Jury convicts gang members of drug-related shooting
TAMPA, Fla. - A federal jury has found Leon Williams 30, and Reginald Jones, Jr. 25, both of Tampa, guilty of conspiring to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to that conspiracy. Each faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years, and up to life, in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to evidence presented during the two-week trial, Williams and Jones are members of the Bird Gang, a violent street-level drug trafficking organization that has operated in Tampa Park for years and is responsible for multiple homicides and shootings. The Bird Gang principally sold drugs at two locations, the Tampa Park housing complex and a nearby boarding house known as the “Blue House,” which the Bird Gang had essentially taken over. On May 29, 2018, in the middle of the afternoon, Williams and Jones shot at people whom they believed had been communicating with law enforcement about the Bird Gang’s drug sales at the Blue House.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Jacksonville District Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Tampa Police Department, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is part of a year-long effort to dismantle the Bird Gang, so far resulting in charges against 30 individuals. It is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
This case is the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation and was prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program, which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety - one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and re-entry efforts.