DETROIT (WWJ) – Five alleged members of a violent Detroit street gang have been indicted on various charges — including murder, racketeering conspiracy, narcotics and firearms offenses.
Acting Asst. Attorney General Kenneth Blanco, together with the Detroit Police James Craig, the ATF and others announced various offenses in a federal superseding indictment unsealed Friday.
The case was investigated as part of the Detroit One initiative, a collaborative effort between law enforcement and the community to reduce violent crime in the city.
Charged are the following people:
• Corey Toney, 36, of Detroit, is charged with RICO conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance;
• Edward Tavorn, 30, of Detroit, is charged with RICO conspiracy and felon in possession of a firearm;
• Andre Chattam, 27, of Detroit, is charged with RICO conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering and use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death;
• Kevin Pearson, 25, of Detroit, is charged with RICO conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering and use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death; and
• Sontez Wells, 23, of Detroit, is charged with murder in aid of racketeering, and use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.
According to the indictment, the defendants were members and associates of YNS, a “criminal organization” that operates in Detroit, specifically in the Brightmoor neighborhood — a roughly 4-square-mile area near the northwest border of the city. The indictment alleges that YNS “purposefully developed a reputation for ruthless violence” in order to facilitate the successful commission of crimes by YNS members and associates.
The indictment further alleges that the gang has become known as the most dangerous group in Brightmoor, and one of the most dangerous in the city of Detroit by engaging in various violent acts including: seeking to intimidate, injure and kill rival drug dealers to eliminate competition; attempting to instill fear in the community in order to discourage cooperation with police and witnesses from reporting YNS-related crime; and posting numerous intimidating photographs and videos to social media.
The case is being prosecuted by the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Michigan.