Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 2:57 PM
A Columbus-based drug gang is accused of 12 unsolved murders and 23 attempted murders. From the Ohio Statehouse New Bureau in Columbus, Karen Kasler reports.
Prosecutors and law enforcement in central Ohio have announced what they say is a significant hit on a Columbus-based drug gang. Seventeen alleged members of the Short North Posse are accused of 12 unsolved murders and 23 attempted murders in six central Ohio cities since 2005. They’re also facing charges of drug and weapons trafficking, extortion, and robbery.
Carter Stewart is the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.
"In the five years I've been here, this is the largest case we've handled," Stewart said. "This is the largest federal murder indictment in the history of Ohio. It's huge, and the amount of time that has gone into from our side has been tremendous."
Stewart says the gang members carried out their crimes to control their reputation and territory, and that members threatened or intimidated witnesses to keep them from talking to police. Prosecutors also say members of the Short North Posse produced songs about their gang and their crimes, and posted them on social media sites.
"This gang has been hit significantly," Stewart added. "We can't say that it's been decimated, we can't say that it's been dismantled -- that's our goal. But I can tell you that they've taken a significant hit, especially on their enforcement side."
Stewart says those gang members named in the indictment referred to themselves as the Cut Throat Committee and the Homicide Squad, and that they also threatened or intimidated witnesses to keep them from talking to police. The indictment is the result of a two-year investigation involving the U.S. Attorney’s office, the FBI, the DEA, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Columbus Police and the sheriff’s offices in Franklin and Fairfield Counties.