State's Attorney's office charges 16 with conspiracy to distribute

United States Attorney James L. Santelle announced today that four indictments were unsealed in federal court charging 16 defendants with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, including crack cocaine and cocaine.

The defendants charged were: Deron Gilbert; Steven Harris; James Ashford; Terrence Jamison; Ronald Parker; Xavier Poston; Devon Thomas; Jerrold Ezell; Julius Gonzalez; Devonte Guercy; Rodney Rowsey; Anthony Walton; Monta Beamon; Michael Thomas; Kyeonta Ames; and Jemarcus Williams.

Federal law enforcement officers arrested four of these defendants. Six were already in custody. Six are still at large, including: Deron Gilbert, Devonte Guercy, Ronald Parker, Devon Thomas, Michael Thomas, and Jemarcus Williams.

On June 9, 2015, Milwaukee law enforcement officers arrested two of these defendants. One was already in custody. Three are still at large, including: Larrenzo Willis, Mitchell Anderson, and Darrell Agnew. These cases are being prosecuted by Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Megan Williamson.

All of the defendants except Ames, Beamon, Michael Thomas, and Williams, are charged with offenses punishable by up to life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison. Beamon and Michael Thomas are charged with offenses punishable by up to forty years in prison, with a mandatory sentence of five years in prison. Ames and Williams are charged with offenses punishable by up to twenty years in prison. The majority of the suspects arrested were members of the HPT/ATK Street Gang, and all of them operated in Milwaukee County.

In addition, the following defendants were charged by the Milwaukee County District

Attorney's Office with narcotics and firearms offenses: Kareen Hayes, age 23; Sean Barbosa,age 25; Mitchell Anderson, age 21; Darryl Agnew, age 31; Orell Davis, age 32; and Larrenzo Willis, age 35. All six defendants facing state charges reside and operate in Milwaukee.

In making today's announcement, United States Attorney Santelle stated: “These charges, arrests, and seizures are a part of our continuing work to dismantle drug organizations that threaten the safety and security of neighborhoods in the Eastern District of Wisconsin and elsewhere. These efforts reflect the importance of ongoing collaboration between federal, state, and local law enforcement.” Santelle commended all of the law enforcement officers involved in the investigation.

Acknowledging the collaborative efforts necessary to make today's roundup a success,

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm commented: “As we have in the past, our local, state, and federal public safety organizations continue to work closely together to identify violent offenders and effectively remove them from our community.”

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward A. Flynn provided the following remarks regarding today's takedown: “Targeting violent gangs is a core element of our multi-pronged strategy to reduce violence in Milwaukee by focusing on high-hazard groups, individuals, and locations.”

Continuing with the theme of cooperation among law enforcement agencies, FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Shields provided the following comment: “This case is an outstanding example of multi-jurisdictional cooperation, enabled by the FBI's Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Gang Task Force, which resulted in the disruption of two violent criminal gangs. The citizens of Milwaukee have the right to feel safe and live free of violence from gangs in their neighborhood.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Milwaukee Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The following agencies also assisted with today's arrests and search warrants: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office – Investigators and Analyst, Oak Creek Police Department, and West Allis Police Department.

These cases are being prosecuted federally by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Resler and Elizabeth Monfils.

An indictment is merely the formal method of charging an individual and does not constitute inference of his or her guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until such time, if ever, that the government establishes his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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