Multiple individuals were recently charged following an investigation of alleged gang activity. Twenty people, some from Virginia, are now facing federal crimes charges, including racketeering. Each of these individuals will have the opportunity to respond to those charges, as they attempt to present their side of each case.
According to investigators, the individuals are members or associates of a gang known as the Mad Stone Bloods (MSB). The gang is known to operate both on the streets and within various prisons. Thirteen defendants are accused of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as the RICO Act. Seven other individuals are facing charges in related cases.
Some of those charged are accused of conspiring to smuggle controlled substances into various prisons, with the intent of distributing them to prisoners. Those individuals were employees of the Virginia Department of Corrections. Some of those charged have pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy. Documents pertaining to those cases paint a picture of gang activity that includes murder, drug trafficking and armed robbery.
As these individual cases move forward, those charged with federal crimes will have the ability to chart the course of their own defense. In some cases, an examination of the evidence held by prosecutors will lead to a decision to enter a plea of guilty, often in exchange for reduced charges and/or a more lenient sentence. Others may try to fight the charges in an effort to avoid conviction and significant punitive repercussions. It is unclear if additional charges will be made based on events connected to this Virginia prison.
Source: wsls.com, "Twenty from Virginia and New York charged in racketeering gang case", Nov. 4, 2016