Friday, October 23, 2020

Project Safe Neighborhoods Result in Arrest of Six Members of “Killas With Aggression” in Temple

 In Temple, Texas, this morning, federal, state and local law enforcement arrested six members and associates of Killas With Aggression (KWA), announced U.S. Attorney Gregg N. Sofer, FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Stephen Kam, and Temple Police Chief Shawn Reynolds.

A federal grand jury indictment, unsealed today, charges three individuals who were arrested today, along with six other KWA members who were already in custody, with racketeering, Hobbs Act violations and federal drug trafficking charges.  Those indicted defendants arrested today without incident include: Jason Mayse, age 39; Christopher Meyers (aka “CJ”), age 24; and, Reginald Williams (aka “Reggie”), age 27.  The six indicted defendants already in custody prior to today include: Desmond Wilkerson (aka “Mookie”), age 27; Atorius Marquis Williams (“Lil Man”), age 23; Demonta Daniels (aka “Tado”, “Tato”), age 21; Trashawn Lamar Alexander (aka “Mad Max”), age 26; James Roy Whitfield, Jr. (aka “Snoop”, “Snoopy”), age 27; and, Jyraciel Whitfield (aka “Raci”), age 24.  A seventh indicted defendant, 25-year-old Dominic Johnson (aka “Dumbway”).  Johnson, is considered a fugitive.

Defendants Wilkerson, Atorius Williams, Daniels, Whitfield and Meyers are charged with conspiracy to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act.  The indictment alleges that those five conspired with others to commit five murders, multiple violent assaults, extortion, drug trafficking and armed robberies in furtherance of the criminal enterprise.  Specifically, the indictment alleges five overt acts to include murder—one committed on November 26, 2015, by Williams in Hearne, Texas; the second, committed by Williams and Daniels on September 30, 2017, in Belton, Texas; the third, committed by Williams and Alexander on December 10, 2017, in Temple; the fourth, committed by Williams and Daniels on January 16, 2018, in Temple; and the fifth, committed by Williams, Daniels and Alexander on January 31, 2018, in Temple.  The RICO conspiracy charge also alleges the defendants committed multiple assaults resulting in serious bodily injury and armed robberies against various individuals for not using KWA as their source of supply for narcotics distribution.

The indictment also charges all of the defendants with the exception of Mayse, with conspiracy to violate the Hobbs Act, or affect commerce by robbery. The indictment alleges that since September 2017, the nine defendants conspired to affect commerce by robbery, committing acts of physical violence and threatening to commit acts of physical violence to steal controlled substances and proceeds from persons engaged in illegal drug distribution. Several of the defendants, including Atorius Williams, Meyers, Reginald Williams, Daniels, Whitfield and Alexander are also charged with brandishing a firearm during a crime of crime of violence, namely robbery. Atorius Williams and Whitfield are also charged with discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

The indictment further charges Johnson, Wilkerson and Mayse with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana.  According to the indictment, the three KWA gang members are responsible for trafficking over 100 kilograms of marijuana throughout Central Texas since 2014.

A related federal criminal complaint unsealed today, charges 25-year-old KWA affiliate and Temple resident Christopher Kelso (aka “Money Montana”), 21-year-old KWA associate and Temple resident Emanuel Padilla and 22-year-old KWA member and Temple resident Darius Hellums (aka “Bighomie Dlove”) with conspiring to violate the Hobbs Act.  The criminal complaint alleges that on July 14, 2019, Kelso, Padilla, and Hellums, whom federal, state and local authorities arrested today, robbed a Temple residence which resulted in an occupant being shot by one of the defendants causing serious bodily injury.  The complaint alleges that the defendants targeted the occupants of the house due to the sale of marijuana and firearms at that location.

“The unsealed indictment reveals a reign of terror, perpetrated by a violent enterprise, resulting in death and suffering on a frightening scale.  We will use all of our federal resources and the full force of federal statutes like RICO to prevent violent criminals from running unchecked and undeterred throughout our communities,” stated U.S. Attorney Sofer.

“The indictments and arrests announced today come after years of hard work,” said FBI San Antonio Division Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs. “These self-proclaimed ‘Killas With Aggression’ committed numerous violent acts to control the distribution of illegal drugs in East Temple through fear and intimidation. Families and children deserve to live peacefully in their neighborhoods and not be poisoned and victimized by violent groups. Our message is clear. The FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will find dangerous criminals and hold them accountable.”

“The City of Temple and central Texas area is a safer place with these violent offenders off the streets. Organized crime and crime that victimizes the community should not be tolerated and it is my hope that this operation sends a message that this type of activity will not be tolerated in the City of Temple,” stated Temple Police Chief Reynolds.

The defendants remain in federal custody.  Upon conviction of the RICO conspiracy charge, the defendants face up to life in federal prison. Upon conviction of the Hobbs Act conspiracy, the defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison.  Upon conviction of conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute, the defendants faces between five and 40 years in federal prison.  Upon conviction of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, the defendants face not less than seven years in federal prison consecutive to any other prison term. Upon conviction of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, the defendants face a mandatory ten years in federal prison consecutive to any other prison term.

The FBI, Temple Police Department, Belton Police Department, Bell County Organized Crime Unit, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Marshals Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Cameron Police Department, and Hearne Police Department are conducting this investigation.  The Killeen Police Department and Bell County Sheriff’s Department provided valuable assistance with today’s arrests. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Blanton is prosecuting these cases on behalf of the government.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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