Final Defendant in First Trial Involving Pueblo Bishops Bloods Street Gang Sentenced, Disavows Gang
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 11, 2013|
A Los Angeles man and member of a criminal street gang that used violence and intimidation in an attempt to control the Pueblo del Rio Housing Projects in South Los Angeles was sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison, announced André Birotte Jr., the United States Attorney in Los Angeles, and Bill Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of FBI in Los Angeles.
Jermaine Hardiman, aka “Lil Jay Killa,” 32, who was also a local rapper whose songs boasted of his prolific gang exploits, was sentenced Monday afternoon by United States District Judge, S. James Otero. In addition to the prison term, Judge Otero ordered Hardiman to serve 10 years of supervised release.
During the trial, the government produced evidence against Hardiman that demonstrated his gang membership and leadership over the “YGs” or “young gangsters,” as well as Hardiman’s significant drug trafficking, firearms trafficking, and armed robberies, including a formerly unsolved bank robbery from 2004.
During the sentencing hearing, Hardiman read aloud a letter he addressed to Judge Otero and claimed that he intended to renounce his membership in the gang and even remove all of his gang tattoos that covered his chest and back.
Judge Otero commented that in light of recent tragic gun crimes, offenders like Hardiman demanded “a severe sentence” to deter future gun violence. The judge also told Hardiman that but for his disavowal of the Pueblo Bishops, Hardiman would have received an even longer sentence.
Hardiman was one of three defendants found guilty following a five-week trial in United States District Court last summer, when a jury convicted the three defendants of being members of a criminal enterprise that engaged in narcotics and firearms trafficking, murder, witness intimidation, and armed robbery as part of the gang’s efforts to control and terrorize the housing projects.
Hardiman was convicted in July 2012 during the first of two trials involving defendants identified as members of the Pueblo Bishop Bloods street gang. Hardiman was convicted on all counts of an indictment that charged federal racketeering (RICO), conspiring to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin, and drug trafficking within a public housing project and near schools and parks.
Hardiman’s co-defendants, Gary White, also known as “Big J-Killa,” was sentenced on December 4, 2012, to 14 years in federal prison, and Anthony Gabourel, also known as “Bandit,” was sentenced on March 25, 2013 to 40 years in federal prison.
As a result of the federal investigation into the Pueblo Bishop Bloods, a total of 45 defendants were charged in federal indictments. Prosecutors have secured convictions for 40 of those defendants. Two defendants are in state custody, and two are fugitives. Prosecutors dismissed charges against one defendant. The 45th defendant, Rondale Young, who is charged with conspiring with Gabourel in the murder of Cornelio, is scheduled to be tried before Judge Otero on November 5, 2013. See initial announcement in this case at http://www.justice.gov/usao/cac/Pressroom/pr2010/122.html.
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This case is the result of an investigation by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Task Force on Violent Gangs and other agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Los Angeles Police Department, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development-Office of Inspector General, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Assistant United States Attorney Mack Jenkins: 213-894-2091
FBI Press Relations: 310 996-3343