Another York City gang member going to federal prison
Another purported member of York City's Southside gang has been sentenced to a lengthy term in federal prison for gang activity, but — unlike the gang's two leaders — he avoided a life sentence.
Roscoe "P Shawn" Villega, 43, was sentenced in Harrisburg's federal court on Wednesday, Nov. 15, to 25 years in prison, according to federal court records.
After a 7½-week trial, Villega and 11 other Southside members were convicted in November 2015 of racketeering and drug trafficking. Some have been sentenced; the rest await sentencing.
Nine others pleaded guilty before trial and await sentencing, according to Dawn Mayko, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Harrisburg.
2-year probe: The trial was the culmination of a massive two-year investigation into Southside gang activity by York City Police, federal prosecutors and federal agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, that led to federal indictments against the 21 purported gang members.
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.
York City residents Marc "Marky D" Hernandez and Rolando "Mico" 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 and Cruz are now serving life sentences in federal prison. Prosecutors also said Southsiders are affiliated with the national Bloods gang, based in New York.
Not in gang? Villega's attorney, Eric Zimmerer, argued in his sentencing motion that his client shouldn't receive life in prison and also argued prosecutors didn't prove Villega was ever a member of Southside or the Bloods.
"Mr. Villega asserts that drug trafficking for which the jury found him and his co-defendants guilty, were simply the acts of several individuals who bought and sold drugs through multiple 'associations-in-fact,' and that these associations-in-fact were not members of the alleged 'Southside' gang," Zimmerer wrote.
A jury convicted Villega of conspiracy to commit racketeering and conspiracy to distribute heroin, crack cocaine, powder cocaine and marijuana.
U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane noted during Villega's sentencing that his role as a drug trafficker ravaged the York community for more than a decade, causing many deaths and victimizing many others, according to a news release from Mayko.
One of the eight men who pleaded guilty was James "Doocs" Abney, who authorities say was one of the leaders and main enforcers of the Southside gang.
About Southside: All 21 co-defendants are current or former members of Southside, which operates in the southeastern portion of York City, according to their federal indictments, handed down in September 2014.
At the time, 15 of them were serving state or county prison sentences, officials have said.
Convicted at trial and still awaiting sentencing are: Douglas "Killer" Kelly, 39; Tyree "Ree" Eatmon, 29; Maurice "Mo" Atkinson, 30; Anthony "Kanye" Sistrunk, 29; Eugene "B Mor" Rice, 29; and Angel "Pocko" Schueg, 28.
Others have already been sentenced to federal prison time: Jalik "Murder Cat" Frederick, 22, was sentenced to 33 months; Brandon "B Or" Orr, 23, was sentenced to 34 months; and Jabree "Minute" Williams, 24, was sentenced to five years.
Those who pleaded guilty and await sentencing are: Abney, 31; Malik "Base" Sturdivant, 25; Jahkeem "Foo" Abney, 27; Ronald "Ron Ron" Payton, 25; Cordaress "Tank" Rogers, 31; Marquis "Quis" Williams, 29; Jerrod "Boogie" Brown, 28; Quintez "Q" Hall, 25; and Richard Nolden, 27.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.