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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Racketeering Indictment Charges 3 More Tied To Unsolved Homicides, Drug Trafficking, Gun Crimes

20 Indicted In Total, New Charges Include Unsolved Murder


COLUMBUS – A federal grand jury has indicted three more people in connection with a series of violent crimes including 13 unsolved murders as well as other attempted murders, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, extortion and robbery.  The addition to the indictment includes an additional 23 felonies, including one murder and nine attempted murders.

Seventeen individuals were indicted in the racketeering case in July. All of the defendants are accused of being an organized criminal enterprise known as the Short North Posse. Eleven defendants could face the death penalty if convicted of the crimes in the indictment.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Kevin R. Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Joseph P. Reagan, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Michael Boxler, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, and Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs announced the superseding indictment, which was unsealed today following early morning efforts to arrest and locate the defendants.

The superseding indictment alleges that beginning in 2005, members of the enterprise originally referred to themselves solely as the Short North Posse. Later some members began subsets of the Short North Posse referring to themselves as the Cut Throat Committee and later the Homicide Squad.  Still within the Short North Posse, Cut Throat Committee and Homicide Squad specialized in murders and robberies of rival gang members, other drug dealers, and targets thought to have large sums of cash or firearms. The Short North Posse also identified themselves nationally with the Crips street gang.

Andre M. Brown, aka ‘Paco’, 33, of Columbus; Jonathan Holt, aka ‘Dough Boy’, 22, of Columbus and Christopher V. Wharton, 25, of Columbus were added to the indictment. Previous defendant Lance Reynolds, 31, of Columbus, was also charged with one count of racketeering conspiracy in the superseding indictment.

A complete list of those charged is attached.

The superseding indictment charges one or more of the defendants with 13 unsolved homicides, 33 attempted homicides, 56 violent felonies and 73 weapons offenses. The crimes occurred in Canal Winchester, Chillicothe, Columbus, Pataskala, Pickerington, and Zanesville, between 2005 and 2012.

The superseding indictment is a result of a two-year long investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, DEA, ATF, Columbus Police, Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott’s Office, and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien’s Office. Fairfield County Prosecutor Gregg Marx, Licking County Prosecutor Kenneth Oswalt, Muskingum County Prosecutor D. Michael Haddox, Ross County Prosecutor Matthew S. Schmidt, law enforcement leaders from those counties, and officials of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction joined U.S. Attorney Stewart in announcing the original charges.

“Thanks to the dedication of law enforcement officials in this cooperative investigation, we’re announcing charges against individuals who are allegedly responsible for 13 unsolved murders,” U.S. Attorney Stewart said. “Efforts remain ongoing, and we’re committed to solving additional homicides.”

The defendants will appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge who will determine whether or not to hold them without bond until trial.

Stewart commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys David DeVillers and Kevin Kelley, as well as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jimmy Lowe with Franklin County Prosecutor O’Brien’s Office, who are prosecuting the case.

Charges contained in an indictment are allegations. All defendants should be presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

SNP
Cut Throat/Homicide Squad

No.

Name

Age

City of Residence

Counts

1

*Robert B. Ledbetter

35

Columbus, Ohio

1, 4, 9, 10, 29, 30, and 31

2

*Lance A. Green

34

Columbus, Ohio

1, 2, and 3

3

*Allen L. Wright

28

Columbus, Ohio

1, 2, and 3

4

Tysin L. Gordon

29

Columbus, Ohio

1

5

*Christopher A. Harris

27

Columbus, Ohio

1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10

6

*Robert L. Wilson III

26

Columbus, Ohio

1, 5, 6, 9, 10, 15, and16

7

*Rashad A. Liston

25

Columbus, Ohio

1, 9, 10, 15, and 16

8

*Deounte Ussury

29

Columbus, Ohio

1, 7, 8, and 11

9

Thomas E. Coates

28

Columbus, Ohio

1

10

Ishmael Bowers

32

Columbus, Ohio

13 and 14

11

*Joseph Hill

30

Columbus, Ohio

1, 12, 13, 14, 34, and 35

12

Freddie K. Johnson

28

Columbus, Ohio

1, 32 and 33

13

*Deshawn Smith

27

Columbus, Ohio

1, 13, 14, 36 and 37

14

Lance Reynolds

31

Columbus, Ohio

1, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, and 38

15

*Rastaman A. Wilson

38

Columbus, Ohio

5 and 6

16

*Clifford L. Robinson

37

Columbus, Ohio

5 and 6

17

Troy A. Patterson

23

Columbus, Ohio

15 and 16

18

Andre M. Brown

33

Columbus, Ohio

1, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, and 26

19

Johnathan Holt

22

Columbus, Ohio

17, 18, 19, and 20

20

Christopher V. Wharton

25

Columbus, Ohio 

17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 27, and 28

* indicates that they could face the death penalty

Count 1
Racketeering Conspiracy
18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)

0-life imprisonment
$250,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
5 yrs supv rel

Counts 2, 3 4,5,7, 9, 11,12, 13, 15, 19,  and 29    
Murder in aid of racketeering
18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(1)

0-life imprisonment/death
$250,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
5 yrs supv rel

Counts 6,8,10, 14, 16, and 20
Murder through the use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime
18 U.S.C. § 924(C) and 924(j)

0-life imprisonment/death
$250,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
5 yrs supv rel

Count 17
Attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine
21 U.S.C. § 846
21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C)

0-20 years
$1,000,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
3 yrs supv rel

Counts 18, 23, 26, and 31
Use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence
18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(iii)

10 years  - life imprisonment consecutive
$250,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
5 yrs supv rel

Counts 21, 24,  25, and 27
Possession with intent to distribute a detectable amount of marijuana
21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(D)

0-5 yrs
$250,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
3 yrs supv rel

Count 22
Attempted possession with intent to distribute a detectable amount of marijuana
21 U.S.C. § 846
21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(D)

0-5 yrs
$250,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
3 yrs supv rel

Count 28
Brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime
18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)

7 years – life consecutive
$250,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
5 yrs supv rel

Count 30
Conspiracy to murder a witness
18 U.S.C. § 1512(k)

Life or death
$250,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
5 yrs supv rel

Counts 32, 33, 34, and 36
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
18 U.S.C. § 922(g)

0-10 years
$250,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
3 yrs supv rel

Count  35
Possession with intent to distribute cocaine
21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1)
21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C)

0-20 years
$1,000,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
3 yrs supv rel

Count 37
Possession with intent to distribute heroin
21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1)
21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C)

0-20 years
$1,000,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
3 yrs supv rel

Count 38
Witness Tampering
18 U.S.C. § 1512

0-20 yrs
$250,000 fine
$100 spec assmt
3 yrs supv rel

Component(s): 
Updated July 23, 2015