Six Gang Members Sentenced To Prison For RICO Conspiracy And Related Charges
CHARLOTE, N.C. – Six members of the United Blood Nation gang (UBN or Bloods) were sentenced yesterday to terms ranging from 13 years to life in prison, for conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity (RICO) and related charges, stemming from the 2014 double-murder of Douglas and Deborah London and the 2013 murder of Kwamne Clyburn, announced R. Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina
John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Chief Kerr Putney of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.
U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. presided over the sentencing hearings and ordered Rahkeem Lee McDonald, 25, of Charlotte, to serve life in prison, following his guilty plea to RICO conspiracy and murder in aid of racketeering charges in connection to the Londons’ murder.
David Lee Fudge, 24, of Pineville, N.C., was ordered to serve 26 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Fudge pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy and murder in aid of racketeering for the Londons’ murder, and Hobbs Act robbery for his role in the robbery of the Pineville-area mattress store owned by the couple.
Ibn Rashaan Kornegay, 38, of Greenville, N.C., was sentenced to 23 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Nehemijel Maurice Houston, 23, of Charlotte, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Daquan Lamar Everrett, 23, of Charlotte, was sentenced to 13 years in prison and five years of supervised release, and Centrilla Shardon Leach, 33, of Charlotte, was ordered to serve 13 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Each defendant pleaded guilty to one count of RICO conspiracy.
Judge Cogburn previously sentenced Jamell Lamon Cureton and Malcolm Jarrel Hartley to life in prison in connection to the double-murder of Douglas and Deborah London. Cureton received a second life sentenced for the unrelated murder of Kwamne Clyburn in 2013.
Four more defendants who were previously convicted at trial or have pleaded guilty in connection with the case are currently awaiting sentencing:
Randall Hankins, II, Nana Yaw Adoma, and Akheem Tahja McDonald, were convicted of racketeering conspiracy charges in October 2017. Hankins was also convicted of 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 for his role in the murder of the Londons.
Adoma and Akheem McDonald were each convicted of 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, stemming from Clyburn’s murder. Adoma was also convicted of one count of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and one count of use or carry of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and possession of firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, for his role in the armed robbery of the Londons’ business. Briana Shakeyah Johnson has also pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy and murder in aid of racketeering charges for her involvement in the Londons’ murder.
According to previous court filings, admissions contained in filed plea documents, trial evidence and the sentencing hearings:
Beginning in at least or about 2012, the defendants were members of the Bloods and carried out violent acts for the purpose of protecting and furthering the gang’s power. Court documents show that the defendants operated according to a common set of Bloods’ rules and participated regularly in gang meetings to discuss, among other things, the commission of crimes, including robbery and murder.
On May 25, 2014, Cureton, Adoma and Fudge robbed The Mattress Warehouse in Pineville, owned by Douglas and Deborah London. In the months that followed, Cureton, a high-ranking “5-Star General” within the gang, communicated with Hartley and other UBN members, including the defendants sentenced yesterday, to plan the murders of Douglas and Deborah London. According to court records, Cureton and other gang members discussed that Douglas London was the only eye-witness who could identify Cureton and therefore needed to be eliminated.
The gang’s leadership authorized Hartley to proceed with the murder and on October 23, 2014, Johnson drove Hartley to South Carolina, where Hartley shot and killed the couple at their home. Following the couple’s murder, Cureton explained in a letter sent from prison that he ordered the murder of Douglas London because he was going to testify against him in court, and described Deborah London as “collateral damage.”
According to court records, after the murders Hartley was “ranked up” or “promoted” to a 2-Star General for carrying out the leadership’s orders. Cureton ordered the gang to remain silent about the murders and told Hartley that from that point forward the topic of the victims’ murders was not to be discussed, authorizing action against anyone who talked about it. 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.
Johnson, Hankins, Adoma, and Akheem McDonald are currently in federal custody. The maximum penalty associated with the charges of which they are convicted is life in prison. The defendants’ sentences will be determined by the Court, taking into consideration the federal sentencing guidelines and statutory sentencing factors. A sentencing date has not been set yet.
The investigation was led by the FBI, with the invaluable assistance of CMPD and the York County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Don Gast is prosecuting the case.