After a 10-week trial, a federal jury in the Eastern District of Michigan convicted four members of the Seven Mile Bloods Street Gang today for their participation in various criminal acts, including racketeering conspiracy and related firearm offenses.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider of the Eastern District of Michigan and Special Agent in Charge Timothy R. Slater of the FBI’s Detroit Division made the announcement.
“The Seven Mile Bloods and its rival conducted a gang war on the east side of Detroit, leading to an increase in murders and shootings in that part of the city,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski. “We commend our prosecutors and law enforcement partners for their hard work to hold members of the gang accountable for their crimes. Today’s verdict sends a strong message that the Department of Justice and its partners will use every tool available as we continue our work to disrupt and dismantle violent street gangs like the Seven Mile Bloods.”
“These guilty verdicts are a tremendous victory for the Detroit community that was plagued by the violence, drug dealing and mayhem inflicted by this violent street gang,” said U.S. Attorney Schneider. “The jury’s guilty verdicts highlight that our community has no tolerance for the senseless murders and violence spread by gang members.”
“The FBI, our Task Force partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, will continue to vigorously combat gang, drug and gun crimes in our neighborhoods so that all residents of the City of Detroit can live in an environment that is safe and free of violence,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Slater.
The trial was conducted before U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh in Detroit, Michigan. The jury deliberated approximately seven days before reaching their verdicts. Amongst those convicted are:
- Corey Bailey, aka “Sonny,” “Cocaine Sonny,” 30, of Detroit, was convicted of RICO conspiracy; murder in aid of racketeering; attempted murder in aid of racketeering; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence;
- Arlandis Shy, aka “Grymee,” “Vil,” 29, of Clinton Township was convicted of RICO conspiracy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence;
- Robert Brown II, aka “R.O.,” 36, of Warren, Michigan, was convicted of RICO conspiracy, attempted murder in aid of racketeering; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence; and
- Keithon Porter, aka “KP,” 32, of Detroit; was convicted of RICO conspiracy; murder in aid of racketeering; attempted murder in aid of racketeering; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
A fifth defendant, Eugene Fisher, aka “Fes,” 38, of Detroit, was convicted of two counts of felon in possession of a firearm.
According to evidence presented during the trial, the Seven Mile Bloods gang operates on the east side of Detroit, between Gratiot Avenue and Kelly Road and between Seven and Eight Mile Roads. Seven Mile Bloods or “SMB” members have claimed this area as their territory and refer to it as the “Red Zone.” The area is in zip code 48205, which SMB members refer to as “4-8-2-0-Die” in some of their rap lyrics.
Evidence presented at trial showed an ongoing gang war between the Seven Mile Bloods and an alliance of other gangs operating on Detroit’s east side stemming from a murder that occurred in July 2014. These rival gangs have been violently attacking one another and have posted respective “hit lists” on social media. This shooting war has led to increased homicides and non-fatal shootings on Detroit’s east side.
This case was the work of the Detroit One Initiative. Investigators were able to bring together separate probes into various members of this organization and its criminal activities into one encompassing investigation. Partners include the Detroit Police Department Gang Intelligence Unit, the FBI Violent Gang Task Force, which consists of representatives of Detroit Police Department, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Michigan Department of Corrections and Michigan State Police, with the cooperation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The investigation further resulted in the seizure of more than 20 firearms, including several high-powered assault rifles.
The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Julie A. Finocchiaro of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin Wechsler, Mark Bilkovic and Tare Wigod of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.
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Author: August 27, 2018