by: Jim Spiewak Updated:
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Twelve members of the 'Conservative Vice Lords/Concrete Cartel' street gang have been charged for racketeering, business and pharmacy robberies and drug trafficking.
The 12 defendants include:
- Davante Turner
- William Pinkney
- Markease Alexander
- Nernest Nesby
- Lashawn Shannon
- Tondwin Lewis
- Arterrious McCalleum
- Travon Jones
- Rickey Bell
- Ariq Eric Rayford
- Clemeko Dewayne Starks Jr.
- Darnell Trevon Jordan
The gang members allegedly robbed pharmacies and would later distribute and sell stolen opioids and other controlled substances. They operated mainly in the Shelby County and North Mississippi areas.
The robberies ranged from July 2015 to July 2017.
“Gangs will not run our city. We will continue to weed out the criminal elements that surround gang motivated crimes, and we will fully support our state and federal partners in prosecuting criminals to the fullest extent of the law,” said Director Michael Rallings, Memphis Police Department.
A federal indictment showed members prove their worth and move up in the gang by how well they rob, prostitute women, sell drugs and their willingness to kill.
Acting U.S. Attorney Larry Laurenzi said, “It was a very organized gang in the way that they operate and did their business.”
Laurenzi said the group targeted at least ten Mid-South pharmacies adding, “They would use force to rob these pharmacies. The drugs that they would steal from the pharmacies, they would then turn and sell on the streets.”
The investigation had multiple layers. Investigators said it started as an investigation into violent robberies of businesses, but they later realized alleged gang members were involved.
- Zach Randolph arrested, charged with felony in Los Angeles
- Lights out, music off for cruise passengers to avert ‘pirate attack,’ reports say
- Recall: Own a Nissan? You could be entitled to $500
- 8-year-old barber making a name for himself one client at a time
© 2017 Cox Media Group.
12 gang members indicted for pharmacy robberies, drug trafficking
States expand investigation of opioid makers, distributors
States ask insurers to prioritize non-opioid pain treatment
Groups seek ban on high-dose opioids citing overdose danger
Medicaid fueling opioid epidemic? New theory is challenged