12 members of national Crips gang indicted in Detroit

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Seven members of an alleged northwest Detroit gang appeared in federal court Wednesday to be arraigned on charges in a grand jury indictment.

U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade

In all, the grand jury indicted 12 members of the Crips street gang in northwest Detroit, accusing them of assaults, robberies, carjackings, and firearms and narcotics trafficking across Metro Detroit.

Unsealed Wednesday, the indictment alleges the Detroit chapter of the “Rollin 60s Crips” is a branch of the national street gang founded in Los Angeles in the mid-1970s. Authorities say the Detroit chapter has 150 members.

The indictment alleges the chapter is a violent organization responsible for numerous crimes in Metro Detroit in the past nine years.

“The gang uses violence to avenge acts of rival gang members, to intimidate witnesses and to advance members’ positions within the gang,” according to a statement by federal authorities.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said under the Detroit One initiative, and through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Comprehensive Violence Reduction Partnership and the FBI’s Violent Crime Task Force, law enforcement identified the leaders and key members of the organization.

Seven of the 12 defendants were arrested Wednesday. Among those charged:

■Jerome Hamilton, 23, of Detroit, charged with Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act conspiracy, assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and using a firearm during a crime of violence.

■Darriyon Mills, 24, of Detroit, charged with RICO conspiracy, assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, carjacking and using a firearm during a crime of violence.

■Jonathan Barber, 24, of Detroit, charged with RICO conspiracy, assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and carrying and using an explosive device to commit a felony.

■Deaires Foster, 22, of Irondale, Alabama; Martel Strong, 26, Timothy Price, 26, and Brandon Kennedy, 22, all of Detroit; Charles Anthony Smith, 31, of Windsor; Sadeisha Johns, 30, of West Bloomfield Township; and William Steele, 34, of Charlotte, North Carolina, are all charged with RICO conspiracy.

■ Jermell Julius Coleman, 35, of Detroit, is charged with RICO conspiracy; assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, and using a firearm during a crime of violence.

■Soumo Kennedy, 22, of Detroit, is charged with RICO conspiracy, carjacking and using a firearm during a crime of violence.

Hamilton, Barber, Mills, Price, Kennedy, Johns and Coleman all made appearances Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mona K. Mazjoub.

Federal prosecutors asked for all of the defendants to be held in detention. Mazjoub set detention hearings for 1 p.m. Thursday.

“The Detroit One partners are systematically dismantling the most violent street gangs in Detroit,” McQuade said. “We believe that by removing the gang members who are committing violent crime, we can provide our neighborhoods with the public safety we should all expect and deserve.”

ATF Detroit Special Agent in Charge S. Robin Shoemaker said the gang’s brazen display of violence is over.

“(We) will see to it that these dangerous individuals and those who will take their place are removed from our streets. No longer will they threaten the safety of our citizens,” Shoemaker said.

JChambers@detroitnews.com