July 25, 2014

Detroit One Collaboration Leads to 33 Arrests and Indictments in Southwest Detroit

The Detroit One collaboration of local, state, and federal law enforcement has led to the arrests and indictments of 33 defendants in southwest Detroit, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by the other members of the Detroit One initiative.

Five individuals were named in a racketeering indictment, unsealed today, alleging violent acts by members of Latin Counts street gang.

In addition to the racketeering defendants, two other defendants were arrested today in a separate indictment on charges of being felons in possession of firearms in southwest Detroit.

In addition, 26 other defendants were recently charged in an indictment with heroin and cocaine distribution and related firearms offenses. These defendants also operated in southwest Detroit.

The racketeering indictment unsealed today charged the following individuals:

  • Victor Vasquez, 23, of Detroit, was charged with using and carrying a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence causing death, assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering and assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering;
  • Avery Denardis, 20, of Dearborn, was charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering;
  • Jeffrey Lunsford, 34, of Ecorse, was charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering;
  • Kyle Voltz, 24, of Lincoln Park, was charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering;
  • Jacob Hixson, 20, of Detroit, was charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering.

The felon in possession indictment unsealed today charged two additional individuals:

  • Tim Galvan, 32, of Detroit, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm; and
  • Luke Reardon, 23, of Detroit, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to the racketeering indictment, the Latin Counts gang operates in southwest Detroit and the downriver communities of Lincoln Park and Ecorse. The indictment alleges that five defendants committed assaults, murder, selling illegal narcotics and stolen firearms, breaking and entering homes and businesses and robbery. The indictment alleges that the gang uses violence to stake out its “turf” and intimidate both rival gang members and the citizens of southwest Detroit.

The indictment alleges that defendant Victor Vasquez aided and abetted in the use of a firearm during a crime of violence, causing the death of Mustafa Al-Yasiry at the Big Apple Market in southwest Detroit on April 18, 2014. According to the indictment, several Latin Count assaulted Al-Yasiry, and one member shot and killed him.

Under the Detroit One Initiative, and through the lead efforts of the Detroit Police Department and the FBI Violent Crime Task Force, which consists of representatives of Homeland Security Investigations, Detroit Police Department, Lincoln Park Police Department, Michigan Department of Corrections, and Michigan State Police, investigators were able to merge separate probes of various members of this organization and its activities into one encompassing investigation.

“The Detroit One partnership is working to reduce violent crime though enforcement and prevention,” McQuade said. “Today’s enforcement action is a great example of the impact we can have when federal, state and local law enforcement agencies work together with a united strategy. By arresting and charging individuals who commit violent crimes, we hope to restore peace to our neighborhoods.”

“As part of the Detroit One initiative, this collaborative investigation targeted some of the most violent criminal offenders in the Detroit metropolitan area,” stated Paul Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Detroit Field Office. “Combating violent crime remains among the highest priorities for the FBI. There is nothing more important than protecting our communities and keeping law abiding citizens safe. That effort is being waged each and every day by all of our Detroit One partners. It is tremendously important work, and the officers, agents and prosecutors engaged in this effort will continue to fight on behalf of the citizens we serve.”

Detroit One is a collaborative effort between law enforcement and the community to reduce homicide and other violent crime in Detroit. By working collaboratively, local, state, and federal law enforcement is striving to maximize its ability to identify and arrest the persons and groups initiating the violence in Detroit.