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The Suburbanite
  • Rated R gang leader, 16 others admit roles in drug ring

  • Federal prosecutors have obtained guilty pleas from 17 people involved in a local cocaine and heroin trafficking ring, including several suspected members of the Rated R street gang.

     

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  • Federal prosecutors have obtained guilty pleas from 17 people involved in a local cocaine and heroin trafficking ring, including several suspected members of the Rated R street gang.
    Alleged gang leader Virgil Hill and three co-defendants — Jerry Gordon Jr., Cordrick Owens and Jasmine Watkins —  were the last to admit their involvement in the drug conspiracy.
    The four men had been scheduled to go on trial this week in U.S. District Court but each pleaded guilty over the past three weeks.
    U.S. District Court Judge Donald C. Nugent is scheduled to sentence Gordon and Hill in January, followed by Watkins and Owens in February.
    Nugent already has sent nine defendants in the case to prison — three Rated R members are doing more than 10 years apiece — and sentencing is pending for the rest.
    All of the defendants lived in Stark County, except for Watkins, who lived in Columbus but once resided in Canton, according to court records.
    The case began as an investigation by the FBI and the Stark County Safe Streets Task Force into the Rated R gang, which is based in the area of Second Street and Belden Avenue NE, according to court papers.
    Authorities charged the drug conspiracy went back as early as June 2010 and lasted until an Oct. 26, 2011, raid by federal, state and local law enforcement.
    According to court papers, Gordon obtained heroin and cocaine from Watkins in Columbus. The drugs were then brought to Canton and distributed to other members of the conspiracy.
    Investigators said wiretapped phone conversations detailed multiple drug deals, some involving tens of thousands of dollars.
    Authorities also obtained direct evidence: Persons cooperating with law enforcement purchased crack cocaine from members of the drug ring; police found 22 grams of crack cocaine in Owens’ shoe during a July 5, 2011, traffic stop; and police on Oct. 2, 2011, found approximately a kilogram of cocaine in an SUV occupied by Gordon and co-defendant Travis Grant, according to court papers.
    PLEADED GUILTY AND SENTENCED:
    • Oscar “O” Todd, 27, of Canton: 125 months, Rated R
    • Demond “D-Mo” Hill, 32, of Canton: 122 months, Rated R
    • Travis “G” Grant, 34, of Canton: 121 months
    • Edward “Doogie” Turpin IV, 20, of Canton: 120 months, Rated R
    • Perez  A. “Little Pete” Williams, 19, of Canton: 93 months, Rated R
    • Lavanya Mayle, 28, of Canton: 60 months
    • Timothy Bertram, 29, of Canton: 57 months
    • Barry Giamourides, 43, of Jackson Township: 51 months
    • John L. “Doo Rag” Hill, 21, of Canton: 37 months, Rated R
    PLEADED GUILTY AND AWAITING SENTENCE:
    • Jasmine “JD” Watkins, 29, of Columbus
    • Jerry “Juice” Gordon Jr., 23, of Canton
    • Virgil “Virg” Hill, 25, of Canton, Rated R
    • Cordrick “Scoop” Owens, 32, of Canton
    • Brian “B” Brown, 32, of Canton
    Page 2 of 2 - • Ronald D. Hill, 23, of Canton, Rated R
    • Bennie “Bam” Woodson, 28, of Canton, Rated R,
    • Brandon “Yellow” Jones, 29, of Canton