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Press Release

Federal Jury Convicts Member of Memphis’ Peda Roll Mafia Street Gang

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


Memphis, TN – After an hour and a half of deliberations, a federal jury convicted John Shields, 33, a/k/a/ "John John," a/k/a/ "John Juan," with conspiracy to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin; conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of a mixture and substance of methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin; and conspiracy to commit money laundering. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the guilty verdict today.

In June 2017, 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.

According to information presented in court during a week-long jury trial, Shields is a member of the Peda Roll Mafia, which is a subset of the Grape Street Crips. The evidence at trial showed that Shields received multiple kilograms of heroin and multiple pounds of methamphetamine from his California-based suppliers, which were then distributed in the Western District of Tennessee. Shields laundered proceeds of his drug sales through national banks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "Criminal enterprises and street gangs that distribute harmful and addictive drugs into our communities for profit can no longer operate with impunity. Thanks to the outstanding work of our law enforcement partners, we are targeting gangs to dismantle their drug trafficking organizations and financial structures. The quick and decisive verdict by the jury also shows that law-abiding citizens will not tolerate this dangerous criminality."

The investigation was the result of a cooperative, multi-agency investigative effort, which included the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), U.S. Marshals

Service, Memphis Police Department’s Organized Crime Unit, and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.

Sentencing is set for October 18, 2019, before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas L. Parker. Shields faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Whitmore and Mark Erskine are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.


Updated July 23, 2019