- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 10, 2000

Federal and District of Columbia police have shut down one of the most violent drug gangs in the city, charging its ringleader with 15 counts of murder the most ever for one person in the District.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia yesterday unsealed a 76-count indictment of 13 gang members on charges of murder, drug trafficking, racketeering and conspiracy.
"This is one of the most violent, if not the most violent, gangs the city has seen to date," U.S. Attorney Wilma Lewis said. The indictment and arrests "will go a long way to putting an end to this violent drug organization."
Yesterday's indictment stems from a long-running and continuing investigation by the Safe Streets Task Force a joint FBI-Metropolitan Police Department initiative.
As a result of the investigation, the Metropolitan Police Department was able to close 33 homicide cases 16 directly and 17 indirectly.
The massive indictment, which runs almost 100 pages, tells the 10-year story of drug traffickers in Southeast and Northeast who killed at least 16 persons to protect their narcotics turf, to retaliate for injury, for fear they would help law enforcement, or just for money.
Kevin L. Gray, 28, the gang's ringleader, is charged with 15 murders. Rodney L. Moore, 35, another gang leader, is charged with seven murders.
Gray and Moore whom Miss Lewis called "very violent individuals" were jailed in October of last year after a federal grand jury indicted them on drug-conspiracy charges.
All 13 gang members face a possible prison sentence of life without the possibility of parole. The charges against 11 gang members, including Gray and Moore, make them eligible for the death penalty, Miss Lewis said.
She repeatedly declined to say whether she will recommend to Attorney General Janet Reno the death penalty for any of the suspects.
However, Miss Lewis hinted at her view of murderous drug traffickers. Those who continue running drugs and killing to protect their business "do so at their own peril," she warned.
Gray and Moore also face separate federal charges for murdering several people they suspected of cooperating with law enforcement. Miss Lewis would not say if any of those killed had been working with police.
Three of the suspects remain at large: Wilford Oliver, a k a "Woofus," 52; Derrick Moore, a k a "DJ," 32, the brother of Rodney Moore; and Frank Howard, a k a "Fat Frank," 30.
More indictments and arrests are likely, Miss Lewis said.
"The big hitters are crippled," said Jose Acosta, commander of the Special Investigations Division of the Metropolitan Police Department. "This has completely knocked them down."
Charging documents lay out how a sophisticated gang with a clear hierarchy of leaders, lieutenants and foot soldiers bought, processed, packaged, hid and sold drugs all over the eastern half of the city for the past decade.
They used cellular phones and pagers to relay commands, and spoke in code words and nicknames like "Rasoo," "Pappy," "Stink," "Garma-Goo," or "Woofus."
Some of the employees of the operation were minors presumably hired because they faced potentially less-severe punishments in the juvenile-justice system.
The reasons for the slayings vary: a drug debt, stolen narcotics, infringing on the gang's turf, retaliation for hurting a gang member, or a suspicion that someone was working with police.
Gray and Moore usually rewarded the triggerman with crack cocaine and money.
Rodney Faison, a k a "Booyang," was shot and killed Jan. 3, 1998 "because Faison was disrupting the organization's sales of crack cocaine by selling 'demos,' " or small quantities of fake crack cocaine, the indictment said.
Task force investigators have executed 54 search warrants, seized kilograms of narcotics, 35 firearms, nine vehicles and more than $150,000. This has led to a total of 50 persons being charged throughout the investigation.
"This shows we're very serious about breaking up these gangs and doing something about the violence in this city," said Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey.
"A relatively small group of people are responsible for a large part of the violence."
Police department officials said they will monitor remaining gang members and other known criminals in the area to ensure another group doesn't take up the slack in drug trafficking left by the arrested gang members.
"We'll look for people to fill the void because there is a market," Chief Ramsey said.

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