Friday, January 29, 2016

Crips Gang Members Indicted in Nebraska for Racketeering Conspiracy and Related Offenses

Six alleged members of the Crips have been indicted for their alleged roles in a racketeering conspiracy involving murder, attempted murder and other offenses in Nebraska, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and the U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Gilg of the District of Nebraska.

A federal grand jury returned the superseding indictment on Jan. 27, 2016, and it was unsealed today in the District of Nebraska.  It charges Jerell Haynie, aka Bootie and T; Gregory Bahati, aka Pooh Bear and Murk 2x; Dionte Dortch, aka Killa Tay; Kendell Tealer; Brandon Heard, aka B; and Julio Arias, aka Rudy, all of Omaha, Nebraska, with conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity.  Haynie is also charged with one count of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, one count of attempt to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence; Heard is also charged with three counts of distribution of cocaine base; Bahati is also charged with one count of threats in aid of racketeering and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence; Dortch is also charged with one count of felon in possession of a firearm, one count of witness tampering and one count of attempted obstruction of justice; and Arias is also charged with three counts of distribution of cocaine base.  As of this morning, five of the defendants are in custody; Heard is a fugitive.

According to the superseding indictment, the Crips is a violent street gang originally based in Los Angeles with members located throughout the country.  The Crips are divided into local chapters, referred to as “sets.”  There are numerous “sets” of Crips in the Omaha area, including but not limited to the “40th Ave Crips” and the “44th Ave Crips.”  The 40th Ave. Crips and the 44th Ave Crips have “cliqued up” in response to, and in order to protect themselves against, rival Blood gangs in Omaha.

The superseding indictment alleges that the 40th Ave Crips operated a drug-distribution organization dealing mainly in crack cocaine and sought to protect that enterprise through threats and violence.  The 40th Ave Crips also sought to keep victims and witnesses in fear of the gang through acts of violence.  Specifically, for example, the indictment alleges that in December 2010, Tealer used a firearm to shoot and kill a victim; in September 2012, Haynie shot at an occupied residence; and in April 2015, Dortch was in a vehicle with Crips associates, leaned out of a window and shot at four victims, including an infant, in another vehicle.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives field office in Omaha and the Omaha Police Department are investigating the case.  Trial Attorneys Yvonne L. Garcia and Joseph A. Cooley of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Molsen and Michael Norris of the District of Nebraska are prosecuting the case.

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

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