PEORIA, Ill. – A Peoria, Ill., man, Terry Moss, a member of the Bomb Squad street gang, today pleaded guilty to conspiring with other alleged gang members as an organized criminal enterprise to commit violent crimes. In addition, Moss, 23, aka “Lil Man,” admitted to attempted murder in aid of racketeering; use of a firearm in relation to a violent crime; and possession and distribution of crack cocaine. Moss appeared in federal court before Chief U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid. Sentencing for Moss is scheduled on Aug. 8, 2019.
Moss is one of the 15 men charged in June 2018 with federal racketeering conspiracy under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Trial for the remaining 14 defendants remains scheduled on June 10, 2019, before Judge Shadid. These defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
Under the RICO statute, a crime which carries a statutory penalty up to life, the defendants are charged with working as an organized criminal enterprise to achieve its objectives, including activities that affect interstate commerce. From 2013 to June 2018, members and associates of Bomb Squad allegedly engaged in acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, arson, and drug trafficking. The enterprise used violence to protect itself, its members and associates from rival gangs and to protect the standing and reputation of Bomb Squad.
During his appearance in court today, Moss admitted that he was first exposed to Bomb Squad when he was approximately 13 years old. As a member of the Bomb Squad enterprise, on multiple occasions, Moss admitted he shot at rival gang members in Bomb Squad territory, including on June 27, 2017, when a bullet struck a rival gang member in the foot. Moss admitted he sold and helped others sell narcotics, including crack cocaine, and that he possessed guns, held guns for others and loaned guns to other gang members or associates.
At sentencing, Moss faces potential statutory penalties of up to life for the offense of RICO conspiracy; for violent crime in aid of racketeering (VICAR) attempted murder, the statutory penalty is up to 20 years in prison. Use of a firearm in a crime of violence carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison to be served consecutive to any other term of imprisonment. For possession with intent to distribute and distribution of crack cocaine, the maximum penalty is up to 30 years in prison.
The charges are part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods violent crime reduction strategy and an ongoing investigation by an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies working together to identify, disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations and violent street gangs.
U.S. Attorney John Milhiser reinforced the office’s commitment to working with partner law enforcement agencies to use and coordinate all necessary resources to combat violence in our communities. “Working with our state and local partners, we will target those individuals who choose to commit violent crime,” said U.S. Attorney Milhiser.
Law enforcement agencies conducting the investigation include ATF, the Peoria Police Department, and DEA, in coordination with the Office of Peoria County State’s Attorney Jerry Brady. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Hanna is coordinating the prosecution on behalf of the government in the Peoria Division, Central District of Illinois.
PEORIA, Ill. – A federal indictment unsealed today charges 15 alleged members of the Peoria street gang Bomb Squad with organized violent gang activity including murder and attempted murder. The indictment alleges that those charged are participants in a racketeering conspiracy that has committed numerous shootings and acts of violence, including the April 8, 2018, murder of a rival gang member and a bystander, a Bradley University student.
U.S. Attorney John E. Childress; ATF Resident Agent in Charge Tom Dart, Springfield Field Office; Peoria Interim Chief of Police Loren Marion III; DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Glenn Haas, Chicago Field Division; Peoria County State’s Attorney Jerry Brady; and Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis made the announcement.
The indictment charges the defendants with federal racketeering conspiracy under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Under the RICO statute, the indictment alleges that from 2013 to the present, the defendants functioned as a criminal enterprise to achieve its objectives, including activities that affect interstate commerce. Members and associates of Bomb Squad allegedly engaged in acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, arson, and drug trafficking. The enterprise used violence to protect itself, its members and associates from rival gangs and to protect the standing and reputation of Bomb Squad.
All of the 15 defendants named in the indictment are charged with one count of RICO conspiracy, an offense which carries a statutory penalty of up to life in prison, if convicted. Those charged include: Eugene Haywood, aka “Nunu,” 24; Raevaughn Rogers, aka “Lil Poppi,” 18; Kenwan Crowe, 19; Terry Moss, aka “Lil Man,” 23; Ezra Johnson, aka “Lil Wody,” 22; Jovan McCree, aka “Vano,” 36; Jahlin Wilson, aka “BD,” 21; Andre Neal-Ford, aka “Monkey Man,” 20; Lance Washington, 22; Torieuanno White, aka “T.A.,” 24; Sherman Williams, aka “Shady,” 26; Lloyd Dotson, 27; Keith Gregory, aka “Kilo,” 19; Mytrez Flora, aka “Trez,” 24; and Kentrevion Watkins, aka “Tutu,” 19.
Twelve of the defendants are also charged with one or more counts of Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering (VICAR) that include assault with a dangerous weapon and attempted murder, and with using firearms during the commission of a violent crime. In addition, the indictment includes charges of drug trafficking in marijuana, crack cocaine, and heroin, and possession of firearms by felons.
To further the conspiracy and achieve its objectives, the indictment alleges 46 overt acts in which gang members and associates engaged in murder, drug trafficking, witness tampering, arson, and robbery. Included among the overt acts alleged are the following:
June 23, 2013, Haywood murdered Eric “Greedy” Brown, who he believed to be a rival gang member;
July 15, 2013, Haywood, Flora, Dotson and deceased Bomb Squad leader Raheem Wilson, aka “Boosie,” conspired to shoot and murder Tyrann Chester, whom they believed to be supplying drugs to a dealer operating independently of Bomb Squad in Bomb Squad territory;
May 12, 2016, Wilson robbed and shot unnamed victim during a dice game because he believed the victim was dealing drugs in Bomb Squad territory and not sharing the proceeds;
June 13, 2016, McCree shot a .308 caliber rifle at a car he believed was occupied by rival gang members driving on Arago Street, in Bomb Squad territory. One of the bullets passed through the wall of a residence and struck an 11-year-old girl in the leg as she slept on a couch;
Feb. 12, 2017, Moss attempted to set fire to the home of an individual he believed to be a rival gang member, in retaliation for the murder of deceased Bomb Squad leader Raheem Wilson, aka “Boosie;”
Aug. 9, 2017, Williams, Crowe and other Bomb Squad members burglarized a house and stole a safe containing 12 guns which were then distributed to other Bomb Squad members;
April 4, 2018, Johnson attempted to persuade a witness from testifying in a trial wherein Haywood is charged with shooting an individual with a firearm. When the witness refused to accept a bribe, Johnson threatened the witness;
April 8, 2018, Watkins provided a juvenile Bomb Squad member with Crowe’s handgun which the juvenile then allegedly used to shoot and kill Anthony Polnitz and Nasjay Murry.
The indictment was returned by the grand jury on June 20, and sealed pending today’s arrests. ATF agents were assisted by the U.S. Marshals Service to make the arrests. Those arrested this morning are expected to make their respective initial appearances in federal court this afternoon. Five of the defendants already in state custody, in Peoria county for state cases or serving a sentence at the Illinois Department of Corrections, are expected to appear in federal court for their initial appearances later this week and early next week.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
The charges are the result of an ongoing investigation by an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies working together to identify, disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations and violent street gangs.
Law enforcement agencies conducting the investigation include ATF, the Peoria Police Department, and DEA, in coordination with the Office of Peoria County State’s Attorney Jerry Brady. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Hanna is coordinating the investigation and prosecuting the case on behalf of the government in the Peoria Division, Central District of Illinois.
In addition, this case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a federal program designed to bring together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The program was reinvigorated in 2017 as part of the Department of Justice’s renewed focus on targeting each community’s most violent criminals.