New charges added in central Ohio investigation of gang-related drug, gun crimes

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — A homicide and nine attempted murders are among new charges that state and federal authorities announced Tuesday as part of an investigation into gang-related violence in central Ohio dating back a decade.

The charges are connected to alleged crimes including 13 murders and 33 attempted murders along with drug dealing, weapons trafficking, extortion and robbery committed between 2005 and 2014.

The defendants, up to 20 as a result of Tuesday's updated indictment, are accused of being members of the Short North Posse, a gang with 2-decade-old roots in and around Columbus.

The investigation continues, said Dave DeVillers, an assistant U.S. attorney who said the charges for the first time include crimes such as burglary against legitimate businesses.

Too often, people dismiss gang-related crime as one drug dealer shooting another, Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien said.

"Here today we see the spillover effect from drugs and gangs," he said, describing the impact on businesses such as convenience stores and gas stations that were targeted.

The latest homicide added to the charges was the March 2010 attempted robbery and shooting death of Quincy Battle on the east side of Columbus, according to the indictment.

The Short North Posse's roots date to the 1990s, and over the years, the gang has included subsets such as the "Homicide Squad" and a group of members who called themselves "Cut Throat," according to the indictment.

"The Short North Posse controlled the neighborhood through intimidation, fear and violence," the indictment said.

The crimes occurred in Columbus, Canal Winchester, Chillicothe, Pataskala, Pickerington and Zanesville.

Columbus police, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also investigated.

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