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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

22-Members and Associates of California’s Grape Street Crips and Memphis’ Peda Roll Mafia and Individuals with Ties to Mexican Cartel were Indicted on Federal Drug Trafficking Charges

Memphis, TN – Twenty-two members and associates of the Grape Street Crips/The Peda Roll Mafia were charged by a federal grand jury with multiple drug and money laundering offenses. Lawrence J. Laurenzi, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the unsealing of the two federal-indictments today.

The indictments allege that seventeen of the defendants are members of, or associated with, the Memphis Peda Roll Mafia, a local street gang that distributes multiple types of illegal drugs in and around the Memphis area. Law enforcement first identified the gang operating around the Bella Vista Apartment complex in Memphis. The indictment further alleges that Fred McCaster Jr., a/k/a/ the "Original Gangster," directs the activities of the Memphis gang. John Shields, O.B. Hildson, Ivory Tripplett Jr., Clyde Wade III, Rayhem Jones, Darrin Beecham, Jeremy Davis and Antonion Fisher are members of the Peda Roll Mafia, while Jerry McMaster, Jeremy Davis, Antonion Fisher and Damion Cox are associated with the Peda Roll Mafia.

Five people named in the indictments reside in California and are members or associates of the Grape Street Crips / Peda Role Mafia, a gang that engages in drug trafficking nationwide. The indictment alleges that Reginald Wright, Sr., Reginald Wright, Jr., Brandon Curcio, Donnell Tousant and Tyrell Chance are members in California. According to court papers filed in Chicago, Eric Avendano is connected to the Mexican cartels. Brothers Eric J. Avendano and Calvin Avendano are U.S. citizens.

During the investigation, law enforcement officials determined that members of the Peda Roll Mafia established a pipeline of illegal drugs throughout the Mid-South area. As members of the Grape Street Crips, they supplied heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and various other pharmaceutical drugs to the Peda Roll Mafia gang who then

distributed the drugs throughout the Western District of Tennessee and the Mid-South area.

The two indictments are the result of an extensive investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement officials into the Peda Roll Mafia, which began in 2013.

Larry Laurenzi, Acting U.S. Attorney, said, "Today’s arrests demonstrate the commitment of law enforcement partners to remove the violent criminal element from the Western District of Tennessee. Gang activity will not be tolerated."

"ATF along with its partners work diligently to protect the public from these senseless acts of violence. ATF will remain vigilant as we engage with the community and foster a safe environment. Support from the public is crucial as the reporting of illegal activity is encouraged through ATF’s report it phone app," said Steve Gerido, Special Agent-In-Charge.

The defendants in custody are:

• Eric J. Avendano, a/k/a "Menace"
• Reginald Wright Jr., a/k/a "Reg" a/k/a "Unc"
• Reginald Wright Sr.,
• Montrell Ray Bernard, a/k/a "Big Ray" a/k/a/ "Ray"
• Donnell Tousant, a/k/a/ "Don"
• Fred McCaster Jr., a/k/a "Boo Dirty" a/k/a/ "Dirty" a/k/a "OG"
• John Shields, a/k/a "John John" a/k/a "John Juan"
• Ivory Triplett Jr, a/k/a "Woodie" a/k/a "Woodie Grape"
• Jeremy Davis
• Raheym Jones
• Antonio Fisher
• Darrin Beecham
• Lucinda Sanders
• Tameka Joyner McCaster
• Brandon Curcio
• Tonja Hosey

AVENDANO INDICTMENT

Count 1 charges Calvin Avendano, Eric Avendano, Montrell Ray Bernard, Donnell Tousant, Tyrell Chance, Fred McCaster, John Shields, O.B. Hildson, Clyde Wade III, Ivory Tripplett Jr., Jeremy Davis and Jerry Sherrod McCaster with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute one (1) kilogram of heroin.

