‘Bloods’ gang members get prison time related to area killings, shootings, robberies

‘Bloods’ gang members get prison time related to area killings, shootings, robberies
Tyquan Powell, Thomas Oliver, Lamonte Lloyd, Marquel Cunningham (Gaston Gazette)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In a federal courtroom in Charlotte this week, four alleged United Blood Nation each received a lengthy prison sentence for their roles in a racketeering case that included murder, drugs and attempted killings.

All four of the men left deaths or injuries in their wake as they operated as part of the United Blood Nation, also known as the Bloods gang, according to federal prosecutors.

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Three of the four pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges involving murder, while the fourth pleading guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge involving attempted murder.

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Those sentenced by District Court Judge Frank D. Whitney included:

• Thomas Oliver, 34, of Gastonia, also known as T.O., Recon, Rex and Mr. Trippbadd, to 35 years followed by three years of supervised release

• Marquel Michael Cunningham, aka Mayhem, 23, of Kings Mountain, to 15 years followed by three years of supervised release for his role in the racketeering charge and an attempted murder

• Tyquan Ramont Powell, aka Savage, 24, of Charlotte, to 35 years followed by three years of supervised release

• Lamonte Kentrell Lloyd, aka Murda Mo and Moo, 26, of Scotland Neck, North Carolina, Thomas Oliver, to 35 years followed by three years of supervised release.

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Oliver, Powell and Lloyd’s pleaded guilty to racketeering charges involving murder.

Police arrested Oliver in July 2016 related to the death of a reported marijuana seller in the town of Chapel Hill.

Oliver drove himself and four other United Blood Nation members from Cleveland County to Chapel Hill in order to rob an 18-year-old victim of marijuana and money, according to court documents and evidence presented at May 2018 and October 2019 trials.

Oliver coordinated the crimes as a local United Blood Nation leader, and was present when his fellow gang members shot and killed Malik Devon Brown Burnette during the robbery.

Burnette’s friend, Tanner Cobb, who was also 18 at the time, survived a gunshot wound to his arm during the incident.

Powell and Lloyd were members of the United Blood Nation and together committed two murders and three attempted murders in January and February of 2016.

Powell and Lloyd committed the first murder in Scotland Neck, North Carolina, by shooting into a car with three occupants because they believed one of the occupants was cooperating with law enforcement and intended to testify in a criminal case against a close associate of the defendants.

Bullets struck all three occupants and the intended target of the shooting was killed.

Other United Blood Nation members offered Lloyd and Powell refuge and resources in other places, including Charlotte, while they attempted to evade arrest, according to prosecutors.

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GASTONIA KILLING

In February 2016, Powell and Lloyd also killed a 29-year-old Gastonia woman, Cheeontah Howard, at the former Red Carpet Inn on Broadcast Street.

Howard’s death came as Powell and Lloyd were attempting to rob her and three others of money and marijuana.

Howard was attempting to flee to safety when she was shot, according to federal prosecutors.

Lloyd also attempted to rob another person in Charlotte. Lloyd shot the man in the back of the head, but he survived.

ATTEMPTED MURDER

Cunningham committed an armed robbery for the United Blood Nation, as well as an assault of a fellow Bloods member for violating gang rules.

Court documents and evidence presented at sentencing also showed that Cunningham was present in a car with United Blood Nation co-conspirators in November 2014 when they saw a man who Cunningham believed to be a member of the rival gang called the Crips.

Cunningham pointed the man out to his fellow Bloods and flashed gang hand signs.

Occupants of the car then opened fire on the victim, exited the car, and chased the victim while shooting approximately a dozen times. No one was injured in the attempted murder.