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Press Release

Savage Life Gang Members Sentenced to Racketeering Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Iowa

DAVENPORT, IA – Two Davenport men were sentenced on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, in relation to a racketeering prosecution. Austin Zachary Ruiz, 28, was sentenced to 202 months in federal prison for assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and use and carry a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Olajuwan Hakeem Culbreath, 27, was sentenced to 152 months in federal prison for aiding and abetting the same charges.

In 2016 and 2017, as members of Savage Life Boys (SLB), a Davenport-based street gang, Ruiz and Culbreath were involved in multiple shootings. In December 2016, Ruiz and other SLB members robbed and physically assaulted another male, including pistol-whipping him, at a dice game at an apartment in Davenport. The male escaped from the apartment, but Ruiz chased him, firing numerous rounds at the vehicle in which he fled. The male sustained wounds from the assault and the driver of the vehicle sustained a gunshot wound.

In January 2017, Ruiz, Culbreath, and co-defendant Dimetri Smith were at the NorthPark Mall when they saw a rival gang member. Culbreath, Ruiz, and Smith went to their car, where they had firearms. Culbreath drove to the mall entrance where they expected the rival gang member to exit. When they saw the rival gang member, Ruiz and Smith chased him through the mall parking lot, shooting at him.

In February 2017, Culbreath and co-defendants Smith, Darion Gardner, Najawaun Quinn, and other SLB members started an altercation at a concert at the Hotel Davenport due to perceived disrespect for their gang. During the altercation, Gardner shot and killed one male and injured another. To create a diversion and escape from the hotel, Culbreath fired one round, which did not strike anyone.

In April 2017, Ruiz and Smith were at Centennial Park in Davenport when they saw a male who recently robbed another SLB member’s dice game. Ruiz, armed with a firearm, got out of their vehicle to confront the male. The men struggled over the firearm, which discharged, striking the male in the foot. Smith then joined the altercation, choking the male to unconsciousness to assist them in their flight.

Ruiz and Culbreath committed these acts with the intent to maintain or increase position in the gang.

Following their prison terms, both Ruiz and Culbreath must each serve five years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

Co-defendants Quinn and Smith are scheduled to be sentenced on August 8, 2023, after a federal jury convicted them of racketeering-related charges following a 7-day trial in February 2023.

In December 2022, Gardner was sentenced to 450 months in prison.

“The hard work and dedication of our officers, investigators, and federal prosecutors delivered justice for those impacted by these violent crimes,” said Davenport Police Assistant Chief Major Jamie Brown. “These cases demonstrate the collaboration and commitment to keeping our community safe.”

United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal the Southern District of Iowa made the announcement. The Davenport Police Department investigated the case.


MacKenzie Tubbs
Public Information Officer 

Updated April 27, 2023

Violent Crime
Firearms Offenses