Blood gang members sentenced to 25 years, life in prison on RICO charges in Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Several Blood gang members were given prison sentences ranging from 25 years to life on RICO charges in Charlotte.
Officials from the Department of Justice say five members of the United Blood Nation (UBN or Bloods) street gang were sentenced after trial on federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) conspiracy and other charges.
The sentences come from a prosecution that charged 83 Blood gang members in the Western District of North Carolina with RICO conspiracy and other crimes.
A U.S. District Judge sentenced three of the gang members to terms of life imprisonment.
A jury previously convicted those defendants, Dricko Dashon Huskey, aka Drizzy, 28, Renaire Roshique Lewis Jr., aka Banz, 26 and Jonathan Wray, 29, of racketeering conspiracy, finding that each defendant personally committed murder, court documents say.
The jury also convicted Lewis of murder in aid of racketeering, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, attempted Hobbs Act robbery, and two counts of discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, one of which resulted in death.
The judge also sentenced Alandus Montrell Smith, 30 and Bradley Beauchamp, aka Bizzie, 32.
Smith was sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release based on his jury convictions for RICO conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Beauchamp was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison followed by two years of supervised release based on his convictions during a bench trial for RICO conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy.
“Members of the United Bloods Nation gang left a trail of destruction across North Carolina, committing multiple murders, robberies, and other crimes,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The significant sentences imposed today demonstrate the Department’s commitment to thwarting gang violence and reinforce the severe consequences awaiting those who jeopardize the safety of our communities.”
“The Bloods are a violent gang that poses a serious threat to the safety and stability of our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray for the Western District of North Carolina. “This case is an outstanding example of what federal, state, and local law enforcement can accomplish when we strike back at gangs and dismantle gang networks that spread violence in our cities and fear in our neighborhoods.”
“Murders, assaults, robberies, these ruthless gang members committed crime after crime with no regard for anyone not part of the UBN,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert R. Wells of the FBI’s Charlotte Field Office. “These hefty federal prison sentences are the final step to secure justice for every innocent person impacted by their violent actions.”
According to evidence presented at the Oct. 2019 trial, Lewis and four other UBN members drove from Cleveland County to Chapel Hill in order to rob an 18-year-old victim of marijuana and money.
Court documents say Lewis and another Blood gang member then shot and killed the victim and attempted to murder the victim’s friend, who survived a gunshot wound to his arm.
The evidence presented at trial also established that Wray shot and killed a member of the Crips, a rival gang, at a party with other Bloods in Shelby. Evidence at trial further proved that Huskey murdered an unarmed man during an argument by shooting the victim multiple times and continuing to shoot while the victim was on the ground.
In May 2017, 83 Blood gang members were indicted in the Western District of North Carolina for RICO conspiracy and other crimes. In all, 82 defendants have now been sentenced as a result of this investigation, with one defendant awaiting resentencing and one fugitive believed to be living overseas remaining.
In May 2018, a jury convicted three top leaders of the Blood gang of racketeering conspiracy.
In July 2019, Beauchamp was convicted of racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy at a bench trial. And in Oct. 2019, a jury convicted Huskey, Lewis, Wray, and Smith of racketeering conspiracy and other charges as described above.
All other defendants pleaded guilty to their crimes before trial.
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