MURDER USA “Duct Tape” of Gangster Disciples Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy
One of 16 alleged Gangster Disciples members and associates indicted on racketeering charges in May 2016 pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Will “Duct Tape” get an easy deal when he sentenced in July? Pleading guilty to gang RICO activity is a good way to get a one-way ticket to a prison graveyard, or solitary confinement if lucky.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, announced that Tommy Earl Champion, Jr., aka Duct Tape, 29, of Jackson, Tennessee, pleaded guilty on April 2, before U.S. District Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr. to one count of conspiracy to participate in a racketeering offense, and one count of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
According to the indictment, the Gangster Disciples is a highly organized national gang active in more than 35 states. The scope of the Gangster Disciples’ crimes is wide-ranging and consistent throughout its national operation. The gang protects its power through threats, intimidation, and violence, including murder, attempted murder, assault and obstruction of justice. The Gangster Disciples promotes its enterprise through member-only activities and provides financial and other support to members charged with or incarcerated for gang-related offenses or who are fugitives from law enforcement.
Members and associates of the Gangster Disciples are subject to a strict code of discipline and are routinely fined, beaten and even murdered for failing to follow the gang’s rules. “Enforcers” within the enterprise ensure that members who violate the strict rules of the enterprise are appropriately punished.
Champion is scheduled to be sentenced on July 6, 2018.
The suspects from Jackson include:
- Byron Montrail Purdy, aka “Lil B” or “Ghetto,” 37. Purdy allegedly held the rank of Governor of Tennessee
- Demarcus Deon Crawford aka “Trip,” 32. Crawford reportedly held the rank of Chief of Security of Tennessee
- Santiago Megale Shaw, aka “Mac-T,” 23. Shaw allegedly was a member of the Security Team or Blackout Squad in Jackson
- Tommy Earl Champion Jr., aka “Duct Tape,” 27. Champion reportedly held the rank of Chief of Security of Jackson
- Cory DeWayne Bowers, aka “Bear Wayne,” 32. Bowers was associated with the Gangster Disciples and acted as a member of the Security Team in Jackson, according to authorities.
Gerald Eugene Hampton, aka “G30,” 30. Hampton was allegedly a member of the Security Team or Blackout Squad in Jackson
- Daniel Lee Cole, aka “D-Money,” 37. Officials say Cole acted as Assistant Governor and Assistant Education Coordinator for the Gangster Disciples in Jackson
- Taruis Montez Taylor, aka “T,” 26. Taylor is reportedly a member of the Gangster Disciples’ Security Team or Blackout Squad in Jackson.
The FBI; ATF; the Memphis Multi-Agency Gang Unit; the Memphis Police Department; the Shelby County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office; the Jackson Police Department Gang Enforcement Team; the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; the Madison County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Department; the 28th District West Tennessee Drug Task Force; The Tipton County, Tennessee, Sheriff’s Office; the 26th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office; the 25th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office; the Atascosa County, Tennessee District Attorney’s Office; and the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office investigated this case. Trial Attorney Francesca Liquori of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Beth Boswell of the Western District of Tennessee and Samuel Stringfellow of the Northern District of Mississippi are prosecuting the case.