Federal Indictment Charges 12 "United Blood Nation" Gang Members With Racketeering Conspiracy
CHARLOTE, N.C. – A second superseding federal indictment was unsealed this morning charging 12 alleged gang members with racketeering conspiracy, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Of the 12 defendants charged, seven face additional charges, including murder in aid of racketeering and related firearms violations, which potentially expose those defendants to the federal death penalty.
Of the 12 defendants named in the indictment, three were previously arrested on federal armed robbery charges and two are in custody in South Carolina on state murder charges. Law enforcement arrested seven of the alleged gang members during an early morning round-up.
John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division; Kevin Brackett, Solicitor for York and Union Counties in South Carolina; Chief Rodney D. Monroe of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department; and Sheriff Bruce Bryant of the York County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina join Acting U.S. Attorney Rose in making today’s announcement.
“The individuals charged today have alleged ties to a ruthless street gang that uses fear, intimidation, and even murder to protect the interests of their criminal organization,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Rose. “My Office will work closely with our law enforcement partners, in North Carolina and across state lines, to identify and prosecute violent gang offenders and deliver justice to victims of gang violence.”
“From the moment the FBI became involved in the investigation of the murders of Douglas and Deborah London, agents, task force officers, and other FBI employees worked tirelessly to find those responsible. Together with our law enforcement partners, we have discovered and unraveled a dangerous criminal enterprise that spread a web of violence without regard for innocent lives,” said John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina.
The indictment charges each of the 12 alleged gang members with RICO conspiracy. The named defendants are:
- Jamell Lamon Cureton a/k/a “Assassin,” a/k/a “Murda Mel,” 22, of Charlotte.
- Nana Yaw Adoma a/k/a “Ratchet,” 20, of Charlotte.
- David Lee Fudge a/k/a “Flames” a/k/a “Flame,” 22, of Pineville, N.C.
- Daquan Lamar Everett a/k/a “Day Day,” 20, of Charlotte.
- Randall Avery Hankins, II a/k/a “Foe,” 20, of Charlotte.
- Malcolm Jarrel Hartley a/k/a “Silent” a/k/a “Bloody Silent,” 21, of Charlotte.
- Nehemijel Maurice Houston a/k/a “Mijel” a/k/a “Swagg Out,” 20 of Charlotte.
- Briana Shakeyah Johnson a/k/a “Breezy B” a/k/a “Breezy V” 19, of Concord, N.C.
- Ibn Rashaan Kornegay a/k/a “IB,” 35, of Greenville, N.C.
- Centrilia Shardon Leach a/k/a “CeCe,” 31, of Charlotte.
- Ahkeem Tahja McDonald a/k/a “Lil Keem” a/k/a “Savage,” 21, of Charlotte.
- Rahkeem Lee McDonald a/k/a “Hitman” a/k/a “Big Keem,” 22, of Charlotte.
In addition to the RICO conspiracy charge, Cureton, Fudge, Hankins, Hartley, Johnson and Rahkeem McDonald are charged with two counts of murder in aid of racketeering and two counts of use or carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death, for the October 2014 murders of Douglas and Deborah London. Hartley faces two additional charges of possession of a firearm by a felon.
“The murder of a witness is more than just a violent assault calculated to shut down a prosecution,” said Solicitor Kevin Brackett, “it is an attack on the rule of law. It indicates a degree of contempt for the criminal justice system that deserves society’s harshest penalty.”
The unsealed indictment also charges Cureton and Ahkeem McDonald with one count of murder in aid of racketeering and one count of use or carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death in connection with the August 2013 murder of Kwamne Donqurius Clyburn.
Cureton, Adoma and Fudge are also charged with one count of Hobbs Act Robbery, one count of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity, and one count of use or carry a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, for the May 2014 armed robbery of the Pineville area mattress store owned by Douglas and Deborah London.
“These indictments send a very strong message to those who engage in violent criminal activity. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and our partner agencies will continue to be steadfast in our focus to keep the community safe,” said Chief Rodney D. Monroe of Charlotte Mecklenburg Police.
According to the allegations contained in the second superseding indictment filed in federal court, other publicly filed documents and statements made in court, from at least in or about 2012 to present:
The 12 defendants were members of the “United Blood Nation,” a criminal enterprise commonly known as “UBN,” or the “Bloods.” The defendants operated as a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO), responsible for carrying out violent acts for the purpose of protecting and furthering the gang’s power, intimidating communities and rival gangs, enriching its members and providing financial assistance to incarcerated UBN members, and obstructing law enforcement from identifying and prosecuting other gang members.
As UBN members, the defendants operated according to a common set of Bloods’ rules, also known as “The 31,” followed the gang’s ranking system, used the communication codes and language affiliated with the gang, and used distinctive markings, tattoos and colors to indicate allegiance to the gang. The defendants also regularly participated in gang meetings, during which they collected gang dues, planned actions against individuals suspected of cooperating with law enforcement, discussed the commission of crimes to include robbery and murder, and made plans to obstruct justice and to prevent the prosecution of other UBN gang members, among others.
On or about May 25, 2014, Cureton, Adoma and Fudge robbed “The Mattress Warehouse,” located in Pineville, N.C. Cureton committed the robbery at gun point, while Adoma served as the lookout man and Fudge the getaway driver. During the robbery, Cureton and Douglas London exchanged gunfire, Cureton was injured and the three conspirators fled the scene. Cureton sought medical treatment at an area hospital and was arrested on state charges related to the robbery. A criminal indictment bringing federal armed robbery and related charges against Cureton and Adoma was filed in Charlotte on November 18, 2014. In a first superseding indictment filed on January 21, 2015, Fudge was added as a third defendant for his role the robbery.
Over the next five months, the defendants exchanged correspondence and conducted numerous in-person and telephonic gang meetings, during which they discussed and planned the murder of Douglas London, the only eyewitness to the robbery. On or about October 23, 2014, Johnson drove Hartley to South Carolina, where Hartley shot and killed Douglas and Deborah London at their home. Shortly after, Cureton ordered the gang to remain silent about the Londons’ murders. Kornegay also conducted a telephone gang meeting with other UBN gang members, during which he directed them to lay low to avoid contact with law enforcement.
The indictment further charges Cureton and Ahkeem McDonald with the murder of Kwamne Donqurius Clyburn. According to the indictment, on or about August 22, 2013, the two gang members shot and killed Kwamne Clyburn for “false claiming,” that is, claiming to be a UBN member when he was not.
Nine defendants are currently in federal custody and had their initial appearances in Charlotte today. Law enforcement arrested Kornegay in Greenville and he appeared in federal court in Raleigh. Hartley and Johnson will be extradited from South Carolina in the coming days.
A chart identifying each defendant’s charges and maximum penalties is attached below. The indictment contains a notice of special sentencing factors, which provides for a greater sentence for those defendants charged with offenses related to the murders. The defendants’ sentences will be determined by the Court, after considering the federal sentencing guidelines and statutory sentencing factors.
The charges contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
At today’s press conference announcing the charges, Acting U.S. Attorney Rose praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, CMPD and the York County Sheriff’s office and noted that the investigation is still ongoing.Ms. Rose also thanked the York County Solicitor’s Office for their continued support and cooperation with the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Greene and Don Gast are in charge of the prosecution.