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Sunday, 8 March 2009

Trey-57, a subset of the Crips"Cripnics."The gatherings "were like barbecues,"

07:49 | , , ,

"Cripnics."The gatherings "were like barbecues," Little testified Friday.Little, 27, was the latest member or former member of the Crips to take the witness stand in federal court and face six men charged with running organized crime through the gang.
Testimony by Little and others who have pleaded guilty and agreed to testify have revealed information about how street gangs such as the Crips operate in Wichita.
The defendants are charged under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, a law meant to curb organized crime. Defense lawyers have said their clients weren't organized and were acting individually.Little said the cookouts were examples of organized functions."All the Crips in Wichita would get together and jump people in and do stuff," said Little, who pleaded guilty in a separate RICO case."Jumping in" is a term the gang used to describe an initiation ceremony where people join by being beaten by members.Little testified that instead of being "jumped in," he was "blessed in" by a relative vouching for him.Little said he joined the Trey-57, a subset of the Crips, when he was 14 years old. By age 21, he was the oldest member of his Crips sect "still out on the streets."On cross-examination, Little testified that some members joined the Crips from a bicycle club called the Low Riders.Paul McCausland, lawyer for defendant Jermal Campbell, said that's how his client started hanging around gang members at age 12.Campbell and Little are the same age and used to sell drugs together, Little testified."We used to sell drugs when we were young all the time at my house on Piatt," Little said. "He practically lived at my house."But the two had a falling out a few years later, Little said, when Campbell stole a video game system from him.Little, identified in court records by the alias Clown, told the jury he still considers himself a Crip because he wasn't "jumped out."That's a similar ceremony, in which a person is beaten again. It's required to leave the gang, Little said.He said the gang's cookouts would include 15 to 25 people at a time, usually at McAdams or Grove parks in Wichita.The gatherings ended in late 2005 or early 2006, Little said. The next year, federal prosecutors indicted 28 men under the RICO Act.At the racketeering trial this week, Crips and former members have provided details about gang colors, weapons, drug sales and robberies performed to enhance their groups' reputations.Dontae Davis, in his second day of testimony Thursday, told jurors that different sects of Crips wore different shades of blue to distinguish themselves.The 357s wore royal blue, Davis said. Other subsets of Neighborhood Crips -- such as the Deuce Treys, 19th Street Crips and 17th Street Crips -- wore baby blue.Prosecutors, who continue their case next week, say the colors of clothes worn by the defendants during various crimes they committed show they worked for the Crips.

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