A federal grand jury in Nashville indicted 11 members of the Gangster Disciples for conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise.
This includes multiple murders, including the murder of a witness; a drug distribution conspiracy; and multiple other crimes of violence in aid of racketeering as well as firearms and drug crimes, according to officials.
The 40-count indictment alleges the defendants conspired to participate in the affairs of the Gangster Disciples, a violent criminal gang founded in Chicago and now active in numerous states across the U.S., including Tennessee.
The indictment alleges that the Gangster Disciples are highly organized, operating under the national leadership of a corporate board-style group, who is responsible for decisions for the gang at a national level.
“The charges in this case encompass conduct dating back over a decade,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith of Tennessee. “In bringing these charges, we have sought to hold accountable those who have played a central role in gang violence and whose criminal activity has too often disrupted the peace and harmony of our communities. Our work is not done and this prosecution is the next step in what will be a sustained effort to dismantle the Gangster Disciples organization in Middle Tennessee.”
The indictment alleges that on Jan. 6, 2012, Gangster Disciples member Brandon Durell Hardison, 31, of Madison, Tenn., murdered a Gangster Disciples associate.
That same date, Hardison also murdered the associate’s girlfriend, who was a witness to the murder, then enlisted other Gangster Disciples members to dispose of the murder weapon, according to the allegations.
The indictment alleges that Hardison committed these murders for the purpose of maintaining and increasing his position in the Gangster Disciples.
Gangster Disciples members were also responsible for attacks on rival gangs, according to the allegations.
For example, the indictment alleges that on Nov. 3, 2012, Hardison; Maurice Duncan Burks, 31, of Hopkinsville, Tenn.; Marcus Termaine Darden, 38, of Guthrie, Ky.; and Xavier Raphael Jenkins, 29, of Clarksville, Tenn., plotted to assault members of the Bloods gang.
Also, according to the allegations, Hardison and Jenkins assaulted, and Burks shot and killed, a member of the Bloods gang inside a nightclub in Clarksville, Tenn.
Additionally, the indictment alleges that in August 2014, Lamar Andre Warfield, 28, of Guthrie, Ky.; Derrick Lamar Kilgore, 32, of Clarksville, Tenn.; and Lawrence Mitchell, 33, of Clarksville, Tenn. conspired to murder members of the rival Vice Lords gang, resulting in the shooting of four individuals in Clarksville, Tenn.
The indictment also alleges that in a separate crime in December 2014, DeCarlos Titington, 41, of Clarksville, Tenn., shot at and attempted to murder two Vice Lords gang members.
Both Vice Lords shootings were for the purpose of maintaining and increasing the defendants’ position in the Gangster Disciples, according to the allegations.
The indictment also contains forfeiture allegations. According to the allegations, the government seeks to forfeit any proceeds and property, including but not limited to a money judgment, representing all or part of the gross proceeds obtained as a result of the alleged crimes.
The indictment names the following defendants in the RICO conspiracy: Darden; Burks, Hardison; Warfield; Kilgore; Titington; Mitchell; Elance Justin Lucas, 27, of Guthrie, Ky.; and Lorenzo Cortez Brown, 31, of Murfreesboro, Tenn.
The indictment also names Darden, Burks, Warfield, Kilgore, Lucas, Titington, Mitchell, Brown, as well as Rex Andrew Whitlock, 32, of Clarksville, Tenn., in the drug distribution conspiracy.
In addition to the RICO and drug distribution conspiracies, the indictment charges Hardison with two counts of murder in aid of racketeering, related firearms crimes, and witness tampering, and Burks with murder in aid of racketeering and related firearms crimes.
Warfield, Kilgore, Mitchel and Titington are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and assault in aid of racketeering, and related firearms charges, which stem from shootings of rival gang members.
Darden, Kilgore, Brown, and Titington are also charged with drug distribution offenses.
The defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
* This investigation was conducted by the ATF; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the TBI; the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office; the Clarksville Police Department; the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office; the Murfreesboro Police Department; the Gallatin Police Department; the Kentucky State Police; the 19th Judicial District Drug Task Force; and the Hopkinsville, Kentucky Police Department. Trial Attorney Ivana Nizich of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Schrader are prosecuting the case.