Twenty-three alleged gangsters from Chicago have been charged in a federal racketeering investigation.
All 23 were allegedly members of the Goonie gang, an offshoot of the Gangster Disciples. The indictment alleges that the gang was responsible for 11 murders in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood between 2014 and 2018.
The indicted gangsters were allegedly members of the Goonie Boss gang, an offshoot of the Gangster Disciples.
Romeo Blackman, nicknamed “O” or “O-dog,” was considered to be the “Goonie Boss,” the head of the illegal enterprise. Blackman, 22, was specifically accused of committing seven murders and being in five attempted murders, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Three other Goonie members were accused of murder and attempted murder in the indictment.
Nathaniel “Nate” or “Nation” McElroy, 21, Jolicious “Jo Jo” Turman, 27, and Terrance “T” Smith, 22, were named for specific homicides.
Other members were accused of murder, attempted murder, gun violence, theft of firearms, and, generally acting to create an atmosphere of terror so that they could control territory and engage in criminal behavior for profit.
Trevante Reed, 18, Lamar Isaac, 35, Kwante Hughes, 21, and Demarco Bennett, 22, were all charged with murder.
Blackman, Keith Gullens and Rashad Anchando are indicted for conspiring to steal firearms in 2017.
McElroy, Cornelius Battle, Dalrick Drain, Reginald Johnson, and Lason Moore were charged with making a “straw purchase” of firearms in Michigan in 2017.
“Goonie members and their associates murdered and assaulted rivals, stole guns to arm themselves and violently prevented witnesses from cooperating with law enforcement,” U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch told ABC News.
Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson explained that the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, created in 1970 to help law enforcement cope with organized crime, is now the best weapon against street gangs.
“The only way to get at them with the full extent of the law is to put RICO cases so we are going to use it as much as possible,” Superintendent Johnson told ABC News.
Johnson told the Sun-Times, “If you don’t think gangs in city of Chicago [are] organized, then you’re fooling yourself. I think that is a valuable tool that we plan on using as much as we can to bring these individuals to justice.”
Many of the RICO charges carry sentences of up to 20 years, while some of the related charges could be penalized by life in prison or the death penalty, ABC reported.
The FBI states that there are 115,000 self-identified gang members active in the Greater Chicago area, as compared with 10,000 members of the notorious street gang MS-13, ABC reported.