ROANOKE, Va. - Authorities announced Monday afternoon the first major federal prosecution of organized gang activity in Roanoke as part of the newly reinvigorated Project Safe Neighborhoods violent crime reduction initiative.
The indictment charges four suspected Rollin' 30s members in Roanoke with crimes including racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit murder.
Thomas cullen / u.s. attorney, western district of virginia
2:06:40 "i am grateful for the dedication and cooperation of our various federal, state and local law enforcement partners in bringing these violent gang members to justice," said Thomas Cullen, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia.
The Rollin’ 30s Crips, also known as the Rollin’ 30s or “Dirt Gang,” is a national street gang founded in the greater Los Angeles area with smaller sets in other cities throughout the United States, including Roanoke.
The Roanoke set of the Rollin’ 30s operated primarily in northwest Roanoke, centered in and around the Lansdowne neighborhood, according to the Department of Justice. Officials say the community was crucial to their captures.
"Folks were forthcoming, they were cooperative. Some were fearful but they recognized that they needed to step up, do the right thing in order to help law enforcement get its arms around this problem," said Cullen.
Two of the defendants were charged with murder in aid of racketeering and related firearms offenses.
On Sept. 25, a federal grand jury returned an indictment, under seal, charging four individuals. Those indictments were unsealed Monday.
The grand jury has charged the following:
• Sean Denzel Guerrant, aka. “Denk” “Dink” and “Harlem Denk,” 27, of Roanoke, with one count of racketeering conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to commit murder.
• Demonte Rashod Mack, aka. “Murda,” 29, of Roanoke, with one count of racketeering conspiracy, one count of murder in aid of racketeering, one count of conspiracy to commit murder, one count of using a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence, and one count of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.
• Trayvone Raycron Kasey, aka. “30,” 19, of Roanoke, with one count of racketeering conspiracy, one count of murder in aid of racketeering, one count of conspiracy to commit murder, one count of using a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence, and one count of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.
• Chauncey Dion Levesy, aka. “Cee Guzman,” 24, of Roanoke, with one count of racketeering conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to commit murder.
“This indictment is the first step in what will be a coordinated and sustained assault on gang-related violence in the City of Roanoke,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen stated.
According to the indictment, beginning no later than April 22, 2017, Guerrant, Mack, Kasey, and Levesy, together with others known and unknown to the grand jury, conspired to conduct a pattern of racketeering activity, including multiple threats and acts involving violent crime.
Specifically, the indictment alleges that on or about June 14 and 15, 2017, Guerrant, Mack, Kasey and Levesy conspired to murder “Victim D.F.”
The indictment further claims that Mack, Kasey and Levesy murdered “Victim N.L.” at the direction of Guerrant.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Roanoke City Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Violent Crimes Task Force.
The investigation was a coordinated effort also involving law enforcement assets from the Virginia State Police, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. Assistant United States Attorneys Grayson A. Hoffman and Matthew M. Miller are prosecuting the case for the United States.
"The Central Virginia Violent Crime Task Force will continue to partner with federal state and local law enforcement to rid that criminal plague that lingers in the corners of your neighborhoods," said John Lenkart, acting special agent for the FBI Richmond Division.
Copyright 2018 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.