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Nearly 22 years in fed prison for York City Southside gang member

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Southside gang member Tyree Eatmon in a 2013 York County Prison mug shot.

A York City gang member involved in a melee and boot-stomping of two rival gang members in 2012 has now been sentenced to nearly 22 years in federal prison for racketeering and drug-trafficking conspiracies, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Harrisburg.

Tyree Eatmon, 30, appeared in Harrisburg's federal court on Thursday, Dec. 20, where he was sentenced to 21 years and eight months in federal prison for his involvement in violent gang activity, according to federal court records.

That punishment is in addition to the 42 months Eatmon — also known as "Ree" — has already spent in state prison for "related conduct," according to Dawn Mayko, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Harrisburg.

During sentencing, presiding U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane said the violence associated with the Southside gang amounted to a "reign of terror" in York City, according to Mayko.

Kane found that although Eatmon was involved in racketeering and drug-dealing conspiracies, he was not involved in murders or "violent retaliations against witnesses," as some of his fellow gang members were, Mayko said.

Tyree Eatmon in a 2015 photo from the PA Department of Corrections

Seven-week trial: Eatmon and a number of his fellow Southside members were defendants in a seven-week trial in Harrisburg's federal court in 2015 for gang activity.

A total of 21 Southsiders were federally indicted, with a dozen being convicted and the rest pleading guilty.

Four of Eatmon's fellow Southsiders have been sentenced to life in prison — Rolando "Mico" Cruz Jr., Marc "Marky D" Hernandez, Douglas "Killer" Kelly and Maurice "Mo" Atkinson. Others have received decadeslong federal prison sentences.

The gang members were convicted of charges including racketeering, drug trafficking and conspiracy.

How York City crippled a criminal empire

A sentencing memorandum filed by the defense prior to Eatmon's hearing states: "At the time of his indictment in this case, Mr. Eatmon’s involvement in criminal activity dated back to his childhood. Since his arrest on this case however, he has shown a singular, flawless and uninterrupted commitment to change and rehabilitation."

This Southside gang graffiti taunted law enforcement, but a joint investigation into Southside that led to federal indictments against 21 purported gang members disproved that taunting claim.
(Photo courtesy of the U.S. Attorney's Office)

Five Guys beating: Eatmon and others were charged some six years ago in a violent brawl along Route 30 about 2:45 a.m. Sept. 2, 2012, between the Rutter's Farm Store and the former Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

Two people were shot during the melee.

Glenniece Banks, whom a York County judge described as an innocent bystander, was shot in the head and gravely injured, police have said. Hakeem Kosh Sr. suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.

York City Police have said a group of more than 200 people were hanging out in the area when a fight erupted between Southsiders and members of the Parkway gang, or "crew."

During the fracas, Parkway affiliates Niam Jamison and Donald Layton Jr., both of York City, were repeatedly punched, kicked and boot-stomped by Southsiders.

Focus on street crime: The U.S. Attorney's Office, FBI, York City Police and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives partnered to investigate and bring down the Southside gang, federal and city officials have said.

Federal prosecutors continue to work with York City officials as part of the Group Violence Intervention, a national gun-violence reduction initiative, which city officials have said needs to be a permanent part of the city's long-term philosophy on crime.

GVI targets the people at the most risk of committing and being victims of gun violence by frankly telling them that gun violence won't be tolerated, then giving them the tools and support they need to become better citizens.

More:York City's GVI efforts impress national adviser

The GVI message is simple: We want you safe. We want you alive. We want you out of prison. And we will help you in any way we can. But if you or one of your group members shoots or kills someone, police and prosecutors from the local level up to the federal level will come down hard and relentlessly on every member of your group for every infraction, no matter how small.

In other words, shootings bring police and gun violence brings police.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.