TEMPLE, Texas - Members and associates of a Temple gang have been arrested as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, says the US Attorney's office.
A federal grand jury indictment charged 39-year-old Jason Mayse, 24-year-old Christopher "CJ" Meyers, and 27-year-old Reginald "Reggie" Williams with racketeering, Hobbs Act violations, and federal drug trafficking charges.
27-year-old Desmond "Mookie" Wilkerson, 23-year-old Atorius Marquis "Lil Man" Williams, 21-year-old Demonta "Tado" or "Tato" Daniels, 26-year-old Trashawn Lamar "Mad Max" Alexander, 27-year-old James Roy "Snoop" or "Snoopy" Whitfield, Jr., and 24-year-old Jyraciel "Raci" Whitfield were also charged but were already in custody.
Six members and associates of a Temple gang have been arrested as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, says the US Attorney's office.
The US Attorney's office says a seventh indicted defendant, 25-year-old Dominic "Dumbway" Johnson, is considered a fugitive.
Wilkerson, Atorius Williams, Daniels, Whitfield, and Meyers are charged with conspiracy to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act. The indictment alleges that those five conspired with others to commit five murders, multiple violent assaults, extortion, drug trafficking, and armed robberies in furtherance of the criminal enterprise.
Specifically, the indictment alleges five overt acts to include murder—one committed on November 26, 2015, by Williams in Hearne; the second committed by Williams and Daniels on September 30, 2017, in Belton; the third committed by Williams and Alexander on December 10, 2017, in Temple; the fourth, committed by Williams and Daniels on January 16, 2018, in Temple; and the fifth committed by Williams, Daniels and Alexander on January 31, 2018, in Temple, says the US Attorney's office
The RICO conspiracy charge also alleges the defendants committed multiple assaults resulting in serious bodily injury and armed robberies against various individuals for not using the gang, known as Killas With Aggression or KWA, as their narcotics source.
The indictment also charges all of the defendants with the exception of Mayse, with conspiracy to violate the Hobbs Act or affect commerce by robbery, according to the US Attorney's office. The indictment alleges that since September 2017, the nine defendants conspired to affect commerce by robbery, committing acts of physical violence, and threatening to commit acts of physical violence to steal controlled substances and proceeds from those engaged in illegal drug distribution.
Several of the defendants, including Atorius Williams, Meyers, Reginald Williams, Daniels, Whitfield, and Alexander, are also charged with brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, namely robbery. Atorius Williams and Whitfield are also charged with discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.
The indictment further charges Johnson, Wilkerson and Mayse with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. According to the indictment, the three KWA gang members are responsible for trafficking over 100 kilograms of marijuana throughout Central Texas since 2014.
A related federal criminal complaint charges 25-year-old KWA affiliate and Temple resident Christopher "Money Montana" Kelso, 21-year-old KWA associate and Temple resident Emanuel Padilla, and 22-year-old KWA member and Temple resident Darius "Bighomie Dlove" Hellums with conspiring to violate the Hobbs Act. The criminal complaint alleges that in July 2019, the trio robbed a Temple home which resulted in an occupant being shot by one of the defendants causing serious bodily injury, says the US Attorney's office. The complaint alleges that the defendants targeted the residents due to the sale of marijuana and firearms at the home.
The defendants remain in federal custody. Upon conviction of the RICO conspiracy charge, the defendants face up to life in federal prison. Upon conviction of the Hobbs Act conspiracy, the defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison.
Upon conviction of conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute, the defendants face between five and 40 years in federal prison. Upon conviction of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, the defendants face not less than seven years in federal prison consecutive to any other prison term. Upon conviction of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, the defendants face a mandatory ten years in federal prison consecutive to any other prison term.