CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Four members of a notorious North Carolina street gang were convicted Thursday of charges including Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) involving several murders.
In May 2017, 83 United Blood Nation gang members were indicted in the Western District of North Carolina for crimes, including RICO conspiracy.
The trial resulted in the convictions of the last four defendants in the active case.
Officials said Dricko Huskey, 27, Renaire Lewis Jr., 25, Alandus Smith, 29, all from Shelby, and Jonathan Wray, 28, of Lawndale were members of the United Blood Nation, also known as UBN or Bloods.
The trial lasted nearly three weeks and showed that Huskey, Lewis, and Wray each shot and killed different victims, authorities said.
The jury also convicted Lewis of murder in aid of racketeering, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, attempted Hobbs Act robbery, and using a firearm during and in relation to crimes of violence, said officials.
Smith was also convicted of possessing methamphetamine and marijuana with the intent to sell, possessing a firearm in furtherance of those drug trafficking crimes, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, in addition to racketeering conspiracy.
"These gang members made a living committing robberies and dealing drugs, and tried to gain respect, reputation and rank within the Bloods by shooting and murdering victims," said U.S. Attorney R. Andrew Murray of the Western District of North Carolina.
"With today's guilty verdict, we have successfully put 82 violent offenders behind bars, as we continue our mission to dismantle criminal enterprises operating in Western North Carolina and protect our communities from violent street gangs," Murray added.
Three top leaders of the UBN were convicted of racketeering conspiracy by a jury in May 2018, and one defendant was convicted of racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy at trial in July 2019.
In all, officials said 82 defendants have been adjudicated guilty in this case, 78 defendants have pleaded guilty and 69 defendants have been sentenced.
© 2020 Cox Media Group