Three Alleged Members of “Down Below Gangsters” (“DBG”) Face Federal Racketeering Charges
21 March 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced that a federal grand jury in San Francisco today indicted three individuals in connection with a murder in the Sunnydale Housing Development in April, 2004. Edgar Diaz, a.k.a. “Hook,” Don Johnson, a.k.a. “Skanoodles” or “Noodle,” and Rickey Rollins, a.k.a. “Lil Rick” were arrested last week on charges of committing a violent crime (murder) in aid of racketeering (VICAR). All three individuals are from San Francisco and are 19 years old. Edgar Diaz and Rickey Rollins were arrested on March 8, 2005, and Don Johnson was arrested on March 9, 2005.
According to the indictment, the purpose of the “Down Below Gangsters” included:
* Enriching the members and associates of the enterprise through, among other things, murder and distribution of narcotics.
* Preserving and protecting the power, territory and profits of the enterprise through the use of intimidation, violence, threats of violence, assaults and murder.
* Promoting and enhancing the enterprise and its members’ and associates’ activities.
* Keeping victims in fear of the enterprise and in fear of its members and associates through threats of violence and violence.
* Also according to the indictment the “Down Below Gangsters” used the following methods in the conduct of the affairs of the organization:
* Members of the enterprise and their associates promoted a climate of fear through violence and threats of violence.
* Members of the enterprise and their associates used and threatened to use physical violence against various individuals.
* Members of the enterprise and their associates trafficked in controlled substances, including cocaine base, ecstasy, and marijuana.
“Our federal statutes provide extremely effective tools to address violent gang crime on our city streets,” said U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan. “I applaud the commitment and determination of the FBI and the San Francisco Police Department in working together to end the tragic violence in these neighborhoods.”
According to the complaint filed in connection with these charges, Beverly Robinson was shot three times on April 15, 2004, and died the next day from his wounds. Members of the “Down Below Gangsters,” a.k.a. “DBG” were allegedly looking for a handgun that had previously been hidden in a car owned by the victim. According to the complaint, the handgun was “hot,” meaning it had been used in a recent homicide, and gang leaders had ordered the gun to be found and disposed of. Members of the gang allegedly found Robinson, accompanied him to a unit in the Sunnydale housing complex, walked him around the side of the housing unit and began shooting at him, causing wounds that killed him.
The three defendants will be arraigned before Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero on March 23, 2005. All three defendants are currently in custody.
The maximum statutory penalty for committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering is life in prison or the death penalty, and a $250,000 fine. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the Court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. 3553. An indictment only contains allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, these three defendants must be presumed innocent unless and until convicted.
The prosecution is the result of a joint investigation by the FBI and the San Francisco Police Department. Phillip J. Kearney and Hartley West are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release and related court filings may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can . Related court documents and information may be found on the U.S. District Court website at www.cand.uscourts.gov or on .
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at Luke.Macaulay3@usdoj.gov .