Gangster Disciples Enforcer And Hitman Convicted Of RICO Murder, Killing Witness, And Other Violent Crimes

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NASHVILLE – Following a two-week jury trial in U.S. District Court, a federal jury today convicted Brandon Durell Hardison, aka Creep, aka Creeper da Reeper, a member of the Gangster Disciples, of multiple counts relating to a racketeering conspiracy which plagued the Clarksville, Tennessee area with violence and murders for more than a decade.

Hardison, 35, of Nashville, Tennessee, was convicted of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, causing death through the use of a firearm, killing to prevent a witness communication to a law enforcement official regarding a federal offense, and assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering.

“Today’s verdict marks the end of a decade of violence and lawlessness inflicted upon our communities by ruthless gang members,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart for the Middle District of Tennessee.  “This investigation resulted in federal charges against 32 gang members and associates, including 12 in this RICO indictment.  No longer will they be in a position to bring such violent and destructive behavior upon our communities.  We look forward to the sentencing phase of this case so that we can be assured that Mr. Hardison never has the opportunity to commit another crime.   I commend our law enforcement partners and prosecution team for staying the course and bringing justice on behalf of our citizens.”

“This case illustrates the value of federal prosecution, where we have the ability to use legal tools such as the RICO statute to go after gangs destroying communities through violent crimes and drug trafficking.” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Local, state, and federal law enforcement partners worked for nearly a decade with federal prosecutors to build this case against the Gangster Disciples, and this defendant in particular. Today’s successful outcome is a testament to the hard work of our partners, and the dedication they have to the safety of our communities.”  

“This conviction removed one of Clarksville’s most violent criminals from the streets,” said Special Agent in Charge Mickey French of the ATF. “Though we were able to disrupt the activities of this violent organization, our work is not done.  In order to keep our communities safe, ATF and our law enforcement partners remain committed to pursuing these violent gangs that engage in dangerous and illegal activities.” 


Hardison is the last to proceed to trial of 12 defendants indicted by a grand jury in this investigation against the Gangster Disciples. Five defendants, all Gangster Disciples members, were previously convicted after trial in April 2019, of RICO conspiracy, drug trafficking, and other offenses.  They are:

Maurice Duncan Burks, aka Reesy, 35, of Hopkinsville, Kentucky;

Marcus Termaine Darden, aka MD aka Tuff, 43, of Guthrie, Kentucky;

Derrick Lamar Kilgore, aka Smut, 37, of Clarksville, Tenn.;

DeCarlos Titington, aka Los, 46, of Clarksville, Tenn.; and

Elance Justin Lucas, aka Mac Luke, 32, of Clarksville, Tenn.

The other defendants previously pleaded guilty to related offenses, including:

Xavier Raphael Jenkins, aka Xa, 33, of Clarksville, Tenn.; (assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering);

Lamar Andre Warfield, aka Jug, 32, of Guthrie, Kentucky; (RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to commit and attempted murder in aid of racketeering, assault with a dangerous weapon and causing serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering, and use, carry, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence and causing death through the use of a firearm);

Lawrence Mitchell, aka Chop, 37, of Clarksville, Tenn.; (RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to commit and attempted murder in aid of racketeering, assault with a dangerous weapon and causing serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering, and use, carry, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence);

Rex Andrew Whitlock, aka Stackhouse, 36, of Clarksville, Tenn.; (RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and causing death through the use of a firearm);

Lorenzo Cortez Brown, aka Zo, 35, of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; (RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances, distribution and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances within 1000 feet of a school); and

James Anderson Luke, aka New York, 34, of Clarksville, Tenn. (RICO conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances).

All have either been sentenced or are facing lengthy prison terms when sentenced.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Hardison conspired to participate in the affairs of the Gangster Disciples, a violent criminal gang founded in Chicago and now active in numerous states across the United States, including Tennessee.  Referred to as the “Brothers of the Struggle,” the Gangster Disciples are a highly organized enterprise, operating under the leadership of a corporate board-style group, that was responsible for gang decisions at a national level, and the state and regional leadership of “governors” and other subordinate gang members, who were responsible for the gang’s activities in specific geographic regions.

Operating from a set called the “Clarksville deck,” Hardison committed numerous crimes on behalf of the gang, including shootings, attempted murders, and murders.

Evidence presented at trial showed that on January 6, 2012, Hardison murdered a Gangster Disciples associate for failing to repay a drug debt. He then shot and killed the associate’s girlfriend, who was a witness to the murder, to prevent her from talking to law enforcement. Hardison enlisted other Gangster Disciples members to dispose of the murder weapon. Following these murders, Hardison increased his status in the Gangster Disciples by being appointed to various positions of authority, including as their regional chief enforcer and a member of their notorious hitman group called the “Blackout Squad.”

Hardison and his co-conspirators planned and carried out shootings and assaults targeting members of the rival Bloods gang. For example, on September 26, 2012, Hardison participated in a shooting of an occupied residence belonging to a member of the Bloods gang in Clarksville.  Additionally, on November 3, 2012, Hardison and others assaulted, and co-conspirator Burks shot and killed, a member of the Bloods gang inside a nightclub in Clarksville.

In addition to Hardison’s crimes, evidence was presented that other Gangster Disciples members engaged in drug trafficking, intimidated witnesses to prevent them from cooperating with law enforcement, protected the gang’s drug territory, financed the enterprise, and violently enforced gang rules.

Hardison faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for the offenses of racketeering conspiracy, causing death through the use of a firearm, and killing to prevent a witness communication to a law enforcement official regarding a federal offense. He faces a mandatory minimum of life in prison for murder in aid of racketeering, and an additional 20 years’ incarceration for the assault causing serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering offense.

Sentencing for Hardison will be scheduled at a later date.                     

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department; the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office; the Clarksville Police Department; the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office; the Murfreesboro Police Department; the Gallatin Police Department; the Kentucky State Police; the 19th Judicial District Drug Task Force; and the Hopkinsville, Kentucky Police Department participated in this decade-long investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Schrader of the Middle District of Tennessee and Trial Attorney Gerald A. A. Collins of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section prosecuted the case.

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