LOS ANGELES—Three more members of the Pueblo Bishops Bloods, a long-entrenched criminal street gang that used violence and intimidation in an attempt to control the Pueblo del Rio housing projects in South Los Angeles, have been found guilty of federal racketeering, narcotics, and gun charges.
Yesterday’s convictions come in the first federal criminal RICO action brought against a Bloods street gang in Southern California.
Following a four-week trial in United States District Court, a jury yesterday afternoon convicted the three defendants of being members of a criminal enterprise that engaged in narcotics and firearms trafficking, murder, witness intimidation, and armed robbery as part of the gang’s efforts to terrorize the housing projects.
The three defendants found guilty yesterday of violating the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act are:
■Kevin Eleby, also known as “L,” 48, of Los Angeles;
■Jason Davis, also known as “Lil’ G-Red,” 26, of Los Angeles; and
■Rashaad Laws, also known as “Big Time,” 35, who resided in Los Angeles and Culver City.
In addition to the RICO charge, Eleby was convicted of being responsible for a gun possession related to a shooting that occurred inside the projects on September 11, 2009. This shooting, committed by several other Pueblo Bishop gang members, targeted the residence of a rival gang member but, at the time of the shooting, only the rival gang member’s mother and 11-year-old brother were inside.
In addition to the RICO charge, Davis was convicted of a possessing a sawed-off .22-caliber rifle in furtherance of the RICO conspiracy. During this offense, Davis led police on a high-speed chase through the projects, almost hitting a child, and ultimately crashing into a minivan as he unsuccessfully sought to elude capture.
In addition to the above charges, Eleby, Davis, and Laws were convicted of conspiracy to distribute significant quantities cocaine and crack cocaine. Eleby was also convicted of possession with intent to sell cocaine. Davis was also convicted of drug trafficking within a public housing project, and near schools and playgrounds.
As a result of their convictions, Eleby and Davis face a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in federal prison, and they could be sentenced to life without parole. Laws faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, and he faces a potential life sentence. All three defendants are scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge S. James Otero on February 4, 2013.
The jury that returned the guilty verdicts deadlocked on whether Eleby possessed a second firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking.
The federal racketeering case targeting the Pueblo Bishops Blood criminal enterprise is a result of a long-standing partnership between the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department, a relationship that is maintained through the FBI’s Los Angeles Metropolitan Task Force on Violent Gangs. This task force is one of dozens of such partnerships throughout the United States, known as Safe Streets Task Forces, funded for the purpose of assisting local police in identifying and addressing violent crime in America.
A total of 46 defendants were charged as a result of the investigation targeting the Pueblo Bishops Bloods (see initial announcement in this case at: http://www.justice.gov/usao/cac/Pressroom/pr2010/122.html). With yesterday’s guilty verdicts, 42 of those defendants have now been convicted (see, for example: http://www.justice.gov/usao/cac/Pressroom/2012/046.html). One federal defendant is currently is state custody facing a murder charge, two are fugitives suspected to be in Mexico, and prosecutors dismissed charges against one defendant.
On July 16, 2012, three other Pueblo Bishop Blood defendants were convicted by a separate jury of federal racketeering and drug charges, with one defendant also being convicted for conspiring to murder a man who was killed after being shot in the back by Pueblo Bishops in front of his 2-year-old son (see: http://www.justice.gov/usao/cac/Pressroom/2012/094.html).
Out of the 42 defendants now convicted in this case, about half have been sentenced, receiving prison terms as long as 211 months.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Los Angeles Police Department, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development-Office of Inspector General, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.