Bloods Street Gang Investigation Culminates in Life Sentence
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 06, 2014|
COLUMBIA—United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Calvin James Hall age 43 of Irmo, South Carolina, was sentenced today in federal court in Columbia, South Carolina, to life in prison without the possibility of parole. On July 25, 2013, a federal jury convicted Hall of being a member or associate of the Bloods Street gang as part of a conspiracy to commit racketeering (RICO conspiracy). As to the racketeering conspiracy charge, the jury unanimously found that Hall agreed that the racketeering activity that would be or was committed included: (1) distribution, possession with intent to distribute, and trafficking in controlled substances, in violation of SC Code Sections 44-53-370 and 44-53-375; (2) distribution, receipt, concealment, buying, selling, and otherwise dealing in controlled substances, including cocaine, cocaine base, marijuana, and other controlled substances, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 and 846; (3) recruiting, enticing, or transporting a minor in interstate commerce or to benefit financially from participation in a venture which recruits, entices, or transports minors to engage in commercial sex acts, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1591; (4) obstruction of justice; and (5) witness tampering. In addition to the above RICO conspiracy conviction, Hall was also convicted of six related federal violations involving conspiracy to traffic crack cocaine, use of a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking, attempted armed robbery of a drug dealer, and related charges. United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. of Columbia sentenced to Hall to a statutory mandatory life sentence, without the possibility of parole. Hall faced this sentence in part because of his two prior felony drug convictions.
Hall was one of 39 members and associates of the Bloods street gang that were indicted and arrested in the summer and fall of 2012. The investigation was the second wave of an FBI investigation that began in 2007 of the violent street gang. As of the date of this release, all 39 defendants charged in the case have been convicted, and all received sentences that included periods of incarceration in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
During Calvin Hall’s trial, evidence was presented that the Bloods street gang was formed in 1998, when James Powell a/k/a Munchie, came to Columbia, South Carolina, from New York because he was on the run from the police for a shooting he committed. Powell began initiating young men in Columbia in 1998 or 1999 into the Gangsta Killa Blood (GKB) set of the Bloods and that set was operating in Columbia in 2011 when Hall and his co-conspirators were arrested and charged. Evidence at the trial demonstrated that the Bloods were involved in coordinated armed robberies of drug dealers, the posting of young women on the Internet for prostitution, crack cocaine trafficking, financial crimes, and other criminal activity.
Evidence during Hall’s trial established that on May 23, 2011, Hall, along with two co-defendants and Blood Gang members Nicholas Jason Wright and Stewart Stroman, conspired to commit an armed robbery of a marijuana dealer in or around Lexington County, South Carolina. Witnesses testified that after Stroman put Wright in contact with Hall, they along with three other conspirators went to the marijuana dealers house to rob him. When Hall breached the front door armed with a pistol, he was shot in the stomach by a resident of the house.
Despite being shot in May 2011, evidence at trial demonstrated that Hall continued to associate with the Bloods, and in June 2012, he was the beneficiary of a drug robbery committed by Wright and other Bloods gang members in Greenville, South Carolina. Witnesses testified that Stroman coordinated a robbery in Greenville in which Wright, Kenneth Timmons, and several other Bloods shot a drug dealer in the gut who refused to tell them where his cocaine was. After the dealer was shot, the conspirators came back to Columbia, where Calvin Hall purchased a large quantity of the cocaine from his conspirators. Witnesses testified that Hall provided one of the guns that was used in the Greenville robbery.
The investigation resulted in a number of Bloods gang leaders being sentenced to federal prison, including Titus Will Bowman, a/k/a T.I.; Torrean Antwan Sims, a/k/a Slim; and David Andrea Jenkins, a/k/a Arma G. Bowman, a high level leader and shooter, was sentenced to 220 months’ incarceration by Judge Anderson on December 16, 2013. Other notable sentences include Andre Cummings (108 months’ incarceration); Craig Xavier Alston (177 months’ incarceration); Nicholas Wright (180 months’ incarceration); Stewart Stroman (96 months’ incarceration); Nathaniel Farmer (151 months’ incarceration); Jarius Jones (108 months’ incarceration); Antwain Brisbon (200 months’ incarceration); Odel “Teazy” Martin (240 months’ incarceration); Joshua “Metro” Kitt (168 months’ incarceration); Hassaan R. Brown (115 months’ incarceration); Kenneth “Keno” Timmons (190 months’ incarceration); and Alex Russell Anderson (151 months’ incarceration).
U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said, “Organized violent criminals who exploit our communities to fund their criminal enterprises are a focus of our Violent Crime and Narcotics Division. The work of the prosecutors, agents, and good citizens that made this case is remarkable and will have a tangible impact on the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”
“Dismantling violent gangs is a continuing priority for the FBI. This verdict is the direct result of joint efforts with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, and we will continue to work diligently with our colleagues to investigate and eradicate gangs and the violence they perpetrate. Together we are committed to restoring safety and security to our communities,” said David A. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge, FBI.
This case was investigated by the Columbia Violent Gangs Task Force (CVGTF), led by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The CVGTF is part of the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force initiative. The CVGTF is an investigative and enforcement partnership between the FBI, Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD), and Columbia Police Department (CPD), and South Carolina law enforcement. The case was prosecuted by AUSA J.D. Rowell and AUSA William Witherspoon of the United States Attorney’s Office in Columbia, South Carolina.