Home Springfield Press Releases 2012 Twelve Alleged Street Gang Members Face Federal Charges in Peoria’s ‘Don’t Shoot’ Anti-Violence Strategy...

Twelve Alleged Street Gang Members Face Federal Charges in Peoria’s ‘Don’t Shoot’ Anti-Violence Strategy

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 19, 2012
  • Central District of Illinois (217) 492-4450

PEORIA, IL—Twelve alleged members of a Peoria street gang known as the “Bomb Squad” are the first to face federal charges in an indictment returned by a grand jury this week since the city began its implementation of the comprehensive “Don’t Shoot” anti-violence strategy.

U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis, Central District of Illinois, announced the federal indictment and was joined by Jerry Brady, Peoria County State’s Attorney; Robert Ormerod, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Springfield Division; Peoria Police Chief Steven M. Settingsgaard; John Stoltz, Resident Agent in Charge, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Master Sergeant Kenneth Mullen, Illinois State Police; Peoria County Sheriff Michael D. McCoy; and Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis. The charges are the result of an investigation by the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, which includes members of the FBI, Peoria Police Department, ATF, and Illinois State Police. The case is being prosecuted in the Peoria Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office by Assistant U.S. Attorney K. Tate Chambers.

The 12 defendants, all currently in law enforcement custody, are: Larry E. Watts, 23; Orlando J. Mack, 21; Sergio S. Herron, 20; Spencer N. Furlow, 24; Robert C. Nunn, 18; Jacolby T. Carlton, 19; Ivan D. Ellis, 18; Tony C. Mack, 18; Terrance J. Herron, 18; Cleveland Oliver, 21; Torrance L. Gore, 25; and, Darnez L. Marshall, 24, all of Peoria, Illinois. (At the conclusion of this release is a complete listing of each defendant’s charged offenses and, if convicted, their respective maximum potential penalties.)

The indictment charges that the 12 defendants are members and associates of a drug trafficking and violent criminal street gang, as defined by federal criminal statute; that the 12 engaged in a conspiracy to use, carry, and possess firearms in relation to a drug conspiracy; and that they conspired to distribute controlled substances, including cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, from about 2009 to the present.

Six of the defendants face additional charges of possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime: Watts, three counts; Nunn, four counts; Sergio Herron, Carlton, Terrance Herron, and Marshall, each one count. If convicted, the first conviction carries a statutory mandatory sentence of five years to be served consecutive to any other imposed prison sentence. Each subsequent conviction carries a mandatory 25-years sentence, also served consecutive to any other prison sentence.

In addition, Watts, Orlando Mack, and Furlow have pending federal cases charged earlier this year related to firearms charges and have been ordered detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Sergio Herron, Nunn, Gore, and Marshall are currently in law enforcement custody on pending state charges. The remaining five defendants, Carlton, Ellis, Tony Mack, Terrance Herron, and Oliver, arrested yesterday, are scheduled to make their initial appearances in federal court this afternoon in Peoria before U.S. Magistrate Judge John A. Gorman.

The indictment alleges that the Bomb Squad operated as a criminal street gang, an ongoing group or association of five or more that has as one of its primary purposes the commission of one or more criminal offenses, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, whose members were engaged within the past five years in a continuing series of offenses and the activities affected interstate commerce.

Three of the defendants, Watts, Sergio Herron, and Furlow, if convicted of the offense as a member of a criminal street gang, face enhanced sentencing penalties of up to 10 years in prison in addition to any other prison terms, because, according to the indictment, each has been convicted within the past five years of requisite offenses to be subject to the penalty provision of this federal statute.

According to the indictment, from 2009 to the present, the Bomb Squad functioned as a continuing unit for a common purpose to achieve the gang’s objectives: acquiring money and other things of value through the trafficking and distribution of drugs, including cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, and marijuana; and committing acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, carrying and using firearms, and possession of firearms. Violent acts were allegedly committed, among other purposes: to protect the gang’s territory from encroachment by other gangs to allow associates and members to freely engage in criminal activities, including distribution of controlled substances; to enrich its members by acquiring cash, guns, drugs, and other property; to enforce discipline and loyalty among the gang; to protect the gang from retaliation by others as well as detection, apprehension, and prosecution by law enforcement; and to promote and enhance the reputation and standing of the gang, its members and associates.

If convicted, for conspiracy to use, carry, and possess firearms in relation to a drug conspiracy, the statutory penalty is up to 20 years in prison. For the offense of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, the penalty is up to 20 years in prison; and if a defendant has one or more prior felony drug convictions, the enhanced statutory penalty is up to 30 years in prison.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Defendants, Charges, and, If Convicted, Maximum Potential Prison Sentences

The 12 defendants, all of Peoria, Illinois, are:

  • Larry E. Watts, 23, membership in a criminal street gang (up to 10 additional years in prison); conspiracy to use, carry, and possess firearms in relation to a drug conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime (three counts); felon in possession of a firearm (up to 10 years in prison); and possession of heroin with intent to distribute (up to 20 years; with one or more prior felony drug convictions, up to 30 years); maximum potential penalty: mandatory minimum 55 years in prison and up to 155 years in prison; life supervised release
  • Orlando J. Mack, 21, membership in a criminal street gang; conspiracy to use, carry, and possess firearms in relation to a drug conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; maximum potential penalty: up to 50 years in prison; life supervised release
  • Sergio S. Herron, 20; membership in a criminal street gang (up to 10 additional years in prison); conspiracy to use, carry, and possess firearms in relation to a drug conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime; maximum potential penalty: mandatory minimum five years in prison and up to 65 years in prison; life supervised release
  • Spencer N. Furlow, 24; membership in a criminal street gang (up to 10 additional years in prison); conspiracy to use, carry, and possess firearms in relation to a drug conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; max potential penalty: up to 60 years in prison; life supervised release
  • Robert C. Nunn, 18; membership in a criminal street gang; conspiracy to use, carry and possess firearms in relation to a drug conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime (four counts); max potential penalty: mandatory minimum 80 years in prison and up to 150 years in prison; life supervised release
  • Jacolby T. Carlton, 19; membership in a criminal street gang; conspiracy to use, carry, and possess firearms in relation to a drug conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime; max potential penalty: mandatory minimum five years in prison up to 55 years in prison; life supervised release
  • Ivan D. Ellis, 18; membership in a criminal street gang; conspiracy to use, carry, and possess firearms in relation to a drug conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; max potential penalty: up to 50 years in prison; life supervised release
  • Tony C. Mack, 18; membership in a criminal street gang; conspiracy to use, carry, and possess firearms in relation to a drug conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; max potential penalty: up to 50 years in prison; life supervised release
  • Terrance J. Herron, 18; membership in a criminal street gang; conspiracy to use, carry and possess firearms in relation to a drug conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime; max potential penalty: mandatory minimum five years in prison up to 55 years in prison; life supervised release
  • Cleveland Oliver, 21; membership in a criminal street gang; conspiracy to use, carry, and possess firearms in relation to a drug conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; max potential penalty: up to 50 years in prison; life supervised release
  • Torrance L. Gore, 25; membership in a criminal street gang; conspiracy to use, carry, and possess firearms in relation to a drug conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; max potential penalty: up to 50 years in prison; life supervised release
  • Darnez L. Marshall, 24, membership in a criminal street gang; conspiracy to use, carry, and possess firearms in relation to a drug conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime; max potential penalty: mandatory minimum five years in prison up to 55 years in prison; life supervised release
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