Gang members jailed

Published 11:07 am Monday, May 22, 2017

Federal authorities say 83 members of the United Blood Nation (UBN) gang have been indicted as part of a five-state crackdown on gang activity. All are believed to be part of a UBN wing known as “Nine Trey Gangsters.”

A news release from the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday said more than 600 federal, state and local law enforcement officers carried out the arrest warrants in Charlotte and other locations across North Carolina.

Three UBN members from the Roanoke-Chowan area were among those indicted, according to local sources. Two were reportedly from Northampton County, while the other resided in Bertie County. They were arrested by FBI SWAT with the assistance of Down East Drug Task Force and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

The Down East Drug Task Force is comprised of law enforcement officers with the Bertie, Hertford and Northampton County Sheriff’s Offices and the Ahoskie Police Department.

The names of those three individuals could not be confirmed by the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. A phone call to the FBI’s field office in Charlotte was not returned as of late Friday afternoon.

Arrests were also made by the FBI and other agencies in South Carolina, Virginia, Florida and New York.

A federal grand jury returned the indictments on Monday. Of the 83 people named in the indictments, officials said 27 are already behind bars and 10 are still at large. Five of those were being hunted in Charlotte, according to a report filed by the Charlotte Observer.

The Observer also reported that those accused also include some of UBN’s “godfathers,” also known as Old Guys or OGs, who direct gang operations from their cells in the New York prison system, prosecutors said. That’s where the gang formed in the early 1990s before spreading south through other prisons and the drug trade.

UBN remains a powerful force in many of the state prisons. In one 2016 example, UBN members smuggled cellphones, narcotics, marijuana and razor blades into the Pasquotank Correctional Institution in Elizabeth City, authorities say.

Prosecutors say gang members engaged in racketeering activity, including murder, attempted murder, narcotics distribution and firearms possession. The indictment also says gang members engaged in bank fraud and wire fraud.

Now, a new list of defendants have been accused of a total of 69 crimes, including six murders, one of which is the gang’s alleged involvement with the Jan. 26, 2016 homicide of Jimmy Ray Daniels in Halifax County. Two others were wounded in that case.

Daniels was gunned down while he sat in a vehicle in Scotland Neck on Jan. 26, 2016. Prior to his death, Daniels was listed as a state witness in a Halifax County murder case that had ended in a mistrial in October of 2015.