Four Sentenced for Racketeering Conspiracy to Commit Violent Robberies, Murder of Off-Duty Reserve Police Officer
Daniel Mathis, Shantai Shelton, Mersadies Shelton, Kweli Uhuru to each Serve Four Life Sentences
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA – Four members of a violent street gang, who were convicted of federal racketeering charges in February, were sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville for their roles in a RICO conspiracy that was responsible for the abduction and murder of a Waynesboro Police Department reserve officer, as well as multiple, violent armed robberies and home invasions, United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. announced today.
Daniel Lamont Mathis, 20, of Charlottesville, Va., Shantai Monique Shelton, 26, of Charlottesville, Va., Mersadies Lachelle Shelton, 22, of Charlottesville, Va., and Kweli Uhuru, 25, of Winchester, Va., were each found guilty of multiple federal racketeering counts following a month-long jury trial in February.
Today in District Court, Mathis, Shantai Shelton, Mersadies Shelton and Uhuru were sentenced each to four life sentences plus an additional period of incarceration. Mathis was sentenced today to four life terms plus 132 years in federal prison. Shantai and Mersadies Shelton were each sentenced to four life terms plus an additional 82 years in federal prison and Kweli Uhuru was sentenced to four life terms plus an additional 10 years in federal prison.
“This investigation shows how dedicated the Department of Justice is to addressing violent crime and the presence of street gangs in our communities,” United States Attorney Fishwick said today. “The use of the federal RICO statute in this case allowed prosecutors to not only charge these four defendants, but other members of the gang, including those in leadership positions in Northern Virginia. Today’s sentence of multiple life terms should send a clear and loud message to those operating gang activity in central Virginia, this type of activity will lead you nowhere but federal prison.”
“This case comes at a time when our nation hears confusing messages about who in our society are the good guys and who are the bad guys. Officer Kevin Quick was one of the good guys. Thanks to United States Attorney John Fishwick and his team, our many outstanding law enforcement partners, and the Charlottesville FBI office, Officer Quick's killers have finally been brought to justice,” said Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Division.
At trial, the evidence established that co-defendants Halisi Uhuru, Anthony Stokes and Kweli Uhuru formed the 99 Goon Syndikate, a set of the Bloods criminal street gang, while in prison. All three were released from prison in 2013. Kweli Uhuru recruited his brothers and the Shelton/Mathis siblings to join the gang in the summer of 2013 by persuading them of the easy money and respect earned as a gang member. By October 2013, this violent criminal street gang began committing criminal acts throughout Central Virginia.
Over the ensuing months, the gang members robbed convenience stores, burglarized or robbed homeowners, sold narcotics and ultimately abducted and murdered Captain Kevin Quick of the Waynesboro Police Department Reserves. Tragically, Captain Quick was in the wrong place at the wrong time on the evening hours of January 31, 2014. Quick was on his way to visit his sick child at the same time the gang wanted to commit a carjacking. When he arrived in the parking lot and exited his vehicle, the gang members abducted the unarmed Captain Quick at gunpoint and drove him to Fluvanna, where they forced him to disclose his ATM PIN code at gunpoint. After obtaining his code, the gang members took him into the woods and shot and killed him.
Two days later, gang members Daniel Mathis and Mersadies Shelton attempted to rob a Louisa homeowner who fought back after Mathis threatened a toddler and pistol whipped a female at the residence. During the melee, Mathis lost the magazine to his .40 caliber pistol and shot one of the residents while he escaped. The gang members then reached out to their leadership in Northern Virginia in an effort to escape to Montana. Halisi Uhuru sent Anthony Stokes from Manassas to Louisa in the middle of the night to bring the fellow gang members away from the scene of their crimes.
While in Northern Virginia, the leadership provided the gang members with food, shelter and helped them destroy evidence associated with the murder of Captain Quick, including the murder weapon. Law enforcement caught up with them the night they planned to escape to Montana on February 4, 2014. Two days later, Captain Quick’s body was found off a remote logging road in Goochland County, Virginia.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Virginia State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, the Albemarle County Police Department, the Charlottesville City Police Department, the Waynesboro Police Department, the Henrico County Police Department, the Gordonsville Police Department, the Goochland County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the Fluvanna County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and the Prince William County Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Ronald M. Huber and Christopher Kavanaugh prosecuted the case for the United States. Victim and Witness specialists with the United States Attorney’s Office, assisted by Victim and Witness specialists from the FBI, Albemarle County and Louisa County, provided substantial assistance in support of the prosecution.