Federal Racketeering and Murder Charges Brought Against High-Ranking Members of the Black P-Stones Gang
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 17, 2013|
NEWPORT NEWS, VA—An 18-count superseding indictment was unsealed yesterday charging seven defendants—Justin Jerrell Brown, a.k.a. “Jus Money,” 22; Michael Ledale Hopson, a.k.a. “O.G.,” “Hop,” “Big Homie,” 36; Marcellus N. Williams Jr., a.k.a. “Math,” “P-Shooter,” “Manny,” 26; Darius Durel Crenshaw, a.k.a. “D-Block,” “Block,” “Block Head,” 27; Desmond Rishaad Finnell, a.k.a. “Dez,” “Jimmy Mac,” 23; Enrique Omar Hinton, a.k.a. “Rico,” 26; and Chadrick Derrell Lard, 23—with racketeering conspiracy, murder and attempted murder in aid of racketeering, robbery, conspiracy to distribute marijuana, and related firearms crimes. According to the indictment, the defendants were high-ranking members and associates of a violent street gang called the Black P-Stones, also referred to as the P-Stone Bloods and Cobra Stones.
Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Mythili Raman, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and Royce E. Curtin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement.
The indictment alleges that from approximately 2005 to the present, the Black P-Stones operated as a criminal enterprise located primarily in the Beechmont, Courthouse Green, and Woodview neighborhoods in the Denbigh area of Newport News. The Black P-Stones engaged in various criminal activities including murders, robberies, illegal drug trafficking, and obstruction of justice. Membership in the Black P-Stones often entailed being “jumped in,” during which the new member was surrounded and beaten. To remain in good standing with the gang, members were required to comply with the gang’s rules, attend gang meetings, and pay monthly “dues.” Failing to follow the rules or pay dues resulted in “violations” that ranged from being beaten to being killed. Lower-ranking members of the Black P-Stones often received orders or approval from high-ranking members to carry out criminal activities, which were sometimes referred to as getting the “green light.” The Black P-Stones signified their membership by wearing clothing, hats, and bandanas with the colors red, black, and yellow and by displaying distinctive tattoos, burns, hand signs, and handshakes. The indictment also alleges the Black P-Stones clashed with rival gangs, including the 10-1 Mafia Crips, Folks, and Thug Relations (which was also referred to as TR), and Duct to the Lawnz.
According to the indictment, the defendants’ respective roles in the Black P-Stones gang were the following in descending order: Hopson served as the leader known as the Big Homie or O.G., which is an acronym for “original gangster”; Williams and Crenshaw held the rank of “superior”; Finnell and Brown held the rank of "lieutenant”; Hinton was a member; and Lard was an associate.
Hopson and Finnell were arrested yesterday, and Brown and Hinton are also currently in federal custody. Hopson, Finnell, and Hinton will make their initial appearances in federal court in Norfolk today. Brown will be arraigned in federal court in Newport News on December 19, 2013. Williams and Crenshaw are currently in state custody and will make their initial appearances in federal court on a later date.
The investigation of this case was led by the FBI’s Safe Streets Peninsula Task Force, with the assistance of the Newport News Police Department and the James City County Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Eric M. Hurt and Trial Attorney Louis A. Crisostomo of the Organized Crime and Gang Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.