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Police Press Releases

February 21, 2008

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City of Cleveland Cracks Down on Organized Crime

"Operation 123 Clean Sweep" leads to charges against thirty-four following year long investigation

CLEVELAND — Mayor Frank G. Jackson, Police Chief Michael McGrath, Special Agent in Charge Christopher P. Sadowski of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Columbus Field Division and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason today announced that a joint Cleveland Police and ATF investigation into criminal gang activity on the city's southeast side has resulted in 150 criminal charges being levied against thirty-one defendants. The year-long investigation, conducted with technical assistance from County Prosecutor Bill Mason's office, focused on the area surrounding E.123 St. and Lenacrave Ave. in the Fourth Police District and was dubbed "Operation 123 Clean Sweep."

Eight simultaneous pre-dawn raids this morning, carried out by arrest teams comprised of officers and agents of Cleveland Police, ATF, FBI, DEA, US Marshals Service and RTA, resulted in the arrest of twenty-four of the defendants named in indictments unveiled today. Arrest warrants were issued for thirty-one individuals including six juveniles. One of those being sought was arrested yesterday and four others named in the indictments were previously incarcerated for other crimes. The arrest teams, assisted by SWAT Units from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office and Cleveland Police, were led by ATF and CPD supervisors. Locations on Cleveland's east and west sides as well as addresses in East Cleveland, Shaker Hts. and Warrensville Hts. were targeted in searching for members associated with the LA Gunnaz gang. The moniker "LA" is short for "Lenacrave-Angelus," signifying the area of the city in which the gang operated.

"Organized crime sucks the equity out of neighborhoods and diminishes the capacity for residents to have the quality of life which they are entitled to experience," said Mayor Jackson. "As I said earlier this year, whether you live in Cleveland or are coming into Cleveland to break our laws, law enforcement will deal with you."

"This latest round of indictments," said Chief McGrath, "is yet another example of the successful partnerships we have established with those in our law enforcement community. We will continue to work to stamp out the gang violence that has become so pervasive in the City of Cleveland."

"ATF is committed to relentlessly pursuing violent criminals that victimize our communities. Today we have taken the first steps towards justice for the persons victimized by these criminals," said Christopher P. Sadowski, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Columbus Field Division.

"We support the Mayor's efforts to take the fight to the drug dealers and gang members," said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason, "I'm confident that the residents of this neighborhood will feel safer with the arrests of these thugs who have been terrorizing them. These indictments are part of a large scale operation by law enforcement to take back our streets--block by block, gang by gang."

Those charged in the indictment are:

ADULTS:
1. ROBBIE CAYSON HUTCHINS DOB: 06/17/68 AGE: 39 (Mother)
2. RONNEL ACY DOB: 09/15/89 AGE: 18
3. KENNETH POTTS DOB: 01/24/88 AGE: 20 (Son of Hutchins)
4. LAMAR SEARS DOB: 10/11/89 AGE: 18
5. TERRANCE BROWN DOB: 02/16/88 AGE: 19
6. JAYLON PATTERSON DOB: 05/23/88 AGE: 19
7. SHUNDER HOWARD DOB: 05/18/1989 AGE: 18
8. SHERWIN WILLIAMS DOB: 11/12/75 AGE: 32
9. LARRY CRAWFORD DOB: 02/19/49 AGE: 58
10. STEVEN OLIVER DOB: 10/21/1989 AGE: 18
11. BRYANT CAYSON DOB: 08/10/84 AGE: 23 (Son of Hutchins)
12. MARK FULLEN DOB: 10/04/88 AGE: 19
13. ROBBIE CAYSON DOB: 08/02/88 AGE: 19
14. LYNDON DAVIS DOB: 12/07/87 AGE: 20
15. ERIK HEARD DOB: 08/04/88 AGE: 19
16. JOSHUA COLBERT DOB: 02/12/89 AGE: 19
17. CHRISTIAN CRAIG DOB: 12/15/88 AGE: 19
18. JEFFREY HOOD DOB: 05/11/1986 AGE: 21
19. DARNELL WILLIAMS DOB: 10/19/86 AGE: 21
20. TYRONE BALLOU DOB: 08/04/87 AGE: 20

JUVENILES:
1. Unnamed Juvenile DOB: 07/20/91 AGE: 16
2. Unnamed Juvenile DOB: 07/07/90 AGE: 17
3. Joshua Colbert DOB: 02/12/89 AGE: 19 (now an adult w/ adult charges as well)
4. Unnamed Juvenile DOB: 03/13/90 AGE: 17 (Son of Hutchins)
5. Unnamed Juvenile DOB: 11/28/89 AGE: 18
6. Unnamed Juvenile DOB: 05/12/89 AGE: 18
7. Unnamed Juvenile DOB: 01/17/1990 AGE: 18
8. Unnamed Juvenile DOB: 06/06/89 AGE: 18
9. Unnamed Juvenile DOB: 08/20/92 AGE: 15 (Son of Hutchins)
10. Unnamed Juvenile DOB: 12/26/92 AGE: 15 (Son of Hutchins)
11. Unnamed Juvenile DOB: 04/30/91 AGE: 16
12. Unnamed Juvenile DOB: 06/24/89 AGE: 18

Six of the juveniles charged have turned eighteen since their crimes were committed. However, because their alleged crimes were committed while they were under the age of eighteen they will be charged in Juvenile Court.

An indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants should be presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Contact
Special Agent Kim Riddell, Public Information Officer, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 1-330-707-2308

Source: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Web Site: http://www.atf.gov/


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