disciples gang, the Simon City Royals engaged in a host of criminal activities, including murder, attempted murder, assault, kidnapping, robbery, extortion, witness tampering, money laundering, interstate travel in aid of racketeering, large-scale drug trafficking, and fraud. The Simon City Royals were responsible for murders, attempted murders, and other violent acts committed in the state prison system and throughout the state of Mississippi.
Court records reflect that Heffker stabbed another subordinate gang member, B.F., to death and was involved in drug trafficking and money laundering. More specifically, beginning in 2016, SCR leaders and Heffker began planning the murder of B.F., a SCR member who they believed was involved in murdering another SCR member.
On January 31, 2018, B.F. was released from solitary confinement (at Wilkinson County Correctional Facility) and into the prison pod where SCR members were located, including Heffker. A SCR leader passed down orders from other SCR members to Heffker to attack and kill B.F. Subsequently, B.F. was attacked and stabbed to death by Heffker and another SCR member. According to court documents, the two inmates attacked the victim on the second floor of the housing unit and continued stabbing him as the altercation went to the first-floor shower area. The incident was video recorded. Responding medical personnel found the victim, covered in blood and lying in a fetal position, on the shower floor. Witnesses then saw one of the inmates pass the homemade shanks to a SCR leader who hid the murder weapons. The investigation revealed the organization paid Heffker and the other SCR member for the murder.
On October 5, 2023, Heffker pleaded guilty to Count One of an indictment charging him with RICO conspiracy. At a sentencing hearing on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills remarked that this violent crime is “one of the more serious crimes I have had to deal with on this bench,” and sentenced Heffker to 420 months in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release.
“Several years ago, the Simon City Royals, a violent criminal gang, were the driving force behind an explosion of violence in Mississippi prisons,” said U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner. “Today’s sentence, as well as the almost 50 other recent prosecutions of the gang and its affiliates, should send a clear message that we will use every tool at our disposal to prosecute those who commit such heinous acts from behind bars or elsewhere.”
“Sending a career criminal like this to prison is another example of our commitment to work tirelessly to protect our communities and hold accountable those who threaten our safety,” said ATF New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Joshua Jackson. “The sentence imposed today sends a message to the community that violent gang members will be held accountable as we work to keep our neighborhoods safe as a top priority for ATF.”
“Today’s sentence underscores DEA’s dedication to dismantling violent drug trafficking organizations,” said Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Assistant Special Agent in Charge Anessa Daniels-McCaw . “We’re sending a clear message to criminal gangs: Mississippi has zero tolerance for their illegal activities. Your time here is up.”
This case has been investigated by ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Secret Service, FBI Jackson Field Office, Mississippi Department of Corrections, and dozens of local law enforcement agencies across multiple states.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sam Stringfellow from the Northern District of Mississippi and Trial Attorney Ben Tonkin of the DOJ’s Violent Crime and Racketeering Section.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
This case is also part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
Updated February 1, 2024
Project Safe Neighborhoods