June 26, 2018
Contact: Special Agent Sharon Santiago
Phone Number: (312) 353-7875
Fifteen Alleged Members of Peoria Street Gang Charged in Federal RICO Indictment for Gang Violence, Murder, Attempted Murder
PEORIA, Ill - A federal indictment unsealed today charges 15 alleged members of the Peoria street gang Bomb Squad with organized violent gang activity including murder and attempted murder. The indictment alleges that those charged are participants in a racketeering conspiracy that has committed numerous shootings and acts of violence, including the April 8, 2018, murder of a rival gang member and a bystander, a Bradley University student.
DEA Agent in Charge Brian M. McKnight, Chicago Division; U.S. Attorney John E. Childress; ATF Resident Agent in Charge Tom Dart, Springfield Field Office; Peoria Interim Chief of Police Loren Marion III; Peoria County State’s Attorney Jerry Brady; and Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis made the announcement.
The indictment charges the defendants with federal racketeering conspiracy under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Under the RICO statute, the indictment alleges that from 2013 to the present, the defendants functioned as a criminal enterprise to achieve its objectives, including activities that affect interstate commerce. Members and associates of Bomb Squad allegedly engaged in acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, arson, and drug trafficking. The enterprise used violence to protect itself, its members and associates from rival gangs and to protect the standing and reputation of Bomb Squad.
All of the 15 defendants named in the indictment are charged with one count of RICO conspiracy, an offense which carries a statutory penalty of up to life in prison, if convicted. Those charged include: Eugene Haywood, aka “Nunu,” 24; Raevaughn Rogers, aka “Lil Poppi,” 18; Kenwan Crowe, 19; Terry Moss, aka “Lil Man,” 23; Ezra Johnson, aka “Lil Wody,” 22; Jovan McCree, aka “Vano,” 36; Jahlin Wilson, aka “BD,” 21; Andre Neal-Ford, aka “Monkey Man,” 20; Lance Washington, 22; Torieuanno White, aka “T.A.,” 24; Sherman Williams, aka “Shady,” 26; Lloyd Dotson, 27; Keith Gregory, aka “Kilo,” 19; Mytrez Flora, aka “Trez,” 24; and Kentrevion Watkins, aka “Tutu,” 19.
Twelve of the defendants are also charged with one or more counts of Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering (VICAR) that include assault with a dangerous weapon and attempted murder, and with using firearms during the commission of a violent crime. In addition, the indictment includes charges of drug trafficking in marijuana, crack cocaine, and heroin, and possession of firearms by felons. (A complete listing of the charges and penalties for each defendant is available.)
To further the conspiracy and achieve its objectives, the indictment alleges 46 overt acts in which gang members and associates engaged in murder, drug trafficking, witness tampering, arson, and robbery. Included among the overt acts alleged are the following:
- June 23, 2013, Haywood murdered Eric “Greedy” Brown, who he believed to be a rival gang member;
- July 15, 2013, Haywood, Flora, Dotson and deceased Bomb Squad leader Raheem Wilson, aka “Boosie,” conspired to shoot and murder Tyrann Chester, whom they believed to be supplying drugs to a dealer operating independently of Bomb Squad in Bomb Squad territory;
- May 12, 2016, Wilson robbed and shot unnamed victim during a dice game because he believed the victim was dealing drugs in Bomb Squad territory and not sharing the proceeds;
- June 13, 2016, McCree shot a .308 caliber rifle at a car he believed was occupied by rival gang members driving on Arago Street, in Bomb Squad territory. One of the bullets passed through the wall of a residence and struck an 11-year-old girl in the leg as she slept on a couch;
- Feb. 12, 2017, Moss attempted to set fire to the home of an individual he believed to be a rival gang member, in retaliation for the murder of deceased Bomb Squad leader Raheem Wilson, aka “Boosie;”
- Aug. 9, 2017, Williams, Crowe and other Bomb Squad members burglarized a house and stole a safe containing 12 guns which were then distributed to other Bomb Squad members;
- April 4, 2018, Johnson attempted to persuade a witness from testifying in a trial wherein Haywood is charged with shooting an individual with a firearm. When the witness refused to accept a bribe, Johnson threatened the witness;
- April 8, 2018, Watkins provided a juvenile Bomb Squad member with Crowe’s handgun which the juvenile then allegedly used to shoot and kill Anthony Polnitz and Nasjay Murry.
The indictment was returned by the grand jury on June 20, and sealed pending today’s arrests. ATF agents were assisted by the U.S. Marshals Service to make the arrests. Those arrested this morning are expected to make their respective initial appearances in federal court this afternoon. Five of the defendants already in state custody in Peoria county for state cases or serving a sentence at the Illinois Department of Corrections, are expected to appear in federal court for their initial appearances later this week and early next week.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
The charges are the result of an ongoing investigation by an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies working together to identify, disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations and violent street gangs.
Law enforcement agencies conducting the investigation include ATF, the Peoria Police Department, and DEA, in coordination with the Office of Peoria County State’s Attorney Jerry Brady. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Hanna is coordinating the investigation and prosecuting the case on behalf of the government in the Peoria Division, Central District of Illinois.
In addition, this case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a federal program designed to bring together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The program was reinvigorated in 2017 as part of the Department of Justice’s renewed focus on targeting each community’s most violent criminals.