Now, the Feds are using a law aimed at mobsters to prosecute the first five.
On August 4, 2020, it looked like an old-time outfit attack on Chicago’s Oak Street: two attacking cars, four shooters and a barrage of bullets. But, the target was not the gangsters of the 1930s. He was a new millennium rapper: FBG Duck. Investigators and city officials say he was a gang member whose video harassed members of a rival gang. Five members of an alleged rival gang were charged with his murder under the RIICO law: The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. In 1970, this law was created to help eliminate traditional organized crime.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois said the five suspects are members of the O-Block Street gang.
John Loch, US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, said, “The reason federally charged is that we were able to establish evidence that there was a racketeering enterprise involved and that the murder was committed to further that.” “
The suspects who have been charged with racketeering aided murder are:
— Marcus Smart, 22
-Charles Lignins, 30
—Kenneth Robertson, 28
-Tacarlos Offered, 30
—Christopher Thomas, 22
The indictment also includes charges of firearms infringement and assault in aid of racketeering.
Liggins, Offerd, Thomas and Smart were each arrested on Wednesday morning and appeared in court on Wednesday afternoon. Officials said three suspects were taken into custody near 63rd Street and King Drive. The fourth suspect was found elsewhere, while the fifth person was picked up by the state authorities. The operation was the result of collaboration between federal, state, county and local law enforcement. If convicted, suspects could face a minimum sentence of life in federal prison.
Carlton Weekly’s mother reacted emotionally to the arrest, saying justice had been done.
“When you just trust in God and have patience, everything turns out well,” said the mother.
Officials say the group carried out the murder to escalate the status of the O-Block Street gang. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said he is serious about going after the gang.
“We are working hand in hand to stop the flow of drugs and guns,” Brown said. “We’re going after gangs in this city. This includes gang investigations, drug tests and gun tests. We’re working together to hold gang members responsible for the violence.”
“We defend those who can’t defend themselves, and that should send a strong message,” said FBI Special Agent Emerson Bui in charge of the Chicago field office.
Chicago criminal defense attorney Tony Thedford spoke about social media, calling them a “very strong tool” that “is now being used by law enforcement and the government to prosecute crime.” Sometimes, evidence is gathered from social media, Thedford said.
“You have a street gang, the alleged street gang that kills another gang member in a high profile case in downtown Chicago. So, I believe that’s when they find the suspects and charge them. The reaction is the harshest reaction,” Thedford said. Thedford said, “There are a lot of allegations of online back-and-forth or online threats.
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