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CHICAGO (AP) — Members of a Chicago street gang suspected of killing at least 11 people and terrorizing a South Side neighborhood for years have been charged as part of a joint federal and state investigation announced Friday.

The Goonie Boss faction, under purported leader, 22-year-old Romeo “O-Dog” Blackman, operated in the Englewood neighborhood, killing rivals, issuing threats through social media, boasting online about acts of violence and threatening witnesses, according to charging documents unsealed Friday.

“It’s a significant day here in Englewood,” Jeffrey Sallet, head of the FBI’s Chicago office, said at a news conference announcing the charges. “We are bringing the full weight of the federal government to the violence that’s plaguing these neighborhoods.”

Unusually for such a case, filings don’t say the Goonie gang resorted to violence to protect lucrative drug turf. They stress instead how gang members seemed to obsess over burnishing their reputation for fearsomeness and over boosting their gangland status.

In all, 23 people have been charged from the investigation that goes back two years. It relied heavily on information gleaned from social media postings, U.S. Attorney John Lausch said, adding they investigators were able to “exploit that information in order to get good evidence.”

It’s among the first gang cases to emphasize gangs’ embrace of social media to goad foes or brag about their crimes. Some investigators now specialize in cyber-sleuthing, spending much of their time searching Facebook, Twitter and other sites for evidence to charge gang members.

Blackman, who was already in custody on other charges, and three others are charged federally with a racketeering conspiracy that alleges 10 killings and six attempted killings. Convictions could carry life sentences. A fifth member is charged in state court with first-degree murder in an 11th slaying. Filings didn’t include defense lawyers’ names.

Among those killed was Gerald Sias, a 38-year-old fatally shot in an Englewood barbershop on May 26, 2016. Most of the other victims were in their late teens and 20s.

Top-down gangs in which kingpins give orders that everyone down the chain of command follows are largely a thing of the past in Chicago. Many powerful gang leaders in the 1990s and 2000s were prosecuted, leaving younger, less-disciplined gang members vying for influence.

The Goonie gang, which is loosely affiliated with the Gangster Disciples, has long-running feuds with other factions in Englewood, such as the Push Squad and TLove.

Many experts have said successful prosecutions have led to greater gang chaos, leading to the unintended consequence of more gang violence. Lausch, the federal prosecutor, said authorities are aware of the phenomenon of vacuums being created when gangs’ top members are arrested.

“We are anticipating who we think is going to step up and fill that vacuum,” he said.

Also Friday, Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said gang retaliation appears to have played a role in two South Side shootings this week.

Guglielmi said there was a “high probability” that an attack that wounded five people Wednesday was in retaliation for a shooting during a funeral Monday in which six people were wounded, including aspiring 21-year-old rapper Marvel “FBG Wooski” Williams. Williams is known for challenging rivals in rap songs.

No arrests have been made in either shooting.

 

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9 thoughts on “Chicago Gang Led By 22-Year-Old Charged With Using Social Media For Murders

  1. With names like Jolicios and Romeo, parent’s set them up for failure. I have to laugh at some of the names I hear or read. Where do we start, to try and educate our people on what we’re doing to hinder our own progress? The white man can’t take your self respect from you, that’s something we seem to be giving away. I’m glad they’ve caught these beast. Wish them luck in getting more of them off the streets.

  2. ResponsibiltyInControl on said:

    @christianforreal………….To your point about the white man in the airport the point you failed to mention is the fact that while he was a disturbance he 1. wasnt running from the police…2. have a weapon..3. in a high crime area….4 make any threatening moves as if he had a weapon….Agreed any loss of life is unacceptable, HOWEVER these said thugs in this article shouldnt be a cause for rioting or protests when they are at the very root of the black on black violence. Again…….BLM?? it shouldnt be a movement when a LEO kills a African American it should be a movement first within the African American community…instead of blocking highways block the corner stores, chrome rim shops, barbershops, nail salons..etc…

  3. christianforreal on said:

    Only Racists think like that. As VBNR said , it doesn’t matter who does the killing. the taking of human life, except to defend ones self is abhorrent. BLM no matter who takes it, however when it is taken by some one whom we all look to for protection, someone who is trained to deal with criminals without spilling blood, but spills it anyway, specifically because he doesn’t like the color of my skin. Black lives, like all lives, matter, but when Black lives are taken from those we trust to help us and at a rate that is disproportionately greater than any other race or ethnicity, then we call more attention to our cause. Whites and Asians aren’t killed in the same number as POC, period.Did you see the video of the white man being subdued in the airport? Note how long those police officers contemplated about what was the best way to handle this man. Had he been a POC he would have been slammed to the floor, tased and shot and then the police officers would have contemplated about how to present the story so that the take down would seem justified. And then when they decided to take him down, he yelled,.”help they are treating me like a Fing Nword.”. Hmmmmmm!

    • “Killed at a rate that is disproportionately greater than any other race”? More white people are killed by police than any other race of people, however, it’s not reported nearly as often because stories that don’t play the race card just don’t get the ratings. There was barely a blip on the radar when 18-year-old Gilbert Collar, a white, naked unarmed college student who was high on drugs was killed by a black police officer. No riots, no marches, no protests, no race-baiting, no story.

  4. Justbeingme on said:

    Black people already knows that black people is killing each other and there have been people holding rallys and marching to stop violence against each other. Black lives matter in both cases . in the case of black on black crime and police brutality and killing of black people. its said that violence of any kind is happening in the communities. our politciions have to figure out a solution of what can be done to put a stop to this senselessness.

  5. ResponsibilityInControl on said:

    BLM??????…………….Now had one of these idiots been killed by the police people would be rioting in the streets protesting.

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