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Press Release

Two V-not Gang Members Sentenced To Prison Terms

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

Kenneth Jackson - 92 Month Sentence. Donald Johnson - 108 Month Sentence

RICHARD S. HARTUNIAN, United States Attorney, Northern District of New York, announces the sentencings of KENNETH JACKSON, age 29 and DONALD JOHNSON, Jr., age 26, both of whom are admitted members of the V-NOT Gang. Both JACKSON and JOHNSON previously pled guilty to an indictment which charged them and nine others with conspiring to exploit their membership in the V-NOT Gang to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity which included acts of murder, drug trafficking, and robbery. JACKSON was sentenced yesterday to 92 months in prison and JOHNSON was sentenced today to 108 months in prison.

The Indictment to which JACKSON and JOHNSON pled alleges that from at least 2003 through May 2012 members of the V-Not Gang: (1) maintained a specific geographic territory within the City of Syracuse in which only gang members can sell crack cocaine and marijuana; (2) protected that exclusive crack distribution territory with violence; (3) obtained drugs from various suppliers; (4) projected a very violent attitude and responded to violence with violence in order to preserve their stature in the gang community; (5) used graffiti, hand signs, and tributes on their clothing to slain gang members to signify their gang membership; (6) used criteria such as a willingness to use violence, ability to sell drugs, and familial connections to determine membership; and (7) routinely carried and used firearms in connection with their gang activity.

There are multiple acts of violence and drug distribution set forth in the Indictment, including 1 murder, 10 other shootings, 8 other acts of gun possession, and 18 acts of crack distribution and/or possession with intent to distribute crack.

JACKSON, who was known on the street as KAROME, which meant "Killer Affiliated Ruler Over Many Enemies," admitted his involvement in many acts, including possessing crack cocaine and drug proceeds, participating in a gang fight at the Juke Box Bar along with multiple co-defendants, firing at least 22 shots from an AK-47 into the home of a rival gang member while in a car with multiple co-defendants, and shooting at a rival gang member. JOHNSON, admitted his involvement in multiple drug trafficking crimes. The indictment also alleged JOHNSON’s involvement in an act of gun possession and a shooting.

Multiple other V-NOT Gang members are set to be sentenced over the next month.

This prosecution resulted from a long-term investigation conducted by the Syracuse Gang Violence Task Force, which is comprised of agents and detectives from the following agencies: the Syracuse Police Department, the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department, the New York State Troopers, the United States Marshals Service and the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (Syracuse Office). The Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office also assisted in the investigation.

Further questions or inquiries may be directed to Assistant U.S. Attorney, John M. Katko, who is handling the case, at (315) 448-0672.

Updated January 29, 2015