Feds: Brightmoor area gang waged murderous campaign
Detroit — A grand jury has indicted five members of the “Young and Scandalous” street gang that allegedly killed rivals, torched businesses and created a culture of fear throughout one of Detroit’s poorest neighborhoods.
A racketeering indictment unsealed Friday in federal court is the latest crackdown on Detroit street gangs and follows waves of criminal cases targeting more than 120 members of 6 Mile Chedda Grove, Latin Counts, Bounty Hunter Bloods, Seven Mile Bloods and Band Crew street gangs.
The indictment against the “Young and Scandalous” gang targeted an organized racketeering enterprise that overtook the Brightmoor neighborhood in northwest Detroit, according to authorities. Prosecutors allege members killed at least three people while trying to consolidate power and dominate the drug market in northwest Detroit.
“As a result of (‘Young and Scandalous’) violent domination of the neighborhood, the residents of Brightmoor live in fear ...,” prosecutors wrote in the indictment. “... the gang has become known as the most dangerous group in Brightmoor and one of the most dangerous in the city of Detroit.”
The five people indicted are:
■Corey Toney, 36, aka “Green Eyes,” aka “B-Mo,” of Detroit. He is charged with racketeering conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
■Edward Tavorn, 30, aka “Chico,” aka “Cheeks,” of Detroit. He is charged with racketeering conspiracy and felon in possession of a firearm.
■Andre “Big Man” Chattam, 27, of Detroit. He is charged with racketeering conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, and use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.
■Kevin Pearson, 25, aka “BMG Kev,” of Detroit. He is charged with racketeering conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering and use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.
■Sontez “Skittles” Wells, 23, of Detroit. He is charged with murder in aid of racketeering, and use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.
Chattam is being sought by investigators. Pearson, Toney and Wells are in custody along with Tavorn.
Tavorn made a brief appearance in federal court Friday while sitting in a wheelchair. In a recent YouTube video, Tavorn is in a hospital bed, next to bloody clothing, and claims he was shot three times.
The gang, alternatively called “Young and Skantless,” allegedly waged a 10-year organized campaign of homicide, drug dealing, assaults, ruthless violence, arson, robbery and shootings, prosecutors allege.
In September 2010, a gang member sprayed carburetor cleaner on merchandise at a Marathon gas station in the 21000 block of Fenkell and started a fire, according to authorities.
Three years later, in August 2013, Pearson, Chattam and Wells killed a person identified in court records as “T.W.” during a robbery at a gas station at Seven Mile and Shiawassee, prosecutors allege.
Gang members bragged on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube about their violent activities, posting videos featuring handguns and AK-47-style rifles, prosecutors claimed.
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“Their status as (Young and Scandalous) members allows them to engage in illegal money-making activities while protecting them from interference and attack from others, and deters witnesses from cooperating with law enforcement against them,” prosecutors allege.
Members dealt a range of drugs, including marijuana and cocaine, according to the indictment.
On July 4, 2015, gang members robbed and killed a person identified in the indictment as “E.B.” at the Victory Inn motel on Telegraph in the Brightmoor neighborhood, prosecutors said.
Days later, Pearson, Tavorn and another gang member allegedly talked about the homicide, the gang and retaliating against gang members who were cooperating with police, according to the indictment. The conversation happened during a recorded phone call from jail.
In March 2016, Chattam and other gang members participated in multiple shootings in the neighborhood that culminated in a homicide in the 16000 block of Riverview, prosecutors allege. The victim is identified as “A.M.” in the indictment.
“As a result of (the gang’s) violent domination of the neighborhood, the residents of Brightmoor live in fear of shootings, robberies, arson and other violence,” the government alleged. “Members of the community have been forced to endure such violence, as well as the regular use of neighborhood businesses and residences as drug markets.”