Life in prison for York City Southside gang leader
A leader of York City's Southside gang will spend the rest of his life in prison.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said Tuesday, Oct. 3, that Rolando "Mico" Cruz Jr., 32, a Southside leader and a member of the Bloods gang, was sentenced to life in prison.
Cruz was convicted in federal court in November 2015 for racketeering and drug trafficking. The 11 other men who went to trial with Cruz also were convicted.
Since his conviction, the government told District Court Judge Yvette Kane that Cruz has continued gang-related activities — including selling drugs and participating in violent retaliation — while in prison, according to a news release.
The government argued that, because of his continued involvement in gang-related activities while in prison, there is no confidence that Cruz will stop his violent ways, the release states.
Kane agreed that a life sentence for Cruz was appropriate.
Background: Cruz and 11 others were convicted during a seven-week trial in November 2015.
They were among 21 Southside members who were federally indicted in September 2014.
The gang operated in southern York City, centered in the area of Maple and Duke streets, according to the release.
Violence against the rival York City Parkway gang resulted in deaths or shootings of members of each gang as well as innocent bystanders, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Officials have said Southside members and associates used fear, intimidation, retaliation, violence and threats to protect the gang's territory and its criminal enterprise — drug trafficking, primarily.
A massive two-year probe into Southside gang activity by York City Police, federal prosecutors and federal agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, led to federal indictments against the 21 purported gang members.
The others convicted who have been sentenced are:
• Jalik “Murder Cat” Frederick, 24, was sentenced to 33 months in prison on June 5, 2017, for drug possession with intent to deliver.
• Brandon “B Or” Orr, 23, was sentenced to 34 months in prison in November 2016 for drug possession with intent to deliver.
• Jabree “Minute” Williams, 24, sentenced to 60 months in prison for drug possession with intent to deliver.
The following members who were convicted are awaiting sentencing:
• Douglas “Killer” Kelly, 39, racketeering conspiracy, drug trafficking conspiracy and drug possession with intent to deliver
• Roscoe “P Shawn” Villega, 43, racketeering conspiracy, drug trafficking conspiracy, and drug possession with intent to deliver
• Tyree “Ree” Eatmon, 29, racketeering conspiracy, drug trafficking conspiracy and drug possession with intent to deliver
• Maurice “Mo” Atkinson, 30, racketeering conspiracy, drug trafficking conspiracy and drug possession with intent to deliver
• Anthony “Kanye” Sistrunk, 29, racketeering conspiracy, drug trafficking conspiracy and drug possession with intent to deliver
• Eugene “B Mor” Rice, 29, drug trafficking conspiracy and drug possession with intent to deliver
• Angel “Pocko” Schueg, 28, drug trafficking conspiracy and drug possession with intent to deliver
The gang members who pleaded guilty to racketeering before the trial and have not been sentenced are:
• James “Doocs” Abney, 31, who authorities say was one of the leaders and main enforcers of Southside.
• Malik “Base” Sturdivant, 25
• Jahkeem “Foo” Abney, 27
• Ronald “Ron Ron” Payton, age 25
• Cordaress “Tank” Rogers, 31
• Marquis “Quis” Williams, 29
• Jerrod “Boogie” Brown, 28
• Quintez “Q” Hall, 25
• Richard "Rich" Nolden Jr., 27
Marc "Marky D" Hernandez and Cruz were the primary leaders of the gang, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Consiglio told jurors at trial. Both were convicted of racketeering conspiracy, drug-trafficking conspiracy, drug possession with intent to deliver and two counts of possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Hernandez, 32, is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 25.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at email@example.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.