Gang crackdown: Four from "2500" gang face racketeering charges
Four suspects linked to a Fort Wayne street gang are in custody, charged with more than a dozen counts of racketeering.
Police say the men are connected to a shooting back in 2014.
This may not be the only local gang targeted by authorities.
Three of the men were arrested on Tuesday.
22-year old Demetri Beachem and 24-year old William Beamon are from Fort Wayne.
25-year old Kyombe Bolden has a Bloomington address.
24-year old Ronnie Burrus was already in a Bloomington jail.
Federal prosecutors say the quartet was part of a gang called the "2500", which originated in the 2500 block of Caroline Street near Reservoir Park in Fort Wayne.
Their arrests are part of an 18-count indictment on a variety of racketeering charges.
"The '2500' frequently clashed with other gangs such as the MOB, the Mafia, the Bang Squad," said United States Attorney David Capp.
Much of the basis for the charges relates to an October 4, 2014 shooting at Caroline and Suttenfield, where authorities say the defendants shot at two members of a rival gang.
They missed, but did strike an innocent bystander.
The victim of the shooting survived.
The court documents say the "2500" routinely engaged in acts of retaliation, intimidation and violence to preserve power and protect drug trafficking territory.
Much of Fort Wayne's violence in 2016, police say, can be traced to these kinds of enterprises.
"We've gotten a record number of guns off the street, but yet we still had a record number of homicides, a lot of these investigations involved gang members," said James Feasel, who heads up Fort Wayne’s Gang and Violent Crimes Unit.
In this case four people were arrested, but authorities hope a tough message gets delivered to a wider audience.
"I don't care if you call yourself a club, I don't care if you call yourself a clique. If you are working together and involved in criminal activity, we are coming after you and you are next," Capp said at a news conference held to announce the crackdown.
At least three of the defendants have detention hearings on March 3rd.
Capp says because of the teeth in federal racketeering laws, convictions in this case would surely bring stiff prison sentences.