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Thursday, 10 March 2011

ringleader of the Manchester OGs street gang sought

08:29 |

accused of being a ringleader of the Manchester OGs street gang sought Tuesday to be released to his girlfriend's house, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Ervin S. Swearingen ordered him jailed pending trial on drug and weapons charges.

Jeremiah Manghan, 20, was one of five people whose 10 cell phones were tapped as part of a three-month investigation into the OGs. As a result of those taps, surveillance and a series of Thursday morning raids, he faces charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin, possession of heroin, and illegal possession of a gun, a P95 Ruger pistol.

He's one of 29 charged in the takedown of the OGs, billed as one of the city's most violent gangs.

A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent testified at a detention hearing that Mr. Manghan owned two of the tapped cell phones, and had thousands of coded conversations about the sale of heroin. The word "heroin" was never said, but the drug was referred to as "jigs" or "joints," or by brand names like "7 Up" and "Child abuses." Guns were referred to as "burners," and Mr. Manghan once said he'd carried one since age 12.

He had been out on bond on state drug charges stemming from an April arrest, and attorney Charles Porter Jr., assigned to represent him, said he could be released again to confinement at his girlfriend's house.

"That's where he was storing heroin," countered Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig W. Haller. "That's where heroin was found last week. That's where a gun was found last week."

He said Mr. Manghan "sees bond as an opportunity for a volume discount" on his criminal sentences, since he can string along his various cases and then serve time concurrently.

U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton has said that he will vigorously use the federal pre-trial detention option in the OGs' cases.

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