Murder, racketeering charges added to federal ‘LAFA’ gang indictment

Prosecutors said the gang trafficked drugs in Chicago and Duluth, Minnesota, while violently retaliating against rivals, former members and witnesses.

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Federal prosecutors have added murder and racketeering charges to a 2019 indictment against the ‘LAFA’ street gang.

Sun-Times file photo

Federal prosecutors have added racketeering and murder charges to a gang indictment that hit 11 people, including a mother and two of her sons, with gun and drug charges last year.

The new indictment alleges that the “LAFA” street gang violently protected its drug-dealing territory on Chicago’s South Side and in Minnesota, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Prosecutors said the gang trafficked marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and MDMA in Chicago and Duluth, Minnesota. The gang is also accused of stealing vehicles and violently retaliating against rivals, former members and witnesses.

Akeem Asad, 28, is accused of murdering Janeen Hancock and Alixi Johnson July 23, 2012, in Chicago, prosecutors said. Martez Easter, 27, and Cottrell Mackey, 26, are charged with killing Denero Appleton on June 1, 2014, in Chicago.

Mardi Lane, 31, and Reginald Jones, 26, are charged with the murder of Deonte Hoard on March 2, 2015, in South Deering, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Asad, Lane, Easter and Jones are also accused of committing attempted murders on behalf of the gang, along with 27-year-old Carey Hinton, 25-year-old Tony Parker and 29-year-old Quentin Lucious

Eleven alleged members of the gang — including 42-year-old Harriette McPherson and her sons, 26-year-old Rakim Asad and 19-year-old Sincere Brannon — were indicted on federal drug and gun charges in May 2019, prosecutors said at the time. The new superseding indictment adds racketeering conspiracy charges against 10 of those defendants.

Several new gun charges and multiple counts of witness intimidation have also been added in the new indictment, prosecutors said.

Racketeering conspiracy charges typically carry sentences up to 20 years in prison, while some of the murder and attempted murder counts could carry life sentences, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Read more on crime, and track the city’s homicides.

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