COLUMBUS, Ohio – The final of 19 defendants to be convicted in a Columbus gang-related racketeering conspiracy pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for his part in furthering the violence of the local Crips gang. The racketeering conspiracy first charged in 2018 includes five murders, at least 26 attempted murders, and other violent and drug-trafficking crimes.
Shawn Nelms, 28, admitted in federal court on Sept. 8 to participating in the 2013 murder of William Moore. Nelms and others spotted Moore, a rival Poindexter Thug Life Bloods gang member, walking on Mount Vernon Ave. and agreed to kill the man for the purpose of maintaining and increasing their positions within T&A. According to his plea, in 2011, Nelms shot another man in the chest, and the gunshot victim survived. During a robbery in 2011, one of several rounds shot by Nelms went into a nearby house and struck a young girl, who also survived. Nelms’s plea includes a recommended sentence of 34 to 40 years in prison.
Nelms was scheduled to stand trial beginning next week and pleaded guilty at a pretrial conference yesterday evening.
The United States Attorney’s Office charged 19 total defendants in 2018 as part of the local gang T&A Crips. The gang derived its name from Trevitt and Atcheson streets in the King-Lincoln District of Columbus, where its members predominantly resided.
The criminal organization included various subgroups, including, Atcheson Crip Gangsters (ACG), Catch A Body (CAB), Kwamie Gang (KMG), Waun Gang, Family Over Everything (FOE), Go Gang, On The Family (OTF), Toe Tag and Go Crazy.
T&A identifies with the national Crips gang, adopting the traditional colors, symbols, culture, codes and enemies of the Crips gang. Its local rival Blood gangs include, but are not limited to, the Easthaven Bloods, Poindexter Thug Life (PTL) and the Milo Bloods.
T&A members marked the gang’s territory with graffiti and themselves with common tattoos. Members also produced songs to boast of the gang’s existence, communicate their violent methods and threaten non-members and rival gang members. These songs were posted on various social networking sites used by the T&A members.
T&A controlled the neighborhood through intimidation, fear and violence. Gang members were expected to retaliate with acts of violence when their members and associates were disrespected, threatened, intimidated or subjected to acts of violence.
Specifically, co-conspirators in this case have been convicted of five murders:
the murder of Franky Tention on July 1, 2012, in the area of 431 Ellison Street;
the murder of William Moore on March 15, 2013;
the murder of Marvin Ector on December 23, 2013, on East 5th Avenue;
the murder of Quincy Story on January 24, 2015; and
the murder of seven-year-old Deonte Fisher on March 4, 2016.
Additionally, from June 14, 2010 until March 15, 2017, there were at least 26 separate incidences in which T&A gang members attempted to murder more individuals by shooting at them.
Co-conspirators also threatened and/or intimidated witnesses, using violence or the threat of violence to deter them from providing information to law enforcement and to enforce a “no snitching” code.
Defendants distributed cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and marijuana. They also used “trap houses” in other individuals’ names to store and sell narcotics.
T&A members used the drug proceeds to purchase firearms to use in gang wars in Columbus. They often traveled to Huntington, West Virginia, Portsmouth, Ohio, and Chillicothe, Ohio, (among other locations) to sell and purchase drugs and guns.
Seven defendants have been sentenced to at least 10 years in prison to date. They include:
Vipal J. Patel, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Roland Herndon, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Dan Leeper, Acing Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant; and United States Marshal Pete Tobin announced the plea entered into before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson. Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin W. Kelley and Noah R. Litton are representing the United States in this case.
# # #
Giving Back to the Community through a variety of venues & initiatives.
Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.
Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect.