Jury Returns Verdicts in Lengthy Trial Against Two Ranking Gang Members
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 02, 2013|
NASHVILLE, TN—Leonard Baugh, a/k/a Hype, age 35, and Omega Harris, a/k/a Nino a/k/a Q, also age 35, both of Nashville were convicted of multiple charges by a federal jury after a five-week trial, announced Jerry E. Martin, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. The trial focused on Baugh’s use of contraband cellular telephones while serving a state prison sentence at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville.
“We are appreciative of the diligent efforts of the jurors who served in this lengthy trial, and we respect their verdicts,” said U.S. Attorney Jerry E. Martin. “This was a difficult investigation into a large and dangerous gang whose members tried to control prisons, jails, and our neighborhoods. The proof showed that this gang was well armed and regularly planned to commit violent crimes. This office and our law enforcement partners dedicated significant resources to investigating and prosecuting this case with the belief that such dangerous offenders who were lurking in our neighborhoods with multiple firearms and who were willing to use those guns to abduct others and invade their homes needed to be stopped.”
According to the proof at trial, both defendants held the rank of “OG” (Original Gangster)—the highest rank in the Rollin’ 60s Crips street gang—and committed various crimes with other Rollin’ 60s gang members. The trial proof showed that people as young as 13 years of age were joining this violent street gang.
Baugh was convicted of conspiring to commit two armed robberies against people he believed to be drug dealers and with possession of firearms in furtherance of those conspiracies. He was responsible for the multiple guns possessed by the co-conspirators who were to carry out the planned home-invasion style robberies. Baugh was also convicted of conspiring to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine as part of a scheme to raise bond money for two female gang members who had been arrested on state prescription fraud drug charges. Baugh was serving a Tennessee state prison sentence at the time of the offenses, and the trial proof showed he routinely used a contraband cell phone while in Tennessee’s highest security prison to arrange robberies and drug offenses, which were to be committed by other Rollin’ 60s gang members.
Harris was convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, which was to be taken as part of one of the planned robberies, as well as conspiring to distribute prescription drugs such as Oxycontin.
The proof at trial included evidence that Harris conspired to obtain Oxycontin and other prescription drugs through the use of forged prescriptions as well as through large scale distribution of Oxycontin in various Nashville public housing projects. That proof included estimated distribution of thousands of highly addictive and dangerous Oxycontin 80-milligram pills per week. The investigation into how Harris was able to obtain these drugs in bulk continues.
Harris was also convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, relating to the possession of a folding Kel-Tech Sub 2000 firearm. The proof at trial included tracing that firearm through the hands of over a dozen gang members and associates, including proof that Harris provided that firearm to other gang members for use in other crimes. Harris was acquitted of conspiring to commit various drug-related robberies and the firearms charges related to those conspiracies.
Sentencing for both defendants has been scheduled for June 20, 2013 before Senior U.S. District Judge John Nixon. The United States intends to seek lengthy prison sentences against each of these defendants, reflecting each defendants’ roles in these crimes, their previous criminal histories, and other appropriate sentencing factors.
The investigation, which is still ongoing, included the arrests of over 30 Rollin’ 60s gang members and associates, including five holding the highest rank of OG. Many of the defendants previously pleaded guilty, and others—who are presumed innocent—will be tried later on a variety of charges, including drug trafficking, conspiracy to commit armed robberies, firearms offenses, and obstruction of justice.
The case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from other federal and local agencies. This trial was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sunny A.M. Koshy and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Mario M. Pinto.