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Press Release

Chain Gang Defendant Sentenced to 50 Years

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that former Chain Gang member Dearick Smith, 23, of Rochester, N.Y., who was convicted by a federal jury of engaging in racketeering activity, was sentenced to 50 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa.

            “As was said in another gang case just last week, we will not allow violent and narcotics trafficking gangs to operate in this area,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “In this case, our Office utilized federal racketeering laws to completely dismantle a gang that, among other things, murdered a young girl. To those who engage in similar organized or violent crime, you should know that this is only one of the many federal statutes we will employ to keep our community safe for residents and businesses.”

            Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas E. Gregory, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that up to approximately 2009, the “Chain Gang” aka “Wolfpack,” operated in Rochester, N.Y. as a violent street gang the members of which sold narcotics and committed violence principally in the areas of Chamberlain and Garson Avenues. The federal indictment charged 19 gang members with conspiring to use their membership in the Chain Gang to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity that included multiple acts of drug trafficking, the 2007 murder of Carmella Rogers and the attempted murder of several rival gang members.

Smith was convicted along with Russell Hampton and Michael Jackson in July 2011 after a five week jury trial. All other Chain Gang defendants were also convicted in other proceedings.

            Last week, U.S. Attorney Hochul announced charges against three members of another alleged gang who referred to themselves as “M.D.B.” and other names. That investigation and prosecution continue. In reporting on last week’s indictment, U.S. Attorney Hochul requested the public’s continuing help in reporting violent and narcotics trafficking activities to law enforcement officials.   

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Resident Agent in Charge Scott Heagney, along with officers and investigators with the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Sheppard.



Updated December 9, 2014