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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Gangster Disciple Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy

Jackson, TN – The first of 16 alleged Gangster Disciples indicted on racketeering charges in May 2016 has pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the guilty plea today.

According to information presented in court, Daniel Lee Cole aka "D-Money," 37, of Jackson, Tennessee, reportedly ordered acts of violence against subordinate gang members and rival gang members; issued operational directives and organizational decisions; and engaged in narcotics trafficking in furtherance of the Gangster Disciples enterprise.

The Gangster Disciples are a highly-organized street gang that operates in more than 35 states and is responsible for violent acts and large-scale drug and firearm distribution.

The Gangster Disciples are organized into different positions, including board members, and governor-of-governors who each control geographic regions; governors, assistant governors, chief enforcers and chief of security for each state or regions within the state where the Gangster Disciples are active; and coordinators and leaders within each local group.

During his plea agreement, Cole admitted that he was a past governor of the 731 region (Jackson, Tennessee) and was also Literature Coordinator. Cole also admitted that the Gangster Disciples purchased heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine from contacts in various states and transported the drugs into Tennessee. These drugs were regularly sold to associates in Memphis, Jackson and other areas of the state.

Cole is one of 16 Gangster Disciples in the Memphis and Jackson areas who were indicted in May 2016 for allegedly conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise.

On Wednesday, December 21, 2016, Cole pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr. to one count of conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise.

Cole is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Fowlkes on March 23, 2017.

He faces up to life in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI); the Jackson Police Department – Gang Enforcement Team; Police Departments for Memphis, Bartlett, Germantown and Columbia; Sheriff's Offices for Tipton, Desoto, Madison, and Fayette Counties; 28th District West Tennessee Drug Task Force; and 26th, 25th and 30th Judicial District Attorney's General's Offices.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jerry Kitchen, Beth Boswell, Michelle Parks and Samuel Stringfellow are prosecuting this case on the government’s behalf.

Updated December 28, 2016