Gangster Disciple gang member handed significant sentence for multiple offenses
HOUSTON – A 34-year-old Houston man has been ordered to federal prison for numerous drug and firearm convictions, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
The jury deliberated for approximately three hours before convicting Jason Edward Simpson aka Sixxgod Aug. 3 following a four-day trial. He was convicted of two counts of possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to do so as well as conspiracy to carry or possess a firearm in relation to and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Today, U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett, who presided over the trial and sentencing, ordered Simpson to serve 168 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard additional information, including evidence of Simpson’s violent prior convictions. The court also heard about Simpson boasting as to his leadership role in the Gangster Disciples on social media and in emails and phones calls he made while in custody. He had also claimed he provided “A1” ecstasy to the “entire third ward.” In handing down the prison term, Judge Bennett noted Simpson’s criminal history, which included convictions for aggravated robbery, assaulting a law enforcement officer, burglary of a vehicle and various controlled substances offenses.
Simpson is a documented member of the Gangster Disciples. The jury saw one of his gang membership tattoos featuring a six-pointed star on the back of his right hand with the letter G in the center surrounded by the numbers seven and four. At trial, the jury heard the number 7 refers to the letter G, while 4 refers to D - initials for Gangster Disciples. The six-pointed star is a Star of David in honor of David Barksdale, who was an original founder of the Folk Nation gangs which includes the Gangster Discples.
On two separate occasions in August 2018, Simpson sold drugs to Jose Angel Garza and Fernando Isai Melendez who, in turn, sold it to others. Witnesses at trial specifically recalled Simpson’s tattoos on the back of his hand. The combined transactions involved over 1.5 kilograms of narcotics in the form of approximately 6,300 pills. During the exchanges, the men possessed a loaded firearm. Also present was Michael Manning, who pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
At trial, the jury heard Simpson had claimed the drugs were ecstasy, but it was actually meth. The multi-colored pills were shaped like Minions, the Burger King logo and a Darth Vader head. At sentencing, the United States argued that one of the reasons pills are pressed into these shapes is to appeal to minors.
At the time of their arrests, authorities uncovered incriminating details on their phones. The jury saw evidence the phones contained substantial phone and text conversations in preparing and arranging the drug deals. Simpson had also made several calls and composed emails while in custody admitting to his involvement in the crimes.
The defense attempted to convince the jury there was insufficient evidence to prove Simpson was more than just merely present while the drug transactions occurred. They did not believe those claims and found him guilty as charged.
Melendez, 29, and Garza, 29, both of Houston, had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy with the intent to possess a controlled substance. Melendez was sentenced to 57 months while Garza received 64 months. Manning, 34, Houston, served 18 months.
Simpson has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI and Houston Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adam Laurence Goldman and Christine Jiadai Lu prosecuted the case.