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Law enforcement authorities said they dismantled a Youngstown gang that included two convicted murderers suspected of using violence to control their status as a major drug trafficking organization based in the Victory Estates public housing development on the city’s East Side.
Youngstown Police Chief Rod Foley said officers developed intelligence last year that Vic Boyz gang members were involved in several shootings and homicides, either as suspects, victims or witnesses. Foley said they partnered with the FBI and the Mahoning Valley Violent Crimes Task Force to investigate the gang.
The investigation ended Thursday with the secret indictment of 16 suspected gang members, including three juveniles. The 13 adults were indicted Thursday by a Mahoning County grand jury on 48 charges that include trafficking in heroin, marijuana and cocaine.
The indictment was unsealed Monday by authorities.
Nine of those indicted were alleged gang members while the seven others were considered gang associates, police said.
Authorities have arrested 11 of the adults as of 2:30 p.m. Monday.
Two of the alleged members of the Vic Boyz gang, Curtis Jones, 19, and Devante Gilmore, 21, are serving prison sentences of 12 and nine years, respectively, for gunning down a 16-year-old Chaney High School student near the Victory Estates complex in 2011.
Police said the gang engaged in gun violence and trafficked a “large amount” of drugs.
“We started looking at this group as a threat and found it was one we needed to rid of for the residents of the East Side,” Foley said.
Cleveland FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Todd Wickerham said the Vic Boyz caused a significant amount of violent crime in the area.
Jones fatally shot Devail Fleeton, 16, on March 26, 2011. Reports said Jones, Gilmore and four others, all wearing red and black, attacked Fleeton outside a convenience store and shot him in an alley leading to Victory Estates.
Officers found him dead from a gunshot wound to the back with dirt and a stick stuffed in his mouth.
About 20 hours before Fleeton was killed, his brother, Dequann G. Fleeton, was robbed at gunpoint by a dozen teenagers all wearing red or black at the same convenience store.
“The fact remains that the warning is out there for people engaging in activity— the importing and selling of dangerous drugs— that you will never know when that knock comes at your door,” said Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains. “And believe-you-me, we will come a knockin’.”
Other members indicted in the investigation are:
Phillip Anderson, 23, of Youngstown: Anderson was sentenced to three years probation and to spend time in a drug treatment program after he was convicted of abduction and domestic violence.
Darrell Mason Jr., 23, of Boardman: Gun charges were dismissed against Mason in 2009. He was convicted April 23 of domestic violence.
Marquis Christian, 29, of Youngstown: Christian is facing two pending court cases, one for two counts of drug possession, the other for having a gun under disability and improperly handling a gun in a car.
Graylyn Folmar, 24, of Campbell: Folmar was convicted in 2011 of improperly handling a gun in a vehicle and having weapons under disability.
Charles Moore, 22, of Youngstown: Moore was convicted in 2011 of receiving stolen property. Charges of aggravated robbery the same year were dismissed.
Brandon Wallace, 18, of Boardman: Wallace pleaded guilty July 17 to felonious assault with a gun. Prosecutors will recommend a five-year prison sentence at his Sept. 3 sentencing hearing. From July 17 until he was arrested by authorities in the gang case, Wallace was freed on $15,000 bond.
Martin Sims, Jody Briggs and Lawrence Mitchum, all of Youngstown, were also indicted of being part of the gang.
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