The leaders of Chicago’s so-called “super gang” once declared “The Earth Is Our Turf.”
Now, the feds have three new words for them: Life in prison.
That’s the sentence prosecutors are asking a judge to hand down to each of the six men found guilty of a racketeering conspiracy at the end of a marathon trial that ended early this year. Evidence tied the gang members to a 10-year reign of terror that included eight murders, 16 shootings and eight robberies.
“The Hobos operated with cold, calculated, precision and premeditation when they murdered,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Otlewski wrote in a series of court memos filed late Monday. “The murders they committed were showy and public demonstrations of power — sending a message that they were a force to be reckoned with and that they would go to the most extreme lengths for power and money.”
Sentencing hearings for the six men — Gregory “Bowlegs” Chester, Paris “Poleroski” Poe, Arnold “Armstrong” Council, Gabriel “Louie” Bush, William “Joe Buck” Ford, and Derrick “D-Block” Vaughn — are scheduled to begin later this week and last into next week.
A seventh Hobo, Stanley “Smiley” Vaughn, did not go to trial with the rest of the men but is also expected to be sentenced this week. For him, the feds are only asking for a 20-year sentence — to be served in addition to a nearly 22-year sentence he is already serving.
The trial of the Hobos began around Labor Day 2016 and ended the first week of 2017. Chester, 40, took the stand during the Hobos’ trial and denied the gang even existed. However, the feds say Chester led them all.
“The true measure of defendant Chester’s reach and power is reflected in the murders the Hobos committed to protect Chester and to retaliate against others on his behalf,” Otlewski wrote.
That included the April 2013 murder of FBI informant Keith Daniels by Poe, the notorious Hobos assassin who Otlewski said “used brazen and reckless violence to further the group’s mission.” Poe, 37, gunned Daniels down in front of Daniels’ girlfriend and two young children.
Not only did that stop the feds from calling Daniels as a witness against members of the gang, Otlewski wrote that it sent “a chilling message to people who cooperated with the government about the extreme consequences they faced for turning against the Hobos.”