Street gang accused in 24 pharmacy robberies

U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler (center) on May 23, 2017, announced an indictment including racketeering charges in relation to 24 pharmacy robberies in Indianapolis and a murder charge in relation to a 2015 homicide. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Federal prosecutors have issued a 12-count indictment against a street gang they believe committed 24 pharmacy robberies, resold the pills on the streets and struck terror into an Indianapolis neighborhood.

The indictment includes racketeering charges and a murder charge in relation to a 2015 homicide, said U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler. The group, called The Mob, is accused of stealing pills in 24 pharmacy robberies in the Indianapolis area, he said. In addition, The Mob would obtain drugs from other drug dealers, the indictment says.

Gang members arrested were Larry “Bayboy” Warren, 19; Miguel “Mick” Chambers, 20; Kye “Fatty” Jackson, 22; Anthony “Ace” Jackson, 19; Devon Taylor, 20; Alphonse “Weezy” Turner, 24; Justin Rudolph, 23; and a person identified only as “Toro, Tote.” Remaining at large is Duwan “Rockhead” Byers, 21.

Some of the charges are against juveniles who the gang recruited, Minkler said in a Tuesday news conference. Their names were being withheld until formal adult charges are filed.

Greg Westfall, assistant special agent in charge with the Drug Enforcement Administration, worked with investigators and the community in the months-long probe that led to the indictment. He said pharmacy robberies lead to the diversion of pain pills for profit.

In one of the robberies, a CVS at 5110 E. 38th St. on Dec. 6, 2014, a gang member and another person obtained 731 morphine sulfate pills, 588 Percocet tablets, 1,010 OxyContin tablets and 10 Endocet tablets.

Other controlled drugs obtained by The Mob, according to the indictment, included Addrerall, Concerta, Lortab, morphine, Pomethazine antihistamine with codeine, Ritalin, Roxicodone, Tussionex, Vicodin, Vyvanse and Xanax.

Other robberies and robbery attempts included:

  • CVS at 5100 E. 38th St. on Dec. 6, 2014.
  • CVS at 3425 W. 16th St. on April 24, 2015.
  • CVS at 1616 E. 86th St. on April 25, 2015.
  • CVS at 3003 Kessler Blvd. N. on May 7, 2015.
  • Walgreens at 6269 W. 38th St. on May 13 and May 28, 2015.
  • Walgreens at 4555 N. Shadeland Ave., on June 4, 2015.
  • CVS at 1545 N. Meridian St. on July 14, 2015.
  • CVS at 8970 S. Meridian St. on July 17, 2015.
  • CVS at 1030 N. Arlington St. on July 18, 2015.
  • CVS at 7915 S. Emerson St. on July 21, 2015.
  • CVS at 1375 W. 86th St. on July 21, 2015.
  • CVS at 5005 E. 56th St. on July 30, 2015.
  • CVS at 1030 N. Arlington St. on Aug. 4, 2015.
  • CVS at Oaklandon Road and Pendleton Pike, Lawrence, on Aug. 7, 2015.
  • CVS at 1335 W. 86th St., on Aug. 23, 2015.
  • Walgreens at 3734 E. 38th St. on Aug. 31, 2015.
  • CVS at 7240 E. 82nd St. on Sept. 24, 2015.
  • CVS at 5605 N. Post Road on Oct. 3, 2015.
  • CVS at 6290 N. College Ave. on Oct. 13, 2015.
  • CVS at 3705 Kentucky Ave. on Oct. 14, 2015.
  • Walgreens at 9050 E. 38th St. on May 5, 2016.
  • CVS at 2419 W. Nichol Ave., Anderson, on May 6, 2016.
  • CVS at 2222 Bardstown Road, Louisville, Kentucky, on June 6, 2016.

Marion County had 129 pharmacy robberies in 2015, 42 in 2016 and five so far this year, according to information from the U.S. attorney’s office.

The indictment shows the homicide occurred after 8 p.m. Oct. 13 in the 4100 block of Byram Avenue. One of the two people involved in the CVS robbery earlier that day fatally shot the other in the head, the indictment says. Malik Perry, 19, of Indianapolis, was identified in 2015 as the victim.

Minkler said the gang also terrorized the neighborhood where they were located, 40th Street and Boulevard Place on the city’s north side just northeast of Crown Hill Cemetery. The gang tried to evoke a “code of silence,” and recruited juveniles as young as 12 — they were called “peons” — to sell the pills on the streets.

In addition to the racketeering charge, the indictment lists eight charges of interference with commerce by threats or violence, a count of possession of a controlled substance, and two counts of possessing and brandishing firearms.

The gang used social media threats to stop people in the neighborhood from being uncooperative with The Mob and helping police, he said. Court documents show various tweets and Facebook posts, including these:

  • “We da new nd approved MOB #CrownHillSectin we is da murdere rate.”
  • “Feds trynna hit my spot bu I’m to slick for them b—-es.”
  • “All you snitches going to have to rest n piss.”
  • “U in court then u a witness then you might end up a victim.”
  • “F— school sell dope a.s.a.p.”
  • “I started my day off in the morning saleing drugs.”
  • “He gotta die if he testify we do not work wit da FBI.”
  • “We don’t shake hands wit da enemies we do homicides.”

Westfall said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “reported that in 2015 heroin and opioid prescription drugs led to more than 33,000 deaths of our Americans. Every day 91 Americans die from opioids and heroin and fentanyl and prescription drugs.”

Drug and Violent Drug Chief Bradley Blackington and Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Blackett are prosecuting the case. If convicted, the suspects could face decades in prison.

Indianapolis Metropolitan and Bloomington police departments, Indiana State Police, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives also were part of the two-year investigation. The ATF said it issued over 40 search warrants in the investigation.

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