Federal law enforcement agents indicted 14 alleged members of an Allapattah drug gang on Wednesday, charging them with 11 counts, including rackeetering conspiracy, which can lead to tougher sentences if they are convicted.
The charges stemmed from drug trafficking in and around the Gwen Cherry Housing Project in northwest Miami-Dade.
And while the multi-agency investigation cracked the business world of some crack pushers, law enforcement officials are betting they put a crack in the barrier between police and residents tired of living in a shooting gallery.
“Removing thse violent offenders may give the community a sense of security that it’s OK to talk to us now,” Miami Police Department Chief Rodolfo Llanes said. “There is a real fear of the commuity to come forward to speak to us knowing these guys are watching. This is a good oppottunity for us to get in and do some real community policing work, to try to better our relationships and say, ‘We’re here for you.’”
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The gang, allegedly in existence since 2000 and headed by Antonio Glass since 2012, moved 21 grams of cocaine base on a slow day, according to prosecution-quoted witness statements in court papers.
Here are the alleged members of the gang, which has gone by Site 16 Blood Gang, Real N----- S--- (RNS), Dub Street/Side Blood Family (DSBF), Smackville, GMT and other names:
▪ Antonio Glass, 24, is believed to be the gang’s leader since 2012, having risen from seller to calling himself on social media the gang’s “boss” and “coach.” Glass did 18 months for carrying a concealed firearm, grand theft auto, fleeing a law enforcement officer.
▪ Jerimaine Bryant, 32, court papers say, “was identified by government investigation as a drug supplier for the enterprise and as a counselor to defendant Glass, including by encouraging Glass to commi a homicide on Nov. 6, 2010.” Also, court papers claim, Bryant has self-identified as a capo or captain in the gang, even putting a chart of subordinates on social media. Bryant did two years, four months for cocaine trafficking in 2008-10.
▪ Curtis Bryant, 29, court papers allege is a “drug sales supervisor and seller.” Also witnesses say he participated in two shooting incidents “where two homicides resulted.”
▪ Quincy Bryant, 36, is believed to be a drug seller after several arrests at the gang’s distribution centers. Quincy Bryant did eight years, seven months from 1997-2005 for second degree murder.
▪ Levi Bryant, 54, was a drug seller and mentor to Jerimaine Bryant. Court papers quote a Jerimaine post as saying, “My Uncle Fish (Levi Bryant) gave me the game, my Aunte Danielle showd me the way and ma n----- got me this far…” Levi Bryant did 10-month and eight-month stretches in Florida prison for cocaine possession with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver.
▪ Michael Walker, 20, is called a “drug seller and a retainer of firearms” for the group in court documents.
▪ Reginald Graham, 20, is called a “drug dealer, robber and retainer of firearms,” court documents claim.
▪ Daniel Jones is mainly a drug seller, the prosecution claims. Court documents filed by the prosecution allege he went to Colorado to start a business relationship with a high-grade marijuana producer.
▪ Torivis Ingram, 25, is accused of being a drug seller.
▪ Samuel Hayes, 23, is identified mainly as muscle, “a robber and enforcer” in court documents. He did six months in 2013 for carrying a concealed firearm.
▪ Mario Rodriguez, 26, has admitted he’s a drug distributor to , He was on five years probation for cocaine trafficking.
▪ Latitia Houser, 34, allegedly supplies drugs and, the U.S. Attorney claims, “utilizes fraud activities as a means of securing capital.” She brags about large amounts of cash and ability to get firearms on social media.
▪ Donzell Jones, 31, is believed to be a drug seller. He did 43 days in prison for selling cocaine or heroin within 1,000 feet of a school.
▪ Vancess Toby, 34, is believed to be a drug seller.
Of the 14 indicted, 11 are in custody. Daniel Jones, Donzell Jones and Latitia Houser remain at large.
“On a personal note, it disturbs me that we have neighborhoods here in South Florida that are reminiscent of the OK Corral,” said Peter Forcelli, special agent in gharge at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Investigations continue as part of Operation Northern Light Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force, which includes ATF, DEA, FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office with help from Miami and Miami-Dade police departments.
To put some nuclear muscle in the 11-count indictment, Count 1 for 11 defendants is Racketerring Conspiracy, popularly known as RICO. That provides enhanced sentencing abilities after conviction.
Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Benjamin Greenberg described a gang that expanded its market in a classic, business-like manner, through either eliminating rivals or joining them in a growing conglomerate. They stand accused of using minors for some violent acts, knowing the down side of getting caught would result in the minor being punished lightly, if at all.
And, like any business that’s been around 17 years, it evolved with the times.
“This organization used social media to brag about what it accomplished, to recruit people, to have discussions about the distribution of narcotics, the acquisition of firearms and addressing hostilities with rival criminal enterprises and gangs,” Greenberg said. “Many enterprise members used emoticons to unambiguously communicate threats of violence.”
NAMES, STREET NAMES & ONLINE NAMES OF THE INDICTED
Curtis Bryant: Snow Luther King, Jr, Snow Bryant, Big Momma
Jerimaine Bryant: RNS DSBF Capo, Maine, Blood@_McMaine06, @d5bf_mc
Levi Bryant: Fish
Antonio Glass: Tone Bleedin Bed (Tone Gone Bag’em), smackvilletone, Tone Glass, firstname.lastname@example.org, @tone.glass
Reginald Graham: The Real Rico, To Cool Rico, G’Rico LongLive KingSqueezer, Reggie
Samuel Hayes: DSBF Jit, Nba Flame, Looney Hoe, Sammy
Latitia Houser: Angel G Berry, BG, layedback.bg, Angel Bernadette Wilson
Torivis Reginald Ingram: DSBF Mullet
Daniel Jones: Dodo
Donzell Jones: Zell
Mario Rodriguez: Blood, str8_crackk, Tuti
Vencess Toby: Vancess O’brien, Red, Ruby
Michael Walker: Laid Back ManMan, Baba