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Sunday, 1 May 2011

Four members of a Crips street gang clique in Pittsburgh pleaded guilty this week in federal court to charges of conspiring to conduct a racketeering enterprise,

18:29 |

Four members of a Crips street gang clique in Pittsburgh pleaded guilty this week in federal court to charges of conspiring to conduct a racketeering enterprise, according to a report obtained by the Organized Crime Committee of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. 

Vance Pearson, 25, aka “Vinny P;” Rayshawn Malachi, 25, aka “Melly Mel;” Arthur Davis, 24, aka “Seven;” and Phillip Turner, 22, aka “Philly C” each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in a racketeering conspiracy before Senior U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond. 

Davis also pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted murder under the violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity statute.    In addition, Turner pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a carjacking he and an indicted co-conspirator committed at gunpoint on September 4, 2007, and a charge of possession of a firearm on December 15, 2009.

According to the guilty pleas, Pearson, Malachi, Davis, Turner and others participated in a pattern of racketeering activity that included multiple acts involving gun point robberies; attempted murders; distribution of controlled substances, including cocaine, heroin and crack cocaine; and acts of obstruction of justice and intimidation.        

According to information presented in court, Pearson, Turner, Davis and Malachi were members of the Northview Heights/ Fineview Crips, a criminal street gang operating out of the Northview Heights public housing facility in the Northside neighborhood, and in the Fineview neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  The gang had been operating in Northside since 2002, when in 2003 it formed an alliance with the Brighton Place Crips to expand the gang’s drug trafficking territory and increase the gang’s capability for violence.   

The gang maintains exclusive control over drug trafficking in these neighborhoods through continuous violence and intimidation of rivals and witnesses.  Members of the gang support each other through payment of attorneys’ fees, bond, jail commissary accounts and support of incarcerated members’ families.   

In addition, the Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang maintains an ongoing rivalry with other Northside street gangs such as the Manchester Original Gangsters.  According to information presented in court, these gangs have been involved in multiple retaliatory shootings.  Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang members identify themselves by wearing blue, flashing Crips gang hand signals, and using phrases such as “Cuz,” “C-Safe,” “Loc,” and “G.K.”

According to information presented in court, Pearson, Malachi and Turner acted as “hustlers” or distributors of controlled substances including heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine for the gang.    Davis was a “soldier” or enforcer for the gang, providing protection for the enterprise through the commission of violent crimes.   Malachi was involved in the distribution of heroin on multiple occasions from approximately 2003 to August 2006 including arrests for heroin, marijuana and crack cocaine.   On June 22, 2009, while on probation and still wearing an ankle monitoring bracelet, Malachi was arrested selling heroin in the Crips-controlled neighborhood of Northview Heights.

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