Count 2 charges Calvin Avendano, Eric Avendano, Montrell Ray Bernard, Donnell Tousant, Tyrell Chance, Fred McCaster, John Shields, O.B. Hildson, Clyde Wade III, Ivory Tripplett Jr., Jeremy Davis, Jerry Sherrod McCaster, Raheym Jones and Antonio Fisher

with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five (5) kilograms of cocaine.

Count 3 charges Calvin Avendano, Eric Avendano, Montrell Ray Bernard, Donnell Tousant, Tyrell Chance, Fred McCaster, John Shields, O.B. Hildson, Clyde Wade III, Ivory Tripplett Jr., Jeremy Davis, Jerry Sherrod McCaster, Raheym Jones and Antonio Fisher with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams of methamphetamine.

Count 4 charges Calvin Avendano, Eric Avendano, Donnell Tousant and Clyde Wade III with possession with intent to distribute 500 grams of methamphetamine.

Count 5 charges Calvin Avendano, Eric Avendano and Clyde Wade III with possession with intent to distribute 500 grams of methamphetamine.

Count 6 charges Calvin Avendano, Eric Avendano, John Shields and Jeremy Davis with possession with intent to distribute one (1) kilogram of heroin.

Count 7 charges Calvin Avendano, Eric Avendano and O.B. Hildson with possession with intent to distribute 500 grams of cocaine.

Count 8 charges Calvin Eric Avendano, Montrell Ray Bernard, Tyrell Chance and Fred McCaster with possession with intent to distribute 100 grams of heroin.

Count 9 charges Calvin Avendano, Eric Avendano, Fred McCaster, John Shields, O.B. Hildson, Clyde Wade III, Jeremy Davis, Jerry Sherrod McCaster, Raheym Jones and Antonio Fisher with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

WRIGHT INDICTMENT

Count 1 charges Reginald Wright Jr., Reginald Wright Sr.,Montrell Ray Bernard, Donnell Tousant, Tyrell Chance, Fred McCaster, John Shields, O.B. Hildson, Clyde Wade III, Ivory Tripplett Jr., Jerry Sherrod McCaster, Raheym Jones, Damion Cox, Lucinda Sanders, and Antonio Fisher with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana.

Count 2 charges Reginald Wright Jr., Reginald Wright Sr., Montrell Ray Bernard, Donnell Tousant, Tyrell Chance, Fred McCaster, John Shields, O.B. Hildson, Clyde Wade III, Ivory Tripplett Jr., Jerry Sherrod McCaster, RaheymJones, Damion Cox, Lucinda Sanders, and Antonio Fisher with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute hydrocodone.

Count 3 charges Reginald Wright Jr., Reginald Wright Sr., Montrell Ray Bernard, Donnell Tousant, Tyrell Chance, Fred McCaster, John Shields, O.B. Hildson, Clyde Wade III, Ivory Tripplett Jr., Jerry Sherrod McCaster, Raheym Jones, Damion Cox, Lucinda Sanders, and Antonio Fisher with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute oxycodone (OxyContin).

Count 4 charges Reginald Wright Jr. and Montrell Ray Bernard with possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.

Counts 5 and 6 charge Reginald Wright Jr. and O.B. Hildson with possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.

Count 7 charges Reginald Wright Jr. and John Shields with possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.

Count 8 charges Reginald Wright Jr. and Lucinda Sanders with possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.

Count 9 charges Reginald Wright Jr., Reginald Wright Sr., Fred McCaster, John Shields, O.B. Hildson, Clyde Wade III, Ivory Tripplett Jr., Jerry Sherrod McCaster, Damion Cox, Lucinda Sanders, Darrin Beecham, Brandon Curcio and Antonio Fisher with, conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Count 10 charges Fred McCaster Jr and Tonja Hosey with, conspiracy to structure currency deposits.

The investigation resulted in the seizure of 11,950 grams of marijuana, 3,270 grams of cocaine, 2,880 grams of heroin, and 3,260 grams of methamphetamine.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); U.S. Marshals Service; Multi-Agency Gang Unit; Memphis Police Department; and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Whitmore and Mark Erskine are prosecuting this case on the government’s behalf.

The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated June 28, 2017