From the wellspring of collective schadenfreude comes a tale in Detroit of a violent and brazen street gang, formed under the roof of a local Burger King, which got busted by the feds this week after bragging about its exploits on Twitter and Facebook.
The US Justice Department unsealed a 28-page indictment on Tuesday for eight members of a gang dubbed "Band Crew," also known as "22 Band Crew," and "BC." Members of the northwestern Detroit outfit, among them men nicknamed Trick, Bam, and Gwopp, are accused of committing a laundry list of crimes, including selling drugs, owning machine guns, shaking down kids on their way home from school, and attempted murder. Many of the antics were documented online, authorities claim.
Band Crew, which was assembled in the Fall of 2011 during a meeting at a Burger King restaurant at Seven Mile and Greenfield Road in Detroit, is comprised of smaller gangs, including Young N Crispy, Constantly Making Hundreds — formerly Cash Money Hoes — and FOE Life, which stands for Family Over Everything Love is Forever, according to the indictment.
These satellite crews allegedly left a trail of electronic breadcrumbs for authorities, who said they tracked members as they carried out home invasions, raided gas stations, and assaults, and then intimidated witnesses and victims into staying silent.
Some of those posts included fight videos posted to YouTube and uploading other "gang-related accomplishments" on Facebook and Twitter. The gang also allegedly continued to sell drugs outside the same Burger King where the group was birthed, which apparently became the hub for a variety criminal activities.
The defendants are all between the ages of 18 and 22, and are charged with conspiracy under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and a variety of related racketeering and weapons charges. The accused are Corey Deandre Mapp, Alexander Teontae Johnson, Alexander Teontae Johnson, Leo James Johnson, Joseph Hezekiah Ford, Travontae Javon Joseph, Jamell Loval Smith, Mario Perkins, and Akeem Arteaze Walker.
Under the RICO Act, which was passed in 1970 and designed to dismantle the Italian mafia, the men could each be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to 20 years in prison for each count of racketeering they face. If convicted, they would also have to forfeit their ill-gotten gains.
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