Detroit gang leader gets 30-year racketeering sentence
A Detroit gang leader, who directed a murder and several attempted murders, furnished guns and encouraged gang members to commit violent crimes and narcotics trafficking, was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds sentenced Ramiah Jefferson, 27, of Detroit following his conviction in August for racketeering conspiracy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said Jefferson, aka “Nightmare,” led the Bounty Hunter Bloods. Evidence at trial showed the Bounty Hunter Bloods operated primarily in northwest Detroit, but their illegal activities extended outside of Michigan, from California to North Carolina.
Their crimes included killings, carjackings, armed robberies, drive-by-shootings, home invasions, arsons and witness intimidation, McQuade said.
“The Detroit One partners are working to reduce violent crime through gang prevention and intervention, but sometimes enforcement actions like this one are necessary,” McQuade said. “When street gangs commit violent acts and endanger innocent victims, we will use the full force of the law to remove them from our neighborhoods.”
Federal investigators said Bounty Hunter members used social media for self-promotion and communication, including posting photographs on their personal social networking sites that highlighted their affiliation with the Bounty Hunters as well as gang-related accomplishments.
On Dec.17, 2010, Jefferson used Facebook to direct the murder or attempted murders of rival Avon Gangster gang members, McQuade said.
Jefferson posted his fellow Bounty Hunters needed to “knock them down one by one” and that it was “huntin’ season.”
Bounty Hunter members also created rap songs about their allegiance to the gang, investigators said. Members would post these songs, along with videos, photographs and messages on social networking sites to celebrate and project the violent culture of the gang.
Members advanced in the gang by “putting in work,” which meant committing murders, robberies, carjackings, home invasions, drug-deals and other acts of violence against rival gangs, federal prosecutors said.
McQuade said one of these carjackings and murders occurred when members of the Bounty Hunter Bloods attempted to carjack a vehicle outside a CVS pharmacy on Schaefer in Detroit in February 2014. That carjacking led to the murder of the CVS security guard, Courtney Meeks, when he attempted to prevent the carjacking of a mother and her infant son.
The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office prosecuted Jamare Rucker and Jeremy Jackson, both Bounty Hunter members, for the crime. Both men received 33 to 60 year sentences for second-degree murder.
The Bounty Hunter Bloods were also responsible for the murder of Marquise Robinson, according to authorities. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office prosecuted the gunman, Jayjuan Watts, who is now serving a life sentence.
Other gang members in the case were sentenced, starting in December. They include:
■Evan Johnson, 24, of Detroit, aka “Unkle Murda,” convicted under (RICO) the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations conspiracy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Sentenced to 30 years.
■Alexander Deshawn George, 20, of Detroit, aka “Bullet,” convicted of RICO conspiracy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Sentenced to 18 years.
■David Lamar Gay, 22, of Toledo, Ohio, aka “Glock,” convicted of murder in aid of racketeering and sentenced to 17½ years
■Drakkar Beral Cunningham, 25, of Detroit, aka “Rellz,” convicted of RICO conspiracy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and sentenced to 5 years.
■Everette Ramon George, 21, of Detroit, aka “Klout,” convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and sentenced to four years, nine months.
■Mario Garnes, 28, of Detroit, aka “Bloodhound,” convicted of RICO conspiracy and sentenced to 42 months.
■Gerald Deshawn Turner, 25, of Detroit, aka “G-Red,” convicted of RICO conspiracy and sentenced to time served and three years of supervised release.
■Marcus Andre Harvey, 23, of Detroit, aka “Ceasar,” was also convicted of RICO conspiracy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 2.
S. Robin Shoemaker, ATF special agent in charge, said ATF’s primary mission is to protect neighborhoods from violent organized street gangs.
“The significant federal sentences of the Bounty Hunter Bloods street gang leaders are the result of Detroit One initiative, an ongoing cooperative federal and state effort to combat violent gang and gun violence. Violent crime plagues our communities in many ways, but the link to most is the illegal possession and use of firearms by prohibited individuals,” Shoemaker said.