Drug Enforcement Administration


Keith Martin (Acting), Special Agent in Charge

November 04, 2015

Contact: Brian McNeal

Phone Number: (571) 362-1498

Four Members Of Ohio Gang Plead Guilty To Murder

Short North Posse was an organized criminal enterprise responsible for drug and weapons trafficking, extortion, robbery and murder

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Today, four Columbus men pleaded guilty to murder in connection to a racketeering case involving the organized criminal enterprise known as the Short North Posse.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Joseph P. Reagan, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’(DEA) Detroit Field Division, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of (FBI), Michael Boxler, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and (ATF), Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, and Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs, announced the pleas entered into today before U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley.

Joseph Hill, 31, Christopher V. Wharton, 25, Troy A. Patterson, 24, and Ishmael Bowers, 33, each pleaded guilty to one count of murder in aid of racketeering. Hill also pleaded guilty to a second count of murder in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. Wharton also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana, and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Each of the defendants faces a potential maximum sentence of life in prison.

The four were charged by a superseding indictment in October 2014. Twenty individuals total were indicted in the racketeering case with charges that included murders, attempted murders, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, extortion and robbery.

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the two-year long investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the DEA, FBI, ATF, Columbus Police, and the Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott’s Office.

Fairfield County Prosecutor Gregg Marx, Licking County Prosecutor Kenneth Oswalt, Muskingum County Prosecutor D. Michael Haddox, Ross County Prosecutor Matthew S. Schmidt, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorneys David DeVillers, Kevin Kelley and Brian Martinez, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jimmy Lowe with the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office, are also to be commended for prosecuting the case. 

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