April 28, 2015

Detroit One Collaboration Leads to Indictment of RTM Gang Members in Northwest Detroit

Five members of a violent street gang in Detroit have been indicted on racketeering and other related charges, announced United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade today.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Paul Abbate, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division and Chief James Craig, Detroit Police Department.

The superseding indictment, unsealed today, is a result of the collaboration of local, state, and federal law enforcement under the Detroit One initiative.

According to the superseding indictment, the gang known as “RTM” short for “Related Through Money” operates in northwest Detroit, between the Southfield Freeway and Greenfield Road to the west and east and by Plymouth Road and Joy Road to the north and south. The RTM gang members refer to this area as the “Skuddzone” and actively use violence to stake out the gang’s “turf” and intimidate both rival gang members and the citizens of northwest Detroit and the surrounding area. The gang is active around Cody High School and has been involved in a number of assaults and acts of intimidation at the high school. The superseding indictment alleges a variety of crimes, including murders, shootings, carjackings, assaults, the breaking and entering of residential homes or businesses, and robberies and attempted robberies of jewelry stores. The five individuals charged with racketeering conspiracy are:

  • Deonta Matthews, 20, of Detroit;
  • Brandon Owens, 19, of Detroit;
  • Brandon Sims, 20, of Detroit;
  • Meyer Thedford, 20, of Detroit; and
  • Antwan Foster-Stockton, 21, of Detroit.

Under the Detroit One Initiative investigators were able to combine separate probes into various members of this organization and its activities into one investigation. Detroit One is led by the Detroit Police Department and the FBI Violent Gang Task Force, which consists of representatives of Detroit Police Department, Redford Township Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, Michigan Department of Corrections, and Michigan State Police.

“The Detroit One partnership has made it a priority to dismantle violent street gangs to restore peace to our neighborhoods,” McQuade said. By working together with various law enforcement agencies, we are able to detect patterns and repeated crimes by the same individuals to build larger cases out of separate incidents.”

“As part of the Detroit One Initiative, this collaborative investigation targeted some of the most violent criminal offenders in the Detroit area,” said Paul Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Detroit Field Office. “As alleged in the indictment, RTM gang members have been involved in assaults and acts of intimidation in and around a high school. There is nothing more important than protecting our children and keeping our communities safe from violent offenders. Through the Detroit One Initiative, we wage this battle on behalf of law abiding citizens every day. The FBI, in cooperation with the officers, agents and prosecutors engaged in this effort, will continue to fight for the safety 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. This indictment is the latest in a string of indictments or informations over the last two years involving violent street gangs in the city of Detroit, including:

  • Nine members of the Bounty Hunter Bloods street gang charged with federal racketeering conspiracy and other violent acts in furtherance of racketeering;
  • 13 members of the Latin Counts street gang charged with federal racketeering conspiracy and other violent acts in furtherance of racketeering;
  • 14 members of the Phantom Outlaw Motorcycle Club / Vice Lords street gang charged with federal racketeering conspiracy and other violent acts in furtherance of racketeering;
  • A Vice Lord leader charged under the federal street gang statute for his role in an armed robbery; and
  • Three members of the Band Crew street gang charged under the state of Michigan gang felony statute for violent acts in furtherance of their gang activities.

These charges are just some of the tangible and significant results of this joint effort.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The burden is on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.