Sin City Deciples RICO case winding down

Contributed By: The 411 News

National president sentenced to 17 years; club founder awaiting sentencing

Nearly 8 months have passed since a jury in Hammond’s federal court convicted 4 members of the Sin City Deciples Motorcycle Club for racketeering conspiracy and drug conspiracy.

The four men are among 16 Sin City Deciples members who were arrested in July and October of 2021 and have been confined since, targets of a federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation.

The charges against the Deciples were brought as violations of the RICO (Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations) Act – doing the business of the gang through criminal activities.

In the indictments, federal prosecutors described the Deciples as an outlaw motorcycle club in which its members and associates engaged in acts of violence, extortion, and narcotics distribution in the Northern District of Indiana and elsewhere.

Last week, Herman Troy Jefferson, the club’s National President and first of the 4 to receive sentencing, was handed a 204 month prison term by U.S. District Court Judge Philip P. Simon.

The other 3 yet to receive sentences are Deciples founder Kenneth Christopher McGhee, Richard White, and Brandon Romand Parks.

So far, 9 of the sixteen have entered guilty pleas.

The investigation and convictions could spell doom for the Deciples ‘mother’ club that originated in Gary in 1967.

According to the club’s Wikipedia page, Deciples chapters are in 37 states.

Twelve of the 16 indicted are from Gary and nearby cities in Indiana and Illinois. Jefferson is from Jacksonville, Arkansas.

The indictments say the 16 men engaged in acts of violence, acts involving murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, as well as acts involving extortion, trafficking in stolen property, obstruction of justice, sex trafficking, and firearms violations.

State of Indiana charges involving two Deciples members, Ronnie Ervin Major and Antoine Jermell Gates were used to build the federal RICO case.

In 2010, Major was facing trial in Lake County on 2008 felony charges of 1 count of attempted murder and 3 counts of battery.

The federal indictment says Major hired Gates to kill two witnesses, Jocelyn Blair and Antoine Fortier, scheduled to testify against him at the Lake County trial.

In February 2010, the indictment said, Fortier survived two murder attempts by Gates. Later that year in December, the indictment said, Gates went to the Coney Island Restaurant, in Gary, where Blair was a customer; he then shot and killed her.

At Major’s Lake County jury trial in May 2011, he was found guilty on 1 battery charge and not guilty on the other 3 charges.

In December 2016, Lake County brought charges against Major and Gates for the murder of Blair and attempted murder of Fortier. The state charges were dismissed in July 2021 when the federal government asked to include the charges against both men in their RICO case.

Major pleaded guilty to the murder charges on May 2, 2024. His sentencing is scheduled for August 15.

Gates entered a guilty plea on the murder charges in September 2023. His sentencing is scheduled for July 16.

Guns, money, and drugs were confiscated when U.S. Marshals rounded up the Deciples on October 27, 2021 in Gary and other parts of the country.

At the Merrillville home of McGhee, agents found $300,000 in cash, cocaine, along with numerous guns and rifles.

The indictment details multiple acts of Deciples violence and intimidation committed against fellow club members and other motorcycle clubs. In the words of Clifford Johnson, U.S. Attorney for Indiana’s Northern District, “These outlaw motorcycle gangs … they’re committing crimes together one week and shooting at each other the next week.”

Jefferson served as a National President of the entire club and conspiracy between 2017-2021.

The press release from the Northern District announcing Jefferson’s sentencing stated, “Jefferson utilized another motorcycle club to sell and traffic cocaine and marijuana for him. He attempted to create a “pyramid scheme” of narcotics trafficking by asking members to contribute $10,000 to $30,000 of narcotics to be trafficked across the U.S. and promised a 20 percent return.”

During the trial, the release said, “Individuals testified that Jefferson was confronted because this return on investment never occurred.”

Story Posted:06/10/2024

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