3 Gang Members Charged in Federal RICO Indictment
PITTSBURGH - Three members of the 11 Hunnit street gang have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of Conspiracy to violate RICO (Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations), United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
The indictment, returned on August 2 and unsealed yesterday, named as defendants:
Dionte Griffin, aka L Gzz, aka El Gwopo, aka Fat Boii, 22, of Pittsburgh, PA;
Sydney Pack, aka Lane, aka 018 Lane, 20, of Pittsburgh, PA; and
Richard Kelly, aka Rack Boy, aka RB, 23, of Pittsburgh, PA.
All three defendants are currently incarcerated. The initial appearances for Griffin and Pack are scheduled for August 8, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. before Magistrate Judge Robert C. Mitchell. Kelly will make his initial appearance in federal court on September 11, 2018, at 1:30 p.m., before Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan.
The indictment alleges that from 2015 to August, 2018, the defendants were members of the 11 Hunnit street gang who conspired to commit murder, robbery, and drug trafficking.
According to the indictment, 11 Hunnit, also known as FDT and Sneaky Gang, is a violent street gang composed primarily of individuals from the Hill District section of the City of Pittsburgh that has been functioning since approximately 2012. The 11 Hunnit gang is primarily comprised of persons from the 800 block of Memory Lane and the 300 block of Burrows Street in the Hill District section of Pittsburgh. The 800 block of Memory Lane is referred to as the “Lane,” which also encompasses the Chauncey Drive housing complex, along with the Somers Drive housing complex. The 300 block of Burrows Street is referred to as the “Rack.” Multiple 11 Hunnit gang members include “Rack” or “Lane” into their street names.
According to the indictment, 11 Hunnit members were required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the gang. 11 Hunnit funded their criminal enterprise from various sources, including drug trafficking and robberies. These funds were used for gang purposes, including obtaining weapons and maintaining their lifestyle. The gang spread warnings and propaganda, and bragged about its misdeeds, through rap videos. The indictment references several publicly accessible music videos published to YouTube by a YouTube user identified in the indictment as J.W. These rap videos feature appearances by 11 Hunnit gang members, including Pack and Griffin.
According to the indictment, 11 Hunnit members communicated about gang activities using mobile telephones, telephone text messages and social media.
“As alleged, these defendants are members of a violent gang whose drug trafficking and other acts of violence have terrorized law abiding residents of the City of Pittsburgh for too long: today it ends,” stated U.S. Attorney Brady. “We will use every tool, including federal RICO conspiracy, to put an end to these violent street gangs and offer justice to those harmed by 11 Hunnit and their associates.”
“This investigation is an example of ATF’s dedication to working with our state, local and federal partners in identifying, targeting, and investigating violent criminals who are involved in selling narcotics and firearms who prey upon innocent citizens and lessen the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Donald Robinson. “Our neighborhoods deserve to exist without fear and intimidation inflicted by all violent drug gangs. We will continue to work with our partners at the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police to impact the violent crime that has done so much damage to a number of our neighborhoods in Pittsburgh.”
Allegheny County Police Supt. Coleman McDonough said, “In 2016, the Allegheny County Police initiated two homicide investigations, one in the Borough of Greentree the other in the Borough of McKees Rocks, that involved some of the same individuals. Through the course of those investigations, we developed significant intelligence information concerning the groups involved. Using that information, we partnered with the ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to facilitate a larger investigation. That investigation culminated with the indictment of the people involved with the two homicides. The collaborative effort illustrates the success that can be achieved when all levels of law-enforcement interface.”
“Our citizens have the right to live in communities free from violence,” added Commander Victor Joseph, of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Major Crimes. “The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police will not stand for violent gangs holding our neighborhoods hostage. When traditional investigative means are not enough to hold violent offenders accountable, we think outside the box. In this instance, a RICO investigation was appropriate. Thanks to our partnerships with the ATF, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Allegheny County Police and the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, three violent gang members are no longer on our streets.”
The law provides for maximum total sentences ranging from up to 20 years in prison for Kelly and up to life in prison for Griffin and Pack, a fine not to exceed $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Amy L. Johnston is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
U.S. Attorney Brady commended the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, the Allegheny County Police Department, and the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office for conducting the investigation leading to the indictment in this case. The investigation was funded by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